Saturday, November 19, 2011

"I worked that song like a hooker pole."

It's no secret, I love Glee.

Sometimes, I love to hate Glee.

Here's the deal: I know how completely ridiculous it is. I get why people hate it. It's cheesy, silly, and it's EVERYWHERE. Lea Michele is so sickeningly sweet and perky she makes you want to punch her in the face. Mark Salling is playing a high schooler but looks like he's well into his 30s. Some of the covers belong straight on a Kidz Bop compilation. Show creator Ryan Murphy has no concept of continuity. Don't even get me started on Matt Morrison. Did I mention that Lea Michele is completely exhausting?

But the thing is, some of the performances are good. Really good. Like, stuck in your head for days but you don't want to tell anyone good.

I promise.

But this is only going to work if this relationship is based on mutual giving, so you have to promise me that you'll watch each performance once.

It won't hurt, I swear.

You may even like it.

So follow me, as I count down my top ten Glee performances.

szólj hozzá: Glee - Blame it on the Alcohol

10. Blame It On the Alcohol

I had just forgotten about this song until Glee brought it back to my attention. This particular episode actually featured two of my favorite performances, but in the end this one won out for a few reasons. 1.) Kevin Mchale (Artie Abrams) is full of win, always. 2.) The performance itself isn't intercut with dialogue or plot moments like most of them are, and therefore you get to see the cast look like they're genuinely having fun with the performance, particularly Heather Morris (Brittany S. Pierce), who is either really enjoying herself, or trying to pull all focus away from Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), who couldn't dance his way out of a paper bag.

Heads Will Roll/Thriller - Glee Cast from alittlepanda on Vimeo.

9. Thriller/Heads Will Roll
I remember being slightly nervous when I heard that Glee was getting a special episode after the Super Bowl AND that they were covering Thriller AND that they were going to mash it up with another song. Then I heard that the second song was going to be "Heads Will Roll" from the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and I was instantly totally on board.

8. Don't Rain On My Parade

I know, I know. Stop rolling your eyes. But do you have any idea how difficult this song is to pull off, and to pull off as well as she did? Go ahead, give it a try.

Yeah. Your pet is deaf now. Good job.

7. Like A Prayer

I like performances were more than one member of the cast gets to shine, and this moment clearly belongs to Amber Riley (and her mom, who is in the choir behind her). Jonathan Groff is also in the ensemble here (we'll be hearing more of him later.)

6. Valerie
Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez) has brought her character a long way from her original casting as "Cheerleader #2" - but that's another blog entry altogether. Here, she flawlessly covers the Amy Winehouse version of Valerie, and Heather Morris and Harry Shum Jr. dance like their lives depended on it... and from the horror stories I've heard about working with Ryan Murphy, they very well may have.

5. Teenage Dream

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I've spent much of the last year or so worshiping at the altar of Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson). I mean...he looks just like a Disney prince. And by all accounts is the nicest guy ever. Have you seen A Very Potter musical? Hilarious! And - okay, I'm back. ANYWAY, this cover was one of Glee's most successful songs to date, and it's the song that Criss credits with changing his life. (How much did it change it, you ask? We'll cover that in another entry.)

I'm a sucker for well dressed, well groomed pretty boys who can carry a tune. Everyone knows that.

4. I Feel Pretty/Unpretty

Something that Glee has excelled at since it's early episodes was the art of the mash up. This one is delicate and sad and beautiful. Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray) is not the strongest vocalist on the cast, and putting her in a duet with Lea Michele was a risky move, but the result is damn near flawless.

3. Singing in the Rain / Umbrella

When you're a show delivering classic songs to a demographic that has probably only heard them in passing, sometimes you have to update them a bit. What better way than to mash Singing in the Rain with the most overplayed song in history - Umbrella?

2. Rumor Has It / Someone Like You
As soon as I saw this I was telling anyone who would listen that it was my favorite Glee performance of all time. No, I haven't forgotten how to count, but I was simply reminded how amazing number one is.

That said, this arrangement is damn near flawless, and deserved every one of the over 6 million views that it currently has. The mash up is fantastic, the vocals are stellar, the choreography and costumes are perfect for the number, and once again, Naya Rivera steals the show.

1. Bohemian Rhapsody

Now, it may seem a little controversial to choose a number one performance that doesn't even feature the Mckinley High glee club, but the fact of the matter is that Vocal Adrenaline has always been the stronger group. There are so many amazing things at work here, that it's hard to deny that this number is a total show stopper.

First of all, lets get through this while trying to ignore the fact that Quinn is giving birth and focus on the fact that Jonathan Groff is a total rockstar. Without his voice and theatricality, this epic piece would have been a total mess.

What we get instead is a performance that wins on all levels. The wardrobe is perfect. The vocals are stellar - but the real stand out here is the choreography. Zach Woodlee delivered choreography that's incredibly intricate and at times acrobatic. Take into account the intense shooting schedule that any one hour weekly follows, and it's a wonder that they even had the time to rehearse it, much less turn it into such a winning number.

Rachel, you should be glaring. You never stood a chance.

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