The Teen Choice Awards, normally an also-ran awards show tossed somewhere between the Peoples' Choice Awards and the VMAs, managed to snag the spotlight last night when Lea Michele won Choice TV Actress for her role on Glee and spoke publicly for the first time since her co-star Cory Monteith died of an overdose on July 10. Michele, who had dated Monteith both in real life and on the show, Michele had tweeted a brief thank-you to fans, as well as the below image of her return to the Glee set, but the Teen Choice Awards speech was her first public appearance since Monteith's death-- and given the amount of raw emotions she displayed, it's not hard to imagine why she wanted that privacy.
"I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory," Michele says in the video, which you can of course also watch above. "For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love we're going to get through this together. He was very special to me and also to the world. We were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile and his beautiful, beautiful heart."
Monteith, who had been open about his past drug problems, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room in July. A coroner's report later confirmed that a fatal mix of heroin and alcohol caused his death. The cast and creators of Glee have been stepping lightly in the weeks since to talk about the show's return and how Monteith's death will be addressed. The fifth season premiere was pushed back a week, to Thursday, September 26, and FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed that the third episode of the new season will deal directly with Monteith's death and history of drug abuse. Finn will be written out of the show at that point, though it's not clear if the character will die or be shipped off to rehab or some other less-harsh means of moving on.