By Stephan Lee
Updated March 15, 2011 at 10:00 PM EDT
Credit: Adam Rose/Fox

Regionals are upon us, folks, and thank goodness for that! Don’t get me wrong, our Glee students and teachers have been serving up the intrigue lately with hookups, breakups, and coming-outs, but with these competition episodes, we go back to the basics of lavish musical numbers and great choreography. Even though we have every reason to believe that New Directions (and/or the Warblers?) makes it to Nationals — we already know they’ll be filmed in New York — I’m excited about all the suspenseful Singing Competition Movie clichés, like the moment when the runner-up is announced first (does that mean we’re number one or didn’t even place??). I feel like I’m watching Sister Act 2, which is never a bad thing.

Regionals tonight is extra exciting because New Directions will be debuting three original songs, available today on iTunes. “Hell to the No,” sassily performed by Mercedes and Santana, is the strongest of the batch — the title reminds me of Whitney Houston’s infamous catchphrase, but the song itself borrows from other divas like Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin. Mercedes really lays down the vocals, but as with most of Mercedes’ storylines, her weight is once again a main focus (the song rhymes “Wheaties” with “diabetes”). “Get It Right” is Rachel’s requisite dramatic ballad (who wants to bet Rachel will shed a tear or two during her performance?), and all the Glee kids team up for the anthemic “Loser Like Me,” which evokes High School Musical for some. When the inspirational rap bridge comes along, I keep listening for bouncing basketballs and sneaker squeaks.

What do you think of the original songs? And where do your loyalties lie — with the Warblers or New Directions, or (the unthinkable) Aural Intensity? Before, during, and after the episode, sound off about it here, and check back early in the morning for Sandra’s recap!

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