OK…this is it. The last post I’ll ever make about Glee…until I probably, most likely, definitely maybe, rank my favorite episodes. Here are the 10 performances that made me laugh, cry, sing, and smile. Here goes.
10. “I Lived” (Dreams Come True) – Since the finale aired, I’ve probably watched this performance 30 times. I literally have the entire video ingrained in my head. I can easily visualize when all the characters enter (and, yes, it took me like 15 views before I finally realized why they made Unique, Ryder, and that dreadlock guy enter together). I had a few issues with the finale as a whole, but this final performance was perfect (well, maybe Marley and Rory being there would have made it more perfect). From seeing Brittana run down the stairs to Matt and Mike dance together to Emma’s “fu-what?” expression when Terri and Will hug, this performance captured what Glee is about. It easily had to make my top 10.
9. “To Sir, with Love” (Journey) – Journey was chock-full of wonderful, memorable performances. This is the song the glee kids sing to Will after they lose regionals and realize that Glee club may be done forever. It’s a simple performance that showcases most of the original characters.
8. “Lucky” (Duets) – This is probably the weirdest choice in my top 10. A lot of people weren’t crazy about this performance. In my opinion, this is my favorite duet of the entire searies. One, because it featured my two favorite characters (Quinn and Sam). I’m not saying Quinn and Sam should have been the endgame (I am perfectly happy with Quinn and Puck presumably being together by the end), but I really liked when they were together. And this simple choir room performance captures Quinn’s fading ambivalence and Sam’s earnest charm. They totally deserved those coupons to Breadstix.
7. “Somebody to Love” (The Rhodes Not Taken) – It took me a while to appreciate this performance. I really wasn’t crazy about this episode (sorry, Kristin Chenoweth, I luv ya). And Rachel being allowed back to the Glee club so easily after acting like a diva and insulting Tina was borderline insane. But, if I watched this performance in a bottle…it’s really great – not to mention, iconic. The best thing about this performance, however, is Mercedes belting out “SOMEBODY TO LO-O-O-O-OVE!!!!”
6. “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” (Mash Off) – Santana slapping Finn after finding out she’s been outed might be one of the chilliest episode cliffhangers in Glee history. But before that, we got this wonderful mashup with the Troubletones. Santana and Mercedes have always sounded great – and this is a shining moment for both of them. The mood, the choreography, the emotion are perfect, and really represented this stand out episode.
5. “Make You Feel My Love” (The Quarterback) – “The Quarterback” was truly the best way the show could honor Finn and Cory Monteith. So many tear jerking moments (that locker room scene between Beiste and Puck really got me). But Rachel singing this Bob Dylan classic was probably the “realest” moment of the series. That wasn’t Rachel singing. It was Lea Michele. And the cast (not the characters) was crying with Michele. I’ve rarely seen real life overlap with fiction like that. It’s Rachel’s best solo. It’s the show’s best solo. And the saddest moment of the entire series.
4. “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Pilot) – This show has covered this song multiple times since the pilot; however, this version with only the “original originals” still remains the most endearing and popular. While other versions are probably more polished with more individual characters singing solos, this simple version gets me going the most. This performance is literally the symbol for Glee. How can this not be on anyone’s top 10? And being able to watch it again during the finale pulled at all my heartstrings.
3. “Anyway You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” (Journey) – I told you “Journey” was a great episode. The season one regionals performance also included another version of “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Faithfully.” However, this fun mash up is what stood out from my perspective. I just love how they combined both songs. I literally can’t listen to the originals without waiting for the other song to begin. And I can’t help but sing along when they get to the “nananana” part.
2. “Loser Like Me” (Original Song) – If Glee had to start writing original songs, then they chose the perfect song to present. Rachel’s ballad before this one is OK, if not forgettable. But “Loser Like Me” is pretty much a three minute thesis statement for the entire series. The slushie confetti shower at the end is just the bees knees. They easily won regionals with this. If they had performed this at Nationals, then they probably would have won as well.
1. “Keep Holding On” (Throwdown) – Throwdown was the episode that truly me locked me down. From Sue’s biting one liners to…well, Sue was pretty much the biggest reason this episode worked. However, the end when Quinn realizes that the whole school knows about her pregnancy is really sad…and the cast performing this song essentially to Quinn is definitely the show’s best moment. I even love how it’s really Rachel and Finn singing while Quinn mostly stays quiet. The focus isn’t completely on Quinn…yet she draws you in by the pain in her face by the realization that her whole life is about to change. It’s a great vocal moment for Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. A great acting moment for Dianna Agron. And the cast as a whole perform the choreography really well. Ryan Murphy must feel the same way I do considering this was the official “elimination song” for The Glee Project. Man…I’m about to watch this episode again!
And that’s my top 10. That’s my top 60! Are there any performances I missed? “Teenage Dream?” “I Want to Hold Your Hand?” “New York State of Mind?” Anything by Vocal Adrenaline? “Cannonball?” (Wait, I don’t think that last one was ever on Glee!) Thanks for reading!