By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes
There’s a reason why Glee is normally an hour long--any longer than that and it starts to get stale.
The episode got off to a great start. The writing was especially sharp, and the episode had a good thematic focus, which is something I worried about. This week’s episode was billed as a Lady Gaga episode, and I feared every song would be Gaga, and that’s overkill that I can’t handle. Thankfully, the Gaga theme was very abstract: Ms. Pillsbury used the phrase “born this way” to describe her OCD, and Mr. Schue instantly thought of the Lady Gaga hit.
The first song of the episode was a duet of TLC’s “Unpretty” between Rachel and Quinn, regarding Rachel’s broken nose and desire to have a nose like Quinn’s. I absolutely loved it. The vocals were so tender and delicate, and reminded me of just how beautiful the song is. In all honesty, I think I liked the Glee version more than the original.
When Finn sang Sammy Davis Jr’s “I Gotta Be Me,” I was more distracted by Mike Chang’s fantastic dance moves – and how poorly Finn dances – than the singing. It’s nice every so often when Glee brings such a classic song into an episode with such mainstream hits from today, and this was one of those instances. I don’t think Finn is the best singer of the show, but he’s certainly endearing, and I felt this performance came across well, even if it wasn’t the best.
Another musical highlight was when the Dalton Academy Warblers fronted by their fearless leader Blaine sang Kurt adieu with Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” In a selfish effort to become prom queen, Santana brokered an agreement with bully Dave to be the other’s beard. She figured this would make McKinley High a safer place for Kurt, and he’d transfer back, and the glee club could have a better shot of winning nationals. Kurt is back, and the moment his transfer became official, Blaine and the Warblers came out to sing a beautiful rendition of Keane’s hit, in one of my favorite moments of the night.
It’s no secret I love Blaine and the Warblers, and think they’re the best musical part of Glee. I’m worried now that Kurt is happily back at McKinley High and the Warblers are out of the vocal competition world for the school year, that it’ll be the end of Blaine and the Warblers. I hope not!
Kurt’s reintroduction song was a beautiful rendition of “As If We’ve Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard, which reminded me of how utterly talented the kid is, but how much I prefer him in his non-diva role in the Warblers.
I was wondering how Glee would fit the Duck Sauce hit “Barbra Streisand” -- a song so far from the world of Glee – into this episode, but I think it was actually pretty fantastic. In an episode where Rachel’s aspiration to become her hero, Barbra Streisand, was mentioned with decent regularity, along with the overarching message to love yourself (in this case, her natural nose), Kurt combined the two themes with an upbeat, techno flash mob to the Duck Sauce song at the mall. The episode certainly could’ve done without it, but I thought it was fun.
Kurt kicking off the show closing “Born this Way” was especially nice, especially with Mercedes helping him out in taking on the lead vocals. The song was so high energy, but felt so much more homegrown and natural than Lady Gaga’s version, which was especially nice. I like the show closing songs when the cast looks like they’re having fun, and this was one of them… even if I found trying to read their shirts to be a bit distracting.