August 29th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
It was really no surprise that Fox's "Glee" pulled in an astounding number of Emmy nods, considering the tidal wave of critic and fan appreciation that poured in for the show throughout its first season, but for the cast, walking down the red carpet for the Emmys can only be described as "surreal."
No, really: nearly all of the cast members who stopped to talk to CNN used that exact description.
"We all feel like the underdog," Kevin McHale said. "The show is working, people like it and to be here tonight with all these nominations - it’s surreal."
So surreal that poor Chris Colfer hasn't barely been able to recover from a state of "total shock."
"I’ve been pinching myself since the nomination came out," Colfer said. "It’s good that I’m covering my body [with a suit] because there’s all kinds of welts covering it."
Another surreal moment for the "Glee"-ful crew was working with Britney Spears - although they're all remaining pretty tight-lipped about what exactly she does on the upcoming episode featuring the pop star's music.
"We can’t really talk about it, but we did meet her, and she’s fantastic and the loveliest," said Jenna Ushkowitz, who plays Tina on the show. "She was my idol. She was so sweet, and such a normal grounded person and so much fun to be around."
Lea Michele agreed, telling CNN that Spears was "so game to do anything, her performance was great and it’s going to be the best episode."
But of course, it's not just the guest spots that make "Glee" the phenomenon that is - its message of celebrating who you are, regardless of size, ethnicity or sexuality (or even talent), is what has hit home with many, and not least with the actors themselves.
"It’s helped us going to work everyday, not feeling like we have to be a certain body type," Ushkowitz said. "These kids don’t feel like there’s a certain way to be, just celebrate the way that you are."
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