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Glee’s Top 10 Musical Performances (So Far)

Glee’s Top 10 Musical Performances (So Far)

Glee pilot, "Don't Stop Believing"

It’s true. Glee’s seemingly endless mid-season hiatus is over. The world’s most charming show choir and its alumni are back in a new time slot, Tuesdays at 8PM Eastern time. In celebration, we are counting down our top ten favorite Glee musical numbers to date with a little  commentary from a hardcore Gleek.  SPOILER WARNING: There may be videos and commentary leading all the way up to the last aired episode.

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Don’t Stop Believin’
Of course this one had to be on the top of any Glee Best of list. It’s the heart of the show, the humble beginnings that clumsily took form and grew into something surprising. It’s the anthem of every geek out there, the profession that if we keep going, keep fighting for our place In this world, and of course don’t stop believing, anything could happen.

The song was also used as part of a New Directions Journey Medley performed during the 2010 Midwest Regional Championship.

Bad Romance

This Lady Gaga cover is proof that despite the varied social stature of each Glee Club member, they are all forces to be reckoned with. Personally, I can’t imagine any of my homemade costumes amounting to anything more than Rachel’s terrifying stuff animal disaster, but I’m pretty impressed by Kurt in those heels.

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Loser Like Me
Yet another Glee club anthem and a warning to all the popular kids keeping the visionaries down, “It’s only a matter of time before you are washing my car.” Also, that glittery slushie flourish at the end is particularly fun, as they find a way to turn something as horrifying as getting a slush facial into a whimsical, celebratory flourish.

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Make You Feel My Love
Lea Michele and show choir alter ego, Rachel Berry, are both know for soaring ballads and Broadway numbers, full of operatic octaves and belted final notes, but somehow this painfully stripped down version of Bob Dylan’s classic, recently re-popularized by Adele, is one of her best performances. This was part of season five’s tribute to Finn Hudson and Cory Monteith, the actor who played him.  Obviously honest and without pretense, it’s a testament to the power music has to move us.

Thriller/Heads Will Roll
Whomever thought it a good idea to mix up Michael Jackson’s iconic hit, “Thriller”, with the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll” understands the subtle art of the mashup. Complete with zombie makeup made pertinent with the use of some McKinley High football jerseys, this performance screams theatrics.

All You Need is Love

Over the top? Yes. An unlikely truce amongst warring glee clubs? Yes.  Fabulous and the perfect way to Blaine to ask Kurt for forever? Yep. There is something ridiculous about this, but in the best possible way, set right at the place where they both met. Two performers in one relationship equates to the showing and telling of love in proper Beatles fashion. All those rose petals are enough to make even the most hardened hearts swoon.

Teenage Dream
Dreamy indeed. “Teenage Dream”, originally sung by Katy Perry, was our first introduction to the ever dapper Blaine Devon Anderson. What more could a girl, or a guy, want? How could we have known just what was to come for the strangely fashionable mechanic’s son and the prep school dream boat?

Defying Gravity:
This is the version where Kurt blows the high F to protect his father from any more unnecessary heartache, but take the time to look up the full version where he nails it. Impressive to say the very least. This is the original diva off, between two characters who will become both competitors and friends/roommates as they pursue their Broadway dreams.

Safety Dance:
If Artie could dance, he’d dance just like this. The “Safety Dance” fever dream flash mob is pretty much the only opportunity Gleeks have to see Kevin McHale, who plays Artie Abrams, get his groove on. Funnily enough, he’s one of the best dancers on the show and he spends all his screen time in a wheel chair. The over the top nature of this synchronized dance in the middle of a busy “Ohio” mall is fun and fanciful. It reminds us of the joy our dreams provide.

We Are Young
The “We Are Young” performance is the perfect example of what Glee is about: youth, the relationships we make, and the possibility that lies just through the next open door. It’s not exciting. There are no foam machines or fancy costumes. Just some people sharing an experience and a reminder of their freedom.


OK, have at it. What musical wonder did we fail to mention on this list of Glee‘s top ten musical performances thus far?

Rachel Brandt