Kids. Can you believe it? Glee will be OVER after tonight’s 2 hour series finale. I’ve had my ups and downs with the show, but I will always look back on it fondly. I put together a list of 30 Glee performances that I loved. If I had time, I could have done 50. It was so hard to choose! I’m leaving out some songs that I love. This is just a cross section.
These are MY favorite songs. But maybe not YOURS. That’s why I’m inviting you to share favorite Glee performances ahead of tonight’s finale in comments! Come back later tonight as we cry our way, together, through what’s bound to be an emotional end to the series.
I’ve listed all 30 songs in order of airdate.
Don’t Stop Believing – Pilot – It’s the song that started it all. During the summer of 2009, I finally sat down to watch the show everyone was talking about, and I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I had totally found my new favorite show. I loved absolutely everything about the pilot. I identified so much with those high school underdogs, looking for a place to belong. Once upon a Time, I was one of those kids.
Somebody to Love – 1×05 – The Rhodes Not Taken – Rachel decides to come back to the Glee club after pulling won of her epic hissy fits. She fills in for a drunken April Rhodes at Invitationals, and it’s epic.
Maybe This Time – 1×05 – The Rhodes Not Taken – Lea Michele and Kristin Chenoweth. Nuff said.
Roses Turn – 1×18 – Laryngitis – The amazing Chris Colfer, only 19, showing EVERYONE how to portray the meaning of a song. This scene, between Kurt and his father Burt, was gut wrenching. That relationship–between a gay son and his gruff dad learning to love and understand each other–was one of the most most ground breaking arcs of Glee
Rain on My Parade – 1×22 – Journey to Regionals – Rachel sings gloriously. The part that got me, were New Directions entering the house from the back, like they owned the room. So much heart. Of course they went on to win Regionals in the 1st season finale.
Faithfully – 1×22 – Journey to Regionals – Finn and Rachel profess their love to each other. Tonight’s finale have a completely different ending for Rachel if Cory Monteith had lived.
Losing My Religion – 2×03 – Grilled Cheesus – Cory wasn’t the best singer, but his performances always managed to hit me in the gut. From the emotional Grilled Cheesus episode.
Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again – 2×04 – Duets – The duets episode was full of so much goodness, I’ve posted 3 of the performances. Hummelberry is everything. Here’s Lea Michele channelling Barbra Streisand, while Chris Colfer…well he always channels himself.
River Deep Mountain High – 2×04 – Duets – Damn. I’m sorry, But Santana and Mercedes SHOULD have won that Breadstix certificate, based on this fierce duet.
Sing – 2×04 – Duets – Two of Glee’s underused talents, Jenna Ushkowitz and Harry Shum Jr. being absolutely adorable together.
Teenage Dream – 2×06 – Never Been Kissed – I loved the Warblers in Season 2 when the Tufts Beelzebubs were singing and arranging the songs. A teenage boy serenades another teenage boy. It was groundbreaking at the time. I can’t get over the way Blaine makes Kurt smile in this scene.
Just The Way You Are – 2×08 – Furt – The Carol/Burt wedding episode was full of great performances, Finn serenading his mom and his new step brother always gives me a pang. I miss Cory. What could have been.
Valerie – 2×09 – Special Education – Santana was one of my favorite Glee characters. Just LOVE Naya Rivera’s voice. Here, you’ve got super bonus dancing from Heather Morris.
Landslide – 2×15 – Sexy – Santana professes her love for Brittany, with a little help from Holly Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow). Brittana would go on to become one of Glee’s iconic couples.
Raise Your Glass – 2×16 – Original Song – One of my favorite Warblers songs
As If We Never Said Goodbye – 2×18 – Born This Way – I had a really hard time finding a video of this performance. But I had to say something about the tour de force that is “As If We Never Said Goodbye.” This is the song that made me a Chris Colfer stan. “YOU’VE GOT TO BE EFFING KIDDING ME WHAT AM I WATCHING I CAN’T EVEN” was basically my reaction. Heh.
For Good – 2×22 – New York – More Hummelberry. Kurt and Rachel coming together and coming to terms. They had a difficult relationship for the first two seasons of Glee, but here they solidify their bond after breaking into the Wicked theater in New York City. This performance never fails to make me teary.
Somethings Coming – 3×02 – I Am Unicorn – Some call Blaine (resentfully) the human jukebox of Glee. But, I find Darren Criss’ performances mesmerizing.
America – 3×05 – The First Time – I loved the West Side Story arc Glee weaved in the first couple of episodes of Season 3. Reportedly, Kevin Reilly didn’t care for it, wanting more popular fare the kids would know, like Glee. Kevin Reilly, of course, is no longer the FOX network chief. Anyway, this set piece, from the musical, featuring Santana as Anita was sooooo good.
Rumour Has it/Someone Like You – 3×06 – Mash Off – The TroubleTones! When Mercedes lost the lead in West Side Story to Rachel, she and the other girls broke off of New Directions to form a new club, with Rachel’s Mom, Shelby (Idina Menzel) as director. This performance is boss.
We Found Love – 3×10 – Yes/No – Will finally proposes to Emma, during a giant number that takes place in the gym pool. I loved it!
Smooth Criminal – 3×11 – Michael – Santana, and the Evil Gay Warbler, Sebastian (Grant Gustin) FACE OFF. This performance was backed by the incredible 2Cellos.
How Will I Know – 3×17 – How Will I Know – An a cappella version of “How Will I Know” sung by Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes and Santana opened the Whitney Houston tribute episode. Gorgeous.
This is the New Year – 4×12 – Naked – The joy in this performance, led by Blaine and the new crop of kids cast in season 4, is infectious.
Come What May – 4×15 – Girls and Boys on Film – This fantasy duet between the Kurt and Blaine (Kurt is imagining himself back with his estranged boyfriend, Blaine, while watching Moulin Rouge on a snowy afternoon with friends) is one of the most romantic Glee performances ever.
All You Need is Love – 5×01 – Love Love Love – I really was NOT DOWN with the Klaine engagement. Too young! But who can resist a 4 choir proposal, conducted in the spot where the two lovers had initially laid on each other? I couldn’t.
If I Were a Boy – 5×05 – The End of Twerk – Alex Newell from the Glee Project, was the most talented of the new kids brought in for season 4. He just broke my heart here, singing after he’d been bullied by some boys in the bathroom. THIS was the transgender story the producers should have followed.
Pompeii – 5×20 – Untitled Rachel Berry Project – Glee never recovered from the loss of Cory Monteith mere weeks before Season 5 went into production. It was a difficult season, but the very last number saw Rachel Berry finally beginning to heal her heart.
Home – 6×02 – Homecoming – Glee brought on a whole new batch of kids for season 6. This time they got it right. “Homecoming,” which brought back all the graduates, really felt like old-school Glee. Emotions run high as oldbies and newbies alike get together for a homecoming bonfire. Beautifully shot and edited, this really reminded me of old school Glee.
At Last – 6×08 – A Wedding – Posted this mostly for Kevin McHale’s incredible vocal on this duet with Amber Riley in the Wedding Episode. Hands down, one of the best male voices on Glee. Criminally underutilized.