So this is the new year, and I don’t feel any different. The clanking of crystals, explosion in the distance… Yes, it’s The New Year! Just like the Death Cab For Cutie song I just quoted here, I don’t really feel any different. You know, just a little stuffed from the roast chicken I just gobbled down with my red wine. 🙂 So before I begin today’s countdown, I want to take a moment to wish you all a very happy new year. May 2011 will be even better than 2010!
Okay, moment over. Today, while I’m still in the New Year celebration mood, I thought I’d list my top 10 Glee Numbers 2010. After all, we should start the new year with a song in our hearts, right? So let’s begin!
My Top 10 Glee Numbers of 2010
1/ Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen.
Solo(s): Jesse St.James (Jonathan Groff)
Context: It’s the Regionals, and the kids of New Directions are up against their toughest competitor, reigning champion Vocal Adrenaline. After the New Directions take the stage with their Journey medley, Quinn’s water breaks and the gang, in the exception of Rachel Berry, rush her to the hospital. While Quinn is in labor, Jesse St. James and Vocal Adrenaline take the stage and immediately wow us all. The vocals and choreography are just so phenomenal, we know at that moment the kids of New Directions don’t stand a chance. They may have a lot of heart, but at the end of the day, they still have a lot to learn. With Rachel watching on with anger and defeat, Jesse St. James completely nails the Queen classic. Of course what cements this song in number one is the fact that it intercuts with Quinn’s labor scene, heightening the drama and making it one very memorable moment from Glee’s first season finale.
2/ Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine.
Solo(s): Mercedes (Amber Riley) & Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz)
Context: The New Directions have just won Sectionals (well, tie with The Warblers), but their personal lives aren’t as successful. Will is heartbroken after finding out that Emma has gotten hitched to Carl over the weekend in Vegas, Rachel is heartbroken after Finn dumped her for cheating with Puck, and Kurt finds out the hard way that blending in Dalton Academy is not as easy as he had imagined. So for the last performance, Mercedes and Tina take the stage and belt out this Florence + The Machine hit, and the result is pretty awesome. It’s the perfect song to close one chapter of these kids (and their teachers) lives’ before moving on to another. And even though it’s not the very last episode before break, it still feels like a great song to say goodbye for now.
3/ Teenage Dream, Katy Perry.
Solo(s): Blaine (Darren Criss)
Context: Tired of being bullied and under-appreciated in McKinley High and New Directions, Kurt sneaks into their rival school Dalton Academy to see how the other half lives, and he’s immediately swept off his feet by the very charming Blaine, leader of Dalton Academy’s Glee club, The Warblers. After a slow-motion “running across the hallway” scene, Kurt is treated to a fantastic acapella version of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, performed by Blaine and The Warblers. Swoon. And not just Kurt, apparently. This version of Teenage Dream is so hot, it immediately went to number 1 on the iTunes download charts right after the song premiered in the episode ‘Never Been Kissed’. No offense to Katy Perry, but I always thought this song would sound better if sung by a guy, and I was right.
4/ Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me, Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Solo(s): Emma Pilsbury (Jayma Mays)
Context: After finding out that Emma is a huge fan of Rocky Horror, Will decides to put on a Rocky Horror musical with the New Directions kids all to impress Emma, at the behest of Emma’s boyfriend Carl (John Stamos). After Carl manages to get involved with the production, Will decides to be Rocky so he can woo Emma under the pretext of helping him rehearse. In an empty classroom, he manages to convince Emma to perform this song to him, a la Janet to Rocky – with Santana and Brittany watching everything from the window. Jayma Mays doesn’t get to sing as much as the other members of the cast, but every time she always nails it, and this number is no exception. Even though at the back of our minds we’re thinking it’s a little creepy that Will decides to be Rocky, during this number all we can do is sing along, and admire Matthew Morrison’s fantastic abs.
5/ Umbrella/Singin’ In The Rain, Rihanna/Gene Kelly.
Solo(s): Holly Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison)
Context: When Will is down with the flu, substitute teacher Holly Holiday is asked to watch over the New Directions and she subsequently wows the kids so much that Will feels threatened and rushes back to reclaim his position. Luckily, Holly finally realizes that Will is the better educator for these kids and they settle into an easy friendship. And for the big closing number, Will and Holly take the stage doing a mash-up of Umbrella and Singin’ In The Rain, complete with water raining down on the stage and everything. It sounds very cheesy but as you can see in the video, the result is actually one of the best Glee numbers we’ve ever seen. Gwyneth Paltrow, you are officially cool again.
6/ Like A Prayer, Madonna.
Solo(s): Rachel (Lea Michele), Mercedes (Amber Riley), Finn (Cory Monteith), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and probably more in the iTunes version.
Context: It’s the Madonna episode, it’s big, it’s out there and there’s a lot of female empowerment happening in the episode. Since this is still the first season, it culminates in a big fantasy number of New Directions singing this epic song with a full choir backing them (I call it fantasy number because really, how do they explain the whole choir suddenly being there?). The message may not be as clear as some of the other numbers, but it’s so grand and theatrical that we just can’t help but be completely taken in. Madonna must be so proud.
7/ Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy, Barbra Streisand & Judy Garland.
Solo(s): Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer)
Context: In the episode Duets, Kurt has to face the fact that with him being the only openly gay student in McKinley High, he has to deal with loneliness, not having anyone to relate to or to do a duet with. In the end Rachel, who has two gay dads, reaches out to him and asks him to do this duet with her, a charming little number that really suit the both of them perfectly. I thought this is a nice one to end the episode with; it’s not grand, but it’s sweet and full of heart, which is exactly what the episode is all about.
8/ Safety Dance, Men Without Hats.
Solo(s): Artie (Kevin McHale)
Context: After Bryan Ryan (guest star Neil Patrick Harris) shows up and makes the New Directions kids wonder if their dreams of fame, success and not being ridiculed will even come true, Artie imagines what it would be like if he is no longer a paraplegic. And in a fantasy scene, Artie gets up from his wheelchair and starts singing and dancing to this song in the middle of a mall, and he is soon joined by a flash mob. This episode directed by Joss Whedon is one of the best in season 1, and this number in particular is purely awesome – from seeing Artie finally showing off his dance moves to the very real way of portraying a flash mob.
9/ Just The Way You Are, Bruno Mars.
Solo(s): Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith)
Context: It’s Burt and Carol’s wedding, and Finn finally realizes that he hasn’t been a good friend and step-brother to Kurt, often choosing his popularity and jock status over defending Kurt from bullies. So in true Glee fashion, at the wedding Finn dedicates this song to Kurt, and serenades him in front of all the wedding guests with the help of the New Directions. It’s such a sweet scene for these two, signifying that this is indeed the beginning of a beautiful bromance.
10/ Gives You Hell, The All American Rejects.
Solo(s): Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)
Context: Hurt and offended by Finn’s decision to end their relationship because “he needs to find his inner rock star”, Rachel chooses to express her angst through this catchy song during Glee club practice. Rachel baring her soul through performing in front of an audience is nothing new, but what’s great about this number is how the other kids jump in, sing and dance along with her, as if banding together to defend her from Finn’s douche-y move. It’s fun and just what we expect to see in high school.
And there you have it, my top 10 Glee numbers of 2010, numbers that wow you, surprise you and get you singing the songs non-stop in the shower. Apologies for the poor quality of some of the videos, they were the best I can find. It’s not my fault wordpress doesn’t want to embed from Chinese sites. 🙂
Check back in Sunday (I’ll be busy tomorrow), I’ll be counting down My Top 10 Style Stars of 2010. Maybe your favorite fashionista will make the cut!
Until then, I bid you adieu and wish you a very happy new year!