Rachel wows at the NYADA showcase; Kurt gets one final chance to get into his dream school

By Erin Strecker
Updated December 07, 2012 at 07:00 AM EST
Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX
S4 E9
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Will Marley be okay? Will the Warblers be disqualified for their crazy suggestive lyrics in a high school singing competition? Will Finn ever be allowed near a Glee club again? We were left with a lot of questions after last week’s Glee, and last night picked up immediately after the disastrous Sectionals competition that culminated in Marley crashing to the floor mid-performance, fainting after starving herself for weeks and acting as a literal representation of what many of us want to do when we now hear that dang Psy song.

It all began back in the choir room where everyone was concerned, Marley was embarrassed, Santana was angry and Kitty looked guilty. Worst of all — as many of you predicted — exiting mid-performance meant immediate disqualification. (The Warblers won.) Not winning Sectionals meant Glee club, competition-wise, was done for the year. That was abrupt! Sue didn’t waste any time rubbing the Glee club’s face in it, taking over the choir room for an additional Cheerios practice space and leaving the Gleeks all alone, without a room at the school.

While Finn and Schu tried to put a positive spin on the dramatic turn of events – but naturally, made no follow-up mention of eating disorders — the Glee kids decided to go their separate ways and join various other activities. Artie joined the band; Blaine and Tina joined Cheerios; Ryder and Jake joined basketball. It turned out Glee club was really holding Brittany back. All the kids were figuring out their next step, and for Sam and Brittany – who had been enjoying a rather innocent friendship/mild flirtation for awhile – that meant finally making a move toward making Brittam? Sattany? Something better than either of those two names? a reality.

Sam put out a trail of Cheerios leading Brittany to an abandoned classroom (save for an at-the-ready band!) and expressed his feelings the only way any of them know how: in song. Their duet sounded lovely, but the conversation that followed – what I interpreted as a thinly disguised Ryan Murphy and Co. response to Brittany/Santana fans in general – seemed a little forced. Brittany explained to Sam (and viewers) that she was uncomfortable dating him because the readers of Lord Tubbington’s blog have grown to really love Santana and Brittany together and they would be offended by her dating a guy. Later in the episode, after a locker heart-to-heart complete with a kiss, she came to the realization that love is love, and people were going to have to get with the program. I’m curious: Are you excited about going down this road? More importantly: Are you excited about Sam’s plethora of impressions?

NEXT: Rachel performs at the NYADA Showcase!

Meanwhile in New York it was NYADA Showcase time, a special winter concert where 10 students receive their Hogwarts letter Golden Ticket, a card from Carmen inviting them to perform at the event/competition. Rachel didn’t think she would get selected because she’s only a freshman, but of course she does. Always a bride, that girl. This newfound confidence leads to her standing up for herself in Cassandra’s dance class, which is not in any way based on any kind of reality. Once you accept that fact, you can enjoy Cassandra and Rachel’s dance-off to “All That Jazz” much more easily.

Important fashion side note: Did anyone else notice how much sexier Rachel’s cut-out top and tousled hair were than everyone else’s dance class duds? Anyway, the side of that feud I’m on changes not only episode by episode, but minute by minute. Cassandra should have definitely left Rachel alone when she got a sip of water. Point Rachel. But Rachel was pretty disrespectful to a teacher (“It’s not my fault you don’t understand how good I’ve become!”), especially when dancing is not exactly her strong suit. Point Cassandra. Regardless, I loved Rachel’s ender to that conversation, when she told Cassandra she realized the only way she was going to win the Showcase was by just singing.

At the NYADA Showcase, a gorgeous Rachel Berry (Seriously, fashion side note two: I want that dress for the holidays!) was the picture of calm when Brody came by to wish her luck – excuse me, to break a leg. I feared for a moment he was going to mess with her head, but he encouraged her confidence after she declared, “If you give me a stage, I know in my gut there is no one who can beat me.” And then – because why the heck not? – she gave Brody a kiss. Get it, girl.

No time to freak about the boy drama, however, because right after belting out one showstopper, Rachel turned it around and sang, “O Holy Night,” which, for me, was the real winner of the evening – and I could tell from the tear in Kurt’s eye he was feeling it too. Now is as good a time as any to mention that I love how supportive Kurt is of Rachel. It can’t always be easy, but I love that he’s able to put his own feelings aside and just be happy for his friend. And just a moment later, Rachel got a chance to return the favor, because Carmen announced in front of the entire audience that next up would be Kurt Hummel, if he was ready.

NEXT: Will Kurt’s performance be NYADA-worthy? Plus: More stuff about the no-longer-official Glee club.

WHAT? Obviously this was totally ridiculous, but it was based around a plotline I kind of believed. Earlier, after submitting an application and audition tape, Kurt had stopped by Carmen’s office (Hey! Being persistent worked for Rachel!) and asked Carmen about the status of his application. She told him she thought he was a talented guy, but it was all surface, no depth. Which meant no NYADA. And – for those that were still wondering why Kurt didn’t get into the school in the first place – that reasoning kind of made sense. Kurt is all about the pizzazz, and that’s not always what they are looking for. Small quibble: Carmen teased us about a video that had Kurt doing an acoustic performance of “Wake Me Up…” by Wham!. Why on Earth did we not get to see that?

But I digress. After a quick powwow with Rachel outside the auditorium, where she shared that her favorite performance of Kurt’s was “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” Kurt decided to sing a song he’d loved since he was six, but only newly understood. And then he really delivered with a stirring, emotional rendition of “Being Alive,” from Company. It worked. Later, Kurt got his very own Hogwarts letter, saving him from an Aunt Petunia fate of desperately wanting to be part of a group that just won’t have him. I know you all are going to freak out about how easy this was, but honestly, it didn’t bother me that much. Carmen gave him some real feedback, and he corrected the issue. I’m much more uncomfortable that no one seemed concerned that Marley is starving herself.

Back at McKinley, things weren’t great. The choir had nowhere else to practice now that Sue had taken over everything, and Finn was feeling down on his luck now that everyone had quit, save for Marley. But then Marley told Finn she had somewhere they could practice, so Finn sent out a mass email to the club because he had recently watched The Breakfast Club or something.

Sadly, only Finn and Marley were waiting around in the McKinley courtyard for the impromptu practice. I got super afraid for a minute they were going to kiss – with Finn vulnerable after a pep-up talk from New Showcase Champ Rachel, he was feeling down about everything and it seemed like the moment he might make a bad decision. But luckily Rachel had also reminded him during their phone chat that Glee is so much more than the competitions (Snark alert: Obviously! They hardly ever practice for them!) and that is what he focused on: the togetherness. So down-in-the-dumps Finn and Marley were hanging out in the falling snow when they began to sing, and then slowly the whole Glee club showed up. They just can’t quit you, fellow Gleek-ers!

NEXT: Musical grades and top lines

Musical Grades:

“Somethin’ Stupid” (Original by Frank Sinatra): It’s not that I wasn’t charmed by this Sam/Brittany spin on a classic, but I’m also not rushing to listen to it again. While they both have their strengths, these two certainly aren’t the strongest vocalists and without other voices helping them out, it felt a little lacking. B

All That Jazz (Original by Chicago): It was fun to hear Kate Hudson and Lea Michele sing together, and I was surprised to hear just how well the two blended together when they were switching parts. Performance-wise, this number was a lot of fun – who knew Hudson could move like that? B

“Being Alive” (Original by Company): Kurt went and sang himself a showstopper of a performance, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite songs (Theater nerds, unite!). I particularly liked the highs and lows, how it swelled during certain phrases and was understated in other parts. Which was, of course, the entire thing that Carmen was trying to see if he could do. But I sure hope gold lame pants aren’t gone for good. A

“Being Good Isn’t Good Enough” (Original by Hallelujah Baby): It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good Lea Michele ballad, and naturally she delivered. While it wasn’t my all-time favorite performance of hers (that honor goes to “Don’t Rain on My Parade”) it was definitely up there. And from a show standpoint, it was great to watch as she was bathed in a soft golden light. A-

“O Holy Night”: My favorite performance of the evening. I was predisposed to like it as I listen to it repeatedly during the holidays — she recorded it for Glee’s first Christmas album — but it was such a treat to hear it powerfully sung again. A

Don’t Dream It’s Over” (Original by Crowded House): Finn and Marley are walking in a winter wonderland and are slowly joined by everyone else, because they realize their lives are nothing without this club. B+

Top Lines:

“I’m very active on the NYADA blogs.” –Kurt

“I knew Rachel Berry, I was friends with Rachel Berry. And you, Marley, are no Rachel Berry.” –Tina

Most people didn’t appreciate the Spice Girls until it was too late.” –Brittany spits some hard truths

“As sympathetic as I am to this particular act in the rom-com, Rachel, you’re up!” -Kurt

The Walking Dead isn’t based on a true story. I already checked.” -Sam

What did you all think about Kurt getting into NYADA? Excited for a Sam and Brittany relationship? Concerned that Marley Has An Eating Disorder may never be mentioned again? How much more of Cassandra can Rachel take? Was anyone else pretty shocked regarding Joe’s line about joining an Interfaith Paint Ball League that got to shoot each other? And what are your predictions for Christmas fun next week? I smell mistletoe!

Episode Recaps


Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.

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