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Season 2’s “Prom Queen” was one of my favorites of the season, so I was bound to be at least a wee bit let down with Season 3’s prom-themed episode. What could top Kurt Hummel triumphantly standing up to the bullies who crowned him prom queen as a cruel joke? But my love for junior prom notwithstanding, I was disappointed with “Prom-asaurus” in multiple ways, beginning with how, once again, the women of Glee are screwed over. And wouldn’t ya know. Ryan Murphy wrote this episode. So not surprised.
But before I get into that, here’s a rundown of the plot. The episode opens with a Babs-inspired homage to Rachel’s lost dreams. You see, now that NYADA is no longer part of her plans, she’s going to settle into mediocrity by planning obsessively for her senior prom. And so what if everything she’s ever dreamed of has fallen through? At least she has Finn! Ugh. One can only hope that she’s being IRONIC. I really really miss the stop-at-nothing career driven girl Rachel used to be. Watching her moon over and acquiesce to Finn all season has been tough to watch.
Principal Figgins tells Brittany that not only is she flunking, but she’s a major fail at being class president (Kurt should have won!). In order to save her presidency, she will have to take over senior prom planning. Immediately, she fires the earnest but hapless prom committee after informing them that their Castles in the Clouds theme is lamo. Brit decides Dinosaurs would be a great theme because the bible told her that cavemen and dinosaurs lived side by side for millions of years and, isn’t that something to celebrate? When the prom committee disagrees, she fires them on the spot, mistaking the brunette for Rachel. See you in Glee!
Over the PA system, with the help of trusty sidekick Becky, Sue announces the prom king and queen nominees, which are: Rick The Stick Nelson, Brittany S. Pierce and Finn Hudson for King. For queen it’s Missy Gunderson, Santana Lopez and Quinn Fabray. Yes, Brit is running for king. At Glee practice, Will announces excitedly that New Directions will be singing at prom again. Hooray. Brittany announces the prom theme to a slack-jawed room. Also–Santana and Quinn will be in charge of tallying prom queen votes. When Kurt raises an eyebrow, the duo promise to keep each other honest (a promise they break, but I digress). Oh. And no hair gel allowed, because it wasn’t invented yet…or something. Blaine, he of the helmet head, laughs, but Brittany warns that she’s SERIOUS.
Rachel is supportive of Finn’s candidacy, until she discovers that he and Quinn are campaigning together. Rachel rips a poster she’s found off the wall in a jealous rage. She doesn’t want to be on the sidelines watching her boyfriend dance with his ex as they are crowned. Finn reminds Rachel that Quinn won’t be dancing, as she is now paralyzed due to a car accident that happened as she was driving to their aborted wedding. Finn accuses Rachel of being self-centered. She is all ‘boo hoo hoo, my life is complete crap, why don’t you understand’ before stomping away.
Cut to Joe helping Quinn with her physical therapy where she is now able to stand and pull herself along with the help of parallel bars. Joe wants Quinn to show off her new skills to her friends. Quinn says NO she wants to spring it on them at a special event–maybe at the prom.
Meanwhile, Becky is super pissed she wasn’t nominated for prom queen, causing her to wreck havoc all over McKinley high while musing in her British “inner voice.” (yes it’s back!) Sue reminds her she’s too much of a bitch to win a popularity contest—a point that is meant as a compliment and something to be proud of. When Sue promises to make her deputy in charge of guarding the punch bowl, Becky is not impressed.
Cut to the auditorium for a little bonding between besties. Rachel sits on a stool singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” as Kurt joins her on the chorus while Blaine harmonizes. All three decide that prom sucks. Kurt is afraid he’ll be voted prom queen again, or some other even worse humiliation. Blaine can’t imagine leaving the house without his hair gelled. Rachel has an idea. Cool camera shot alert! Rachel turns around and she’s suddenly standing in front of the choir room with Kurt by her side. She invites everyone to the “anti-prom” party the trio is throwing at a local hotel. Santana, clearly irritated, reads Rachel the riot act accusing her of throwing away one of the last opportunities she has to hang with her friends. Have fun at your pity party, she snarks. Puck, who is close to flunking out of school, decides to go anti-prom. Finn, who is clearly wussing out here will attend Rachel’s party once his prom duties are over.
Out in the hall with Quinn, Finn watches her totally pimp her disability in the most manipulative way possible to get a classmate’s vote. He’s completely turned off by Quinn’s ruthlessness. She insists that a vote is a vote.
The prom begins. Mike and Tina arrive. Aw. The most stable couple at McKinley high. I wish they had gotten more of story line this year. The dinosaur theme actually turns out to be pretty cool, with dino heads and prehistoric wall hangings decorating the gymnasium. It’s kinda retro! Brittany, dressed in a cave girl outfit, dances her way through the hilarious Ke$sha number “Dinosaur”.
Sue, who is ladling out her homemade prom brew, tells Finn to look in the ladies room for an MIA Quinn. He wants to make sure he can get her and her wheelchair up on stage in time to be crowned prom king and queen. Finn enters the ladies room unannounced to find an EMPTY wheelchair and Quinn standing at the sink. It becomes clear that Quinn could now walk, but was pretending to still be disabled to garner sympathy votes. She needs to audition for American Idol! Finn becomes furious. He can’t believe how stupid he was to pick Rachel, who has lost everything, over Quinn, who now has everything. He accuses Quinn of being the same selfish person, despite all she’s been through this year.
Meanwhile, Rachel, Blaine Kurt, Puck and Becky arrive at their hotel room and it’s not long before it becomes clear the anti-prom looked good on paper, but is turning into pretty much a bust. For one thing, Becky is loud, annoying and is only interested in playing strip poker. Rachel decides to change into her pretty pink prom gown so everyone can see.
Back at the prom, Santana sings lead on “Love You Like a Love Song” as the couples sway. Sam and Mercedes dance and reminisce about last years’ prom where they danced together for the first time. Mercedes glances over and catches her ex, Shane, with his date. They wave. No hard feelings. Finn dances with Quinn in her chair when he suddenly yells at her to stand up and dance. Everyone around them thinks Finn has gone mad. Joe attempts to intervene, but it just makes Finn angrier. As Quinn’s rehabilitation buddy, Joe is obviously aware of the deception. Sue breaks them up, threatening to throw Finn out like last year. Finn has had enough; he heads over to the anti prom.
Kurt and Blaine are sitting on the bed watching awful Bravo re-runs. “I wish Tabitha would take over,” Kurt quips, “This anti prom sucks.” Blaine vows not to give in to Brittany’s insane hair gel rule. Finn arrives with a corsage to save the day. Rachel comes out of the bathroom in her prom dress. Finn says he wants to dance with his fiancé and his friends at prom. It sucks without them. It doesn’t take much convincing—Blaine and Kurt follow Rachel and Finn out the door. Puck decides to stay behind with Becky.
The quartet arrives at prom just as “What Makes You Beautiful” begins. Will and Emma, who are also chaperoning the prom, smile at the sight. Brittany is so glad they came, but insists that Blaine wash out his hair gel. Putting his arm around his boyfriend, Kurt assures Blaine that he “can do this.” Sam, Rory, Joe, Artie and Mike perform, and are like, the best boy band ever. We get some quality Kurtcedes as they dance along up front. Santana and Brittany kiss and hug. Even Sue boogies along.
Back at the hotel, Puck is in his underwear, losing badly at strip poker. Becky confides in her new friend about her disappointment over not being nominated for prom queen. Puck has a bright idea. He fashions some beer cartons into crowns in order to anoint themselves King and Queen of the anti prom. Becky is so happy, she’s ready for the big prom.
Rachel meets Quinn in the hallway. She apologizes for being such a bitch about Finn’s decision to run his campaign with her. Quinn admits she really wasn’t aware of the behind the scenes drama, so it won’t be hard to forgive her. Quinn, who is feeling pretty guilty by now, tries to roll away as quick as she can. Rachel stops her. She wants Quinn to know that she always admired her, and still does. That’s why she got so crazy with jealousy. Rachel admits she wasn’t acknowledging the new, humbled and inspiring Quinn. Rachel says she voted for her for prom queen because she totally deserved it. Oh boy. Good thing Santana interrupts the convo to grab Quinn. It’s time to tally ballots.
Becky and Puck arrive at the prom wearing their home made crowns. Becky gives her best pageant wave while her inner Brit congratulates herself for walking into prom as queen and a “hot piece of booty on my arm.” Sue is so happy to see Becky, that she is easily distracted as Puck spikes the punch. Mission accomplished. He scoops a cup for Becky–who drinks it down—and thanks her for helping him make his dream come true.
Quinn and Santana finish counting ballots. Britney has lost her bid for king, badly, to Finn. It might have been that girl running for king thing. Santana no longer cares about winning, which is good, because Quinn has won for queen by one vote. With victory finally in her grasp, Quinn realizes that the win doesn’t make her feel any different inside. Quinn reminds Santana that as the popular girls, the two of them have had it all in high school. Wouldn’t Santana like to graduate having made a difference?
Back to the prom and horrified faces. The camera stops at Kurt. Oh My Dear God! He exclaims. It’s Blaine with his hair, curly as could be, au natural. “Don’t be mean to the new kid with the bad hair, it’s hair bullying,” says Brittany before she realizes it’s Blaine. Brittany calls him “Mr. Broccoli” head, admits she abused her power as president and grants him permission to put the hair gel back in. But before Blaine can take off, Kurt stops him. He’s happy to finally see the real Blaine sans hair product, and is proud to introduce his brave, bushy haired boyfriend to the rest of the crowd. “C’mon Borat,” he says, as he leads his guy to the front of the stage.
It’s time to crown the prom king and queen. Figgins calls a reluctant Kurt up on stage to do the honors. Finn wins prom king. No surprise there. But the prom queen is…by write in vote…(Kurt looking nervous) RACHEL BERRY. Shocked, she takes the stage to be crowned. Kurt tells her to smile and breath. The crowd eventually breaks into a huge applause. Rachel joins Finn on the dance floor. She’s afraid she’s going to be hit with a bucket of pig’s blood a la Carrie. Finn tells her she’s beautiful and that everyone in the room looks up to her. Santana and Quinn sing “Take My Breath Away” as the couples sway. Quinn slowly gets up out of her chair, astonishing everybody. The crowd bursts into applause. PRAISE cries Mercedes A PROM MIRACLE Sam calls it. Tina cries on Mike’s shoulder as they dance. She’s going to miss prom, she’s going to miss everything when the school year ends. Like last year, we get shots of each couple dancing and then freeze frames of their prom photos. The dinosaur prop they pose with is a nice touch. The camera pans back as the scene fades.
Lets begin with what I liked. The Dinosaur Theme was fabulous. All of the musical numbers at the prom were fantastic—particularly “Dinosaur” and “What Makes You Beautiful.” Although, I found the editing on “Big Girls Don’t Cry” a little strange. Were Blaine and Kurt supposed to be comforting Rachel? It was a little hard to tell. It would have been nice if Blaine and Kurt could’ve sung together like they do in the longer iTunes recording. The scenes between Becky and Puck were precious and hit the perfect blend of absurdest comedy and pathos. The little bit of Klaine we got n this episode was absolutely adorable. Those two love each other to pieces and it annoys me that we barely get to see them together interacting in the same space, let alone kissing, hugging, holding hands like the hetero couples do ad nauseum. COUGHFINCHELCOUGH.
What annoyed me: I swear Ryan Murphy hates his female characters. First, he’s got Rachel once again regressing into a self absorbed narcissist who has learned NOTHING from her experiences. I felt uncomfortable watching her meltdown with Finn after she finds out he’s running with Quinn. Yes, she finally learns her lesson, but haven’t we seen this scenario play out a zillion times? Murphy has no imagination when it comes to advancing his character’s story lines. But that’s nothing compared to the return of psycho bitch Quinn.
Honestly, I think Murphy has it in for Dianna Agron. Her story lines are the worst. In this episode, she completely rolls back to old Quinn, as if all of the things that have happened to her in the past two years were some kind of Dallas-like dream. The car crash storyline was stupid to begin with. Hey kids! If you text and drive, you’ll end up like Quinn! Paralyzed for a few weeks before you make a miraculous recovery at senior prom. That’s teaching the kids a valuable lesson. The storyline not only failed as drama, but as a PSA too.
I mean really. QUINN WALKS AGAIN AT PROM. Please Ryan, you have a writing staff now. They aren’t necessarily all that great, but they are better than you. DEAR GOD I BEG OF YOU. STOP WRITING.
The hair gel thing was really silly and took Blaine out of the room. And did anyone really think he looked THAT BAD with his hair a little poofy? I kinda preferred it to his usual shiny helmet head. Besides the sweet Puck/Becky scenes, the whole anti prom was pointless. The kids should have been together for what was their last school dance.
And lastly? Santana and Quinn rigging the votes so Rachel would win prom queen? Ugh at the devolution of smart, ambitious Rachel into a prom queen wannabe. Rachel may feel she’s lost everything, but wouldn’t a better lesson be that a bad audition can’t take away her brains and talent? Handing her an empty and false pageant win is insulting. Glee is a show that’s supposed to celebrate being different. So now, winning dumb pageants are what brings fulfillment, rather than being smart, talented and firmly on your own path?
There are 3 more episodes left in the season, and I pray Ryan has been too busy to have a hand in any of them.
What Makes You Beautiful
Brittany announces the Prom theme. NO HAIR GEL
Rachel Contemplates Losing Her dream
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