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'Glee' Recap: Originality Wins Regionals

March 16th, 2011 3:33pm EDT | Elissa Farkas By: Elissa Farkas

GLEE: New Directions perform at Regionals in the Original Song

Gwyneth’s gone and ‘Glee’ has a brand new gimmick to trot out this week. The episode, aptly called ‘Original Song’ is designed to showcase just that – brand new never-before-heard tunes that are as irresistible as all the karaoke tracks that have come before.
 
The concept has been brewing for a while now. Rachel Berry will put her musical genius and emotional baggage on the line for the sake of the glee club and New Directions will perform a completely original ditty at Regionals. However, her current set list (My Headband and Only Child) leaves more than a little to be desired and Finn takes time away from his reconciliation with Prom Queen-hopeful, Quinn Fabray, to tell his annoying ex as much.
 
Blaine, Kurt, and The Warblers sing a few covers including the Beatles’ “Blackbird” because Kurt had a bird for five minutes and then it died and he was super sad about it. Great song. Dumb plotline. At least it gets Kurt a featured performance at Regionals… and then a whole lot more.
 
New Couple Alert!! Kurt and Blaine are officially ON. A satisfying advancement in a sweet courtship that would be even better if they would just transfer schools and leave the goofy Hogwarts council with its uniforms and gavels.
 
Far away from Warbler-land, World War Sue has broken out and the glee club is no longer being permitted to perform their choice anthem for Regionals. Quinn backs Rachel’s songwriting aspirations, and turns the effort into a team sport.
 
Factions quickly break off and Santana the aspiring lesbian, partners with Tina on a song about Sam entitled “Trouty Mouth.” Puck follows with “Big Ass… Heart” which he wrote for his chubby love interest, Lauren. Neither have that epic feel that Schue is looking for.  Even Mercedes’ sassy “Hell to the No” isn’t up to snuff, though certainly catchy in a Disney Channel kind of way.
 
The key to writing this Regionals-winning anthem is PAIN and tapping into key sources of anguish like Sue Sylvester is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. And yet, it just seems like this glee club is going to need to go a little deeper to really tap into the kind of energy Schue is looking for. He obviously wants the kind of star power that can only come from one broken-hearted Rachel Berry. Luckily, Quinn’s got it covered.
 
At Regionals, Rod Remington, Kathy Griffin, and the Chief’s Wife on “Grey’s Anatomy“(Loretta Devine) are the judges.  Sue’s show choir panders to the ultra-conservative panel with a cheery Jesus song. The Warblers perform “Candles” and Kurt and Blaine finally get their duet. Then they go and perform Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and we’ve got ourselves a Regionals competition!!
 
Finally, New Directions is up with an original song that will hopefully be more “A Moment Like This” than “This Is My Now.” At this point, the performance has gotten so much build-up that it almost needs to be another Rachel Berry ‘Rain on my Parade’ performance to feel worthy.  Certainly we’re rooting for her to ‘Get It Right’ and in a way, she almost sort of kind of does… 
 
If we could really buy into the idea that this is a song that Rachel Berry wrote, the whole thing would work perfectly. However, since we are so used to knowing the source material of all ‘Glee’ songs, it is hard to make that leap, and the Rachel Berry original feels like a single written for the next American Idol.
 
Part II of New Directions’ original song medley fares better. “Loser Like Me” sounds like it could easily belong in “High School Musical” and that’s not such a bad thing. After all, the bold, bright Disney Channel musical certainly paved the way for “Glee” to become the phenomenon it is today. Of course, those movies always ended on an up note, and similarly, this week’s ‘Glee’ does the same.
 
New Directions win Regionals, and Rachel Berry is awarded a gold star trophy and the title of MVP.  She feels like a winner and until Terry Schuester comes back in April, we can too!
 
So what did everyone else think? Should ‘Glee’ stick to covers or commission Rachel Berry to write their next setlist?

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