& with that, Glee wrapped up 3 seasons. & Finn just broke with Rachel. Again. Snore.
I think I’ve took this long to type out this list for multiple reasons. Chief among them – to calm myself down & look at this with less emotion, more impartially perhaps. & guess, what? No Quinn Fabray solo in the list! Now you know I’m kept this list bias-free, unlike the previous 2 lists for Season 1 & 2. Almost. But now that I’ve mentioned my gorgeous Quinn Fabray, let’s spare a moment to see how they screwed up her character development, again. I mean, sure, they ignored her in Season 2, then gave her much more screen time in Season 3. Which apparently is not such a good thing.
Bang, talk about an entrance! I still have fantasies about this skanky, absolutely spanking look. Me digs Quinn in rebellious mode very much.
Suddenly she’s back in her clean short-blonde look IN THE NEXT EPISODE. Not that I’m complaining, she still looks boner-worthy. But she’s bitching about getting her baby back & gives Puck that death stare of hers that could make his mohawk fall off. This is the phase where Quinn goes berserk, almost bizarre.
Bonkers crazy Quinn lasted a couple of annoying episodes before she discovered a moment of epiphany & went all-wise & mature, BFF-ing with Rachel & gets reinstated as Cheerios captain (hurray!). & still looking insanely sexy.
Then she did something you should never ever do on the road, text while wearing pink & driving a pink Beetle. Because when you’re driving a pink blob of an automotive vehicle, you know you’re gonna get rammed by a truck.
Now she’s on a wheelchair. Paralyzed, but still managing to give the Glee Project winner a boner. Yucks, but am not surprised, who can blame poor Joe?
But hey! She’s miraculously back on her feet during prom night within a few episodes. I mean, WTF? Right after that she’s already dancing & looking f**k-worthy on stage during Nationals. & all end’s well as she sails towards the horizons of Yale. WOW. She had a baby, she went from Cheerios captain to a nobody to Cheerios captain, she dyed her hair pink, she went through four dudes, she was paralyzed, she is always supernaturally hot, & she still had time to study for Yale?!
I love you Quinn, but boy is your story mad as a hat. Poor Q.
Thank God for Santana.
Yes, Season 1 belonged to Quinn, Season 2 had Brittany tied with Blaine. & Season 3’s outstanding character was without a single Lebanese doubt Miss Lopez.
PART I: THE GOOD
Which brings me to my point, you can’t really be ever satisfied with the storyline of this peculiar series called Glee. In fact, I’ve grown a little tired, so it was with quite some relief to see some major characters embarking on new journeys at the end of the season. Thankfully, you can at least trust Glee to deliver on the music-front, which makes it quite easy to single out 25 performances that I personally deem are the best from the season. & in this particular order, let’s bring out the guns.
25. “We Got The Beat” by New Directions (S3E01 – The Purple Piano Project)
First song to kick Season 3 off & they got it right off the first note of this The Go Go’s classic. I wanna go to a high school with cheerleaders with short skirts who jump, dance & gyrate wildly on top of canteen tables like Santana & Brittany, please.
24. “Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do” by Harmony & prospective NYADA applicants (S3E01 – The Purple Piano Project)
A nod to the clear prowess of Harmony (Glee Project’s runner-up Lindsay Pearce) whose performance was so flamboyantly exciting it led to a hilarious scene of Rachel & Kurt crying in despair after that. It’s funny that Harmony turned out to be more memorable than the other two Glee Project winners, Rory & Joe.
23. “I’ll Remember” by Kurt (S3E22 – Goodbye)
Kurt has had a rather disappointing season, especially as he had almost zero solos during the big competition performances. Fortunately the producers gave him one shot to shine at the very last episode, & like Rachel, he is best when not bellowing at maximum lung capacity. Understated, smooth & steady does it.
22. “Perfect” by Kurt & Blaine (S3E07 – I Kissed A Girl)
I really do like Blaine. His character, his vocals. That’s why a simple number like this becomes a hit, that is if you’re willing to forgive & attempt to ignore Kurt’s weird gamboling & that sweater of his & just let Blaine’s smooth crooning in.
21. “Fly/I Believe I Can Fly” & “Here’s To Us” by New Directions (S3E14 – On My Way)
Firstly, I must admit New Directions got their Sectionals, Regionals & Nationals song choices right, much better than the disastrous Season 2 choices. Here, they did Nicki Minaj’s version pretty well (complete with Santana & Blaine taking up rapping duties), & thanks to Rachel not over-doing it, the closing number, a very basic pop song by nature, ends up getting a decent play count on my car radio.
20. “You Can’t Stop The Beat” by Rachel & New Directions (S3E01 – The Purple Piano Project)
You really can’t go wrong with a number from Hairspray. I enjoyed how Rachel started the first few verses in slow-piano-ballad style before the whole gang launched all-gungho-blazing into the chorus. You just have to check out Brittany, Puck & Blaine’s faces as they go through those lung-busting, constipation-inducing lines!
19. “Roots Before Branches” by Rachel & Finn (S3E22 – Goodbye)
Forcing the whole corny plot twist aside, I must say it was a pretty emotional scene that accompanied this song. Even with Rachel’s extremely distracting crying melt-down face, Finn’s acting was tremendous. Getting the whole gang to meet & send Rachel off at the train station was a nice touch, as Rachel sang her heart out while stepping into New York to embark on her dreams, reminding us that she is still the main character in this ensemble.
18. “My Favourite Things” by Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt & Blaine (S3E09 – Extraordinary Merry Christmas)
Though the whole Christmas black & white act dragged on for far too long, this particular Julie Andrews sequence served as a perfect platform for these four to show off their perfect harmonies. Quite brilliant, really. Besides, Rachel & Kurt were born for such over-acting-ness.
17. “You & I/You & I” by Shelby & Will (S3E06 – Mash Off)
Glee mash-offs are always episodes I look forward to very much every season. They never disappoint, usually producing genius results. This time with the Troubletones separating from New Directions, rivalry goes to a new level. Will, who has had a number of nauseating performances this season (cue his whiny “Fix You” & any of those songs he performed during the Ricky Martin episode, ugh), duets with Shelby & they sound quite heavenly together.
16. “Human Nature” by Sam & Mercedes (S3E11 – Michael)
I have never quite gotten what Sam & Mercedes see in each other, but no one can deny how adorable these two look & sound together. On paper this track from Michael Jackson had the least potential to stand out among the other numbers performed in the colossal “Michael” tribute episode, but strangely somehow, in the hands of these two, it worked.
15. “What Makes You Beautiful” by Joe, Rory, Sam, Artie & Mike (S3E19 – Prom-asaurus)
Boybands are apparently back, & this is acknowledged by Glee with this rousing bubblegum fun at Prom. Despite just falling short of matching the epicness of last season’s prom performance of “Friday” (perhaps because Puck has been omitted for Rory & Joe?), there’s really nothing wrong with head-bopping to some chart-topping entertainment & cute choreography by these dudes.
14. “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” by Blaine & New Directions (S3E04 – Pot ‘o Gold)
In the trusted hands & even-more-trusted cleavage of Katy Perry, the song still sounded unmemorable & a little forced. Replace her magnificent cleavage with Blaine’s suave vocals & you get a really catchy anthem, the kind you just can’t stop singing along to as you skip your way to the beach in your flip flops. Yes, it’s good to remember that Glee is “all about fun” as Blaine pointed out to everyone before he eased in to the song. I REALLY love it when the whole New Directions group joins in a song & dance all together in the rehearsal room. This was the Glee we grew to love from the beginning – such cherished moments were aplenty in Season 1, but were scarce after. On top of that, what truly got me high was the scene of Rachel & Quinn dancing & bouncing happily off each other on top of a piano. They had me gaping like a complete nincompoop – there was just wayyyy too much love, & that stuff is wayyyy stronger than weed.
13. “Bad” by New Directions & The Warblers (S3E11 – Michael)
I believe this was the first time New Directions & Warblers actually sang together, & it worked on many levels. Excellent dance choreography, & that venomous slushie at the end confirms the arrival of Sebastian as the new evil nemesis.
12. “ABC” & “Man in the Mirror” by New Directions (S3E08 – Hold On To Sixteen)
New Directions heads into Sectionals without Rachel, Santana, Brittany & Mercedes (& oh, Sugar). Which means, solos for Tina! Yay! I’m always extra delighted whenever Tina gets a solo, & she breezes through “ABC” effortlessly. Things went downhill during the middle number (“Control” was a weird, wrong choice!) despite having Quinn giving a monologue in the most seductive, orgasmic voice I’ve ever heard in my life. Thankfully the guys picked up the slack with a neat rendition of “Man In The Mirror”, giving New Directions the expected win.
11. “Spotlight” by Mercedes (S3E03 – Asian F)
Asian F was 1 of the best episodes Glee ever produced, partly thanks to Mike Chang finally getting the chance to shine. But it’s also hard to forget this over-powering delivery from Mercedes, singing from the heart about being overshadowed by Rachel for 3 seasons now. I’ve noticed that I rarely acknowledge nor recognize Mercedes for her vocals, perhaps due to it being the generic diva type, so when she’s in my list, you know she’s earned it!
10. “Run The World (Girls)” by Brittany & Santana (S3E03 – Asian F)
Top 10 time! Give Brittany the stage & she gives you this, a freaking WOW. If I had a Presidential candidate delivering a campaign in this manner, pulling off those moves in THAT outfit, I would vote her in pants-down, hands-down. Never mind the fact that Brittany can’t sing, with autotune or not. This was…WOW.
9. “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” by Rachel, Tina, Santana & Mercedes (S3E10 – Yes/No)
A strangely effecting performance as the four, all emotional, sing their heart-felt lines while reliving their respective love-at-first-sight memories. Sigh.
8. “I Will Always Love You” by Mercedes (S3E13 – Heart)
Mercedes & Whitney. Singing Whitney’s greatest love song. Enough said.
7. “The Edge Of Glory” & “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” by New Directions (S3E21 – Nationals)
It’s time for Rachel to seize the limelight again, & boy if there was a solo song meant to be sang by Rachel Berry to prove Whoopi Goldberg wrong, it’s Celine Dion’s heart-wrenching diaphragm-buster. Amazing is an understatement. Strangely though, what stuck in my memory the most was those few seconds of Quinn & Tina, shoulder-to-shoulder singing “The Edge of Glory”. Teehee~.
6. “Shake It Out” by Santana, Tina & Mercedes (S3E18 – Choke)
The last time Glee did Florence+the Machine, it was a colossal success. This time, smartly enough, instead of trying to duplicate Florence Welch’s out-of-this-world vocals in “Shake It Out”, they did a acoustic toned-down version which was just beautiful, intimate & close to perfection. I don’t intend to undermine Mercedes, but this song belonged to Santana & Tina. You know they got it right the moment Santana’s sultry vocals floated into your ear drums.
5. “Without You” by Rachel (S3E10 – Yes/No)
Rachel has not had an easy season, has she. I mean, she has not always delivered, remember the disasters of “Cry”, “I Won’t Give Up”, & some other songs I didn’t even bother to remember. But sometimes we need to be reminded that she really can sing the shit out of a song, & when she gets it right, she REALLY gets it right. Thus, when you turn a whiny Usher+Guetta pile of stinky dung dance track into a power ballad, Rachel’s the one to nail it. I kid you not when I declare this as the best solo Rachel has ever done, ever. Take that!
4. “How Will I Know” by Mercedes, Rachel, Santana & Kurt (S3E17 – Dance With Somebody)
Without warning, they kicked off the Whitney tribute episode with this stripped-down, poignant, acapella performance from the divas of New Directions. Yes, Glee really shines with such commendable efforts, proving that you don’t always need all the extravagant gloss & extra showmanship. From walking the hallways to appearing on stage in the most glamourous of outfits, exceptional & chilling are words that come to mind when describing these four. I’m glad Santana has finally been acknowledged & inducted into the hall of divas by the way.
3. “Smooth Criminal” by Santana, Sebastian & a couple of insane celloists (S3E11 – Michael)
Spectacular arrangement first of all, but what made it beyond just that was the cementing of Santana’s superstar quality & allure in season 3. Throw in a couple of over-zealous celloists on fire, & some crazy sexual chemistry with evil Sebastian, & Santana is unstoppable. I don’t know if “Smooth Criminal” has ever been done in such sublime fashion, but I’m very sure there’s not another Santana in this world quite like Naya Rivera’s. F**ktastic!
2. “We Are Young” by New Directions (S3E08 – Hold On To Sixteen)
Bearing almost a complete resemblance to their “Dog Days Are Over” performance, this was the Come-Together-Glee-United anthem for this season. When you look at the dramatic events that led to this song, you simply can’t help but marvel at the spot-on choice by the Glee people. The Troubletones & New Directions rivalry ending & reuniting, Rachel being banned from performing in the Sectionals but returns here with some restrained but brilliant solos, & an incredibly inspired speech by Quinn, of all people, to bring Mercedes, Santana & Brittany back to the club. On the front, Fun’s rousing track is the Y-Generation’s anthem of the year 2012, & it’s without doubt that more than half the credit goes to Glee’s stirring performance. On any other season such a classy delivery from New Directions would have easily went top of any lists, but this season, alas…
1. “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” by Santana, Mercedes & The Troubletones (S3E06 – Mash Off)
Yes, this season, Glee scored big time when they pulled off this stunning feat. Obviously a class above all the other 24 in this list, AND any other numbers Glee has ever put out, I could actually run out of superlatives to bombard upon such distinction. Never mind the fact that this genius decision to mash “Someone Like You” with the thumping beats of “Rumour Has It” – producing UNBELIEVABLE results – arrived at the moment when Adele just happened to be at the pinnacle of an unstoppable wave of stardom. What we have here is Santana on center-stage, right at the point where she was solely carrying the weight of being the outstanding character of the season. & this came at the back of a particularly pulsating episode in which Santana started as an ultra-bitch spouting an onslaught of lines raised straight up from the deepest gates of hell, then broke down in tears (gasp!), before signing off by giving Finn an almighty smack across his face! With polished vocals that completely overshadowed Mercedes, & with the looming fiasco concerning her gender preferences serving as the dramatic background leading to the performance, a fragile – yet fiery – Santana perfectly encapsulated what was her best episode & season with a flawless, all-round delivery of a mash-off song(s!) just oozing with quality of mind-blowing proportions. An ultimately defining moment for both Santana & Glee, this is.
Special standouts that did not make the list include Tina’s “Because You Loved Me” (because we all love it when Tina gets the chance to shine), an emotional almost-tear-inducing short performance of “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat” (Glee’s first ever rehearsal song) by the original Glee members, & the mother of all surprises – Burke Hummel doing “Single Ladies” with Tina & Brittany, for Kurt (I almost fainted with joy).
Check out the previous lists for Season 2 here, & Season 1 here.
PART II: THE (REALLY) BAD
To do things a little extra different this time, here’s a round-up of the 5 most disastrous performances/attempts from Glee Season 3, as far as I can recall that is.
5. “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Blaine & Cooper (S3E15 – Big Brother)
Just because Gotye’s song is overplayed everywhere till the far corners of the Earth does not mean you have to jump on the bandwagon & force this song into a duet between 2 brothers!
4. “Cry” by Rachel (S3E18 – Choke)
Okay we get it, Rachel choked, but she cries in almost every song she sings anyway. She can bawl all she wants till her nose drops off, but she can never come close to matching the extra edge Kelly Clarkson’s vocals possesses to deliver a song of such magnitude.
3. “Ben” by Rachel, Kurt & Finn (S3E11 – Michael)
What does Blaine’s pirate eye have anything to do with a rat? That aside, the choice was corny, the delivery was nauseating, ahhhh…was just plain wasteful.
2. “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Finn (S3E07 – I Kissed A Girl)
After listening to this epic failure of a ballad attempt complete with Finn’s unnaturally dead vocals, girls ain’t wanna have fun, they gonna wanna go jump off a cliff. 10 times at least. This is murder.
1. “We Found Love” by New Directions (S3E10 – Yes/No)
Seriously?! The mother load of all failures. Trash song for any occasion what more a marriage proposal. & there was a swimming pool. With synchronized swimmers. A big float. Finn in a singlet & wet shorts. Words…fail…me.