September 13, 2012

Top 5 Musical Performances from GLEE: Season 3

Just when you thought I was done with my unhealthy obsession with Glee, here comes another post. Over the past two years, I've celebrated the season premieres by putting together a top five list of my favorite musical performances from the preceding batch of episodes. Since tonight is the Season 4 opener, I needed to keep the tradition going even though this list was thrown together a little haphazardly.

5. "Stereo Hearts" from "Heart"
Honestly, I had never heard this song before Glee, and I don't know if I would've liked the original version, but there's something charming about this rendition. It's probably because it was one of the few standout musical moments for Sam (who became one of my favorites during Season 3), and him rapping is charmingly dorky. I also thought it was a decent enough introduction for Joe, and I just enjoy listening to this song.

4. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" from "I Kissed a Girl"
I know that most people hated this one because of their misguided disdain for Finn, and because the scene could be considered awkward, but I got a kick out of the stripped down version of this Cyndi Lauper classic (which apparently was a cover of a cover, so thanks Wikipedia). Admittedly, the entire moment may have been a tad tone def, but I still dug it and applauded Cory Monteith's performance.

3. "ABC" from "Hold on to Sixteen"
You really cannot go wrong with the Jackson 5, and New Directions' opening number during Sectionals was a good use of a classic song. While I don't know if Glee's version of "ABC" was all that original or fresh, it was solid, upbeat and a heck of a lot of fun, which is how this song should be performed. I also loved the fact that it was able to showcase so many of the characters who have been pushed to the background by Rachel and Finn. Good stuff all around.

2. "Cool" from "Asian F"
Even though I still feel that Glee's need to give everyone a storyline was one of the reasons it lost some ground, I've been a Mike Chang fan since he was given actually lines. Heck, "Sing!" was even one of my favorite numbers from Season 2, and this time around he was bumped up a few spots thanks to one of his rare solos. Now, my admiration for the Changster was not the only reason I ranked "Cool" so high, I also really love the song and it's by far my favorite from West Side Story. Oh, and let's not forget all of the sweet dancing.

1. "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" from "Nationals"
This one's another example of a song that I didn't know existed before the show covered it. While I do not have any emotional attachment to "Dashboard" or to Meat Loaf, it's my top song of Season 3 because it was such a great performance from start to finish. Usually, competition numbers can be hit or miss but are still the highlights of the episodes, but "Dashboard" was so far ahead of all of the previous ones that it could be one of my favorite Glee moments ever. I just loved the energy, the song, the story, the choreography, pretty much everything.

One quick honorable mention, I should have included "Smooth Criminal" from the Michael Jackson episode mostly due to the dueling cellists, but that performance didn't make me smile like "Stereo Hearts," so I stick by my top five. Overall, I'd say that Season 3 trumped Season 2 in terms of the music because it did a better job at integrating the songs into the bigger picture whereas the year before felt too iTunes driven. Let's hope we get more of the same during Season 4.


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