Glee: Youth Lighthouse or Music Destroyer?

Since it beginning in 2009, Glee has been a show of controversy, of vision, of voice and especially of social identity and equality. Plots such as coming out, facing obesity insults, teenage pregnancy, first time, teen suicide, lost of religion have been portrayed on Ryan Murphy drama. For someone whose life might define as misunderstood found in Murphy show as another Glee club member.

Remembering scenes such as when Santana (Naya Rivera character) was forced to come out, her reactions along with an Adele Mashup of Someone Like You and Rumor has it became a magic moment of empathy between the viewer and the character. Moments when Kurt Hummel (portrayed by Chris Colfer) face the Glee Club explaining why his disbelief towards God existence accompanied by The Beatles with “I want to hold your hand” and Joan Osborne “one of us” took the believers and presented them the humble and honest face of atheism.

Even thought I just presented two memorable moments of the TV show, it has always been the gossip or the talking about the music performances. Sometimes with covers better than the original, some others worst, and in other occasions with mashups creating new songs, new melodies; but which are the numbers.

Here I present my point of view, in Glee greatest and worst cover.

  1. Journey – Don’t stop believing. We must thank the Glee guys for remembering the song and making it iconic for them, their cover is good but Journey will always be better.
  2. Queen – Somebody to love. Well this is not the first time a choir group sings Queen epical masterpiece, but the moment when Rachel Berry (Lea Michelle character) sing “Each morning I get up I die a little” her body language, her expression with her hands make you understand her, her light depression, the same as one day we understood Mercury. Well you can’t compare the real life of Freddie Mercury unloved histories against a fictional character dump career; but this performance made a seat for those who realize that have not been truly loved yet.
  3. Beyoncé/Hair – Crazy in Love/Hair. Now, come on, you can mess with the hip hop song that made thousands of girls shake their theng like a blender machine. Crazy in love is a awakening song, literally, if you are asleep and you hear the bounce of Beyoncé jean shorts, you will get up and start doing anything but stay sleeping. It should has been a better tribute, more than just an amateur rehearsal with the Glee club members dressed up with Cher’s 70 wardrobe. Bad so very Bad.
  4. Madonna tribute.This was the first tribute episode, averaging the performances, it was a very good start. It needs real ability to put out 9 Madonna songs in 40 minutes. “Vogue”, “Like a Virgin” and “Express Yourself” was good, “4 minutes” was below average but “Like a Prayer” was  uperior, that the way of ending the episode was other level.
  5. I dreamed the dream – Les Misérables.  This version wasn’t compared with the originals from the Broadway play, they had to compete with Youtube and British star, Susan Boyle. In this case, Lea Michele and Idina Menzel fell of their podium.
  6. Britney Spears 1st Tribute. This episode positioned Britanny S. Pierce (Actress Heather Morris) as a forever comical character, she is the comic relief, she is the light element of the group, since that episode you start thinking where is Brittany and what she is gonna say. Her performances in “Slave for u” and “Me against the music” were above excellency. Rachel Berry in “Baby One More Time” truly sucked.
  7. Hey Soul Sister – Train.  At least in Latin America, this cover came perfect with many CellPhones Campaign Ads. We heard the original version for Train but people remembered Glee version. It was actually a good one, it was introducing Blaine Anderson (played by Darren Criss) as the second half of the gay love interest of the show. Wasn’t a surprise why many described Criss introduction to Glee as Ryan Murphy best idea ever.
  8. Firework – Katy Perry. Boring, is the word I can describe this performance. Glee has put together performances like “born this way” with Message Tshirts with the self description of every member of the Glee Club (I order from Ebay one for myself, it says “Lebanese“) and then they came up for the hottest song in that time with Rachel Berry walking in a hallway with sparks around her and ending with a projection of fireworks. Whoa! That was innovative! (Sarcastic Mode ON)
  9. Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson. Nice work the cello guys. This song was cool sung but the melody of the cellos was all about it. I end this episode, hearing in my head (Tutu turutu tururutu with the Smooth Criminal melody)
  10. Without You – Usher and David Guetta. This must be one of my favorite songs ever, because it can combine a romantic message, a thankful mode, a gratitude theme with a dance and techno sound. Truly amazing, until Rachel Berry decided on singing as a ballad. If you have heard the original version, everytime you reach the part of “Withooout you”, you are waiting for the “Yoooooo Yooooo Withooout You”. I was honestly waiting for a more theatrical version but not.
  11. Fly/ I believe I can Fly – Nicki Minaj/R.Kelly. The actors or the characters were not meant to understand the truly meaning of these sings. You can’t sing “Fly” by Nicki Minaj with a smile on your face, this sing is about knowing that maybe your family and your friends might hate for being who you are. And “I believe I can Fly” by R.Kelly without presenting yourself as hopeful but sad. This mashup, for my opinion didn’t fit

    Darren Criss is Glee Club member, Blaine Anderson.

  12. Shake it out – Florence and the Machine. They rock on this performance, as well as in acting as in voice. But above all is the message of overcoming domestic abuse and the silence and shame that come along with it. The female chorus and the way it was presented, showed brutal honesty to the only solution while facing abuse.
  13. Starships- Nicki Minaj. The character of Wade Adams (Adam Newell) was a great idea of Ryan Murphy, its unbelievable that the third place on the The Glee Project could upstage the winners, his performance in “Boogie Shoes” was excellent, I could watch it over and over it; but the way it was edited Starships wasn’t good enough. It was Wade’s voice or the song edition, or maybe the techno sounds that were put on the song that make it very unreliable.
  14. We are the Champions – Queen. Everybody want to sing it but just a few can. It wasn’t a great cover such as “Somebody to love” or “Like a Prayer” it was predictable and average. Maybe it was, that the episode that was the end of season 3 was very quick, so the story mood didn’t let the viewer to appreciate the song or to identify and remember when they graduate. Very ambitious and overdo of Ryan Murphy. I give him a C+.
  15. Call Me Maybe-Carly Rae Jepsen.  This was very obvious to happen, the beginning of season 4 to start with the most popular song during Glee hiatus. I must confess I have not watched any of the new episodes, I honestly don’t care anymore, but when there are performances that can be very controversial as well as commercials, I’ll watch it. The mix of Tina, Wade, Blaine and Brittany voices played fair for the cover, and the most important advantage, that this song has to be the more covered in all Youtube, so it wasn’t surprising, it was another good cover.
In conclusion, Glee has the advantage of involving their characters on the message transmission of their covers, and most of the times is a well played card. I believe that many of the songs strongly performed and have good reception among viewers, are the popular songs considered as commercial and poorly message done. For example, you can’t compare a Bohemian Rapsody with “Run the World” by Beyoncé. The first one is a masterpiece while the second one keep saying “who run the world? girls” for about 4 minutes. Meanwhile the Dance Songs invasion rules the music world, Glee will have mainstream songs to portray and perform.



Alfredo Viteri is a 24 years old IIG. He thinks he’s an Editor, a Web Designer, an Author, a Comedian, an Actor, an Executive Producer, a Critic, a Host. Now he is writing about showbiz, Hollywood, music and beyond. Don’t know why I’m writing in third person if I’m the one writing it.

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