The boys' rendition of "Shout" in full KISS makeup and costumes. Bonus points for Puck being the romantic "Starchild" but points also lost for Puck NOT being Gene Simmons' "Demon", given the man's sexual history.
The girls and Kurt doing justice to Gaga's "Bad Romance", both costume-wise and vocal-wise.
Shelby and Rachel dueting on an acoustic rendition of "Poker Face". It may be odd in context, but you can listen to it and find that it's one of the less blatantly autotuned songs.
Episode 21 ("Funk"):
"Give Up the Funk", the ending number of the episode. Complete with Vocal Adrenaline's "We just got p'wned" reaction.
Will weaponizing his Chick Magnetude to seduce Sue with "Tell Me Something Good".
Jesse and Vocal Adrenaline's "Another One Bites the Dust".
Glee's version of Beck's "Loser" is just plain awesome. Seriously, it's like something out of a musical that's being directed by Tim Burton.
Episode 22 ("Journey"):
The entire Journey medley the club sings at Regionals, especially when they burst out into "Any Way You Want It". Plus the rendition of "Don't Stop Believing" tops the performance in the pilot by a mile.
Vocal Adrenaline performing "Bohemian Rhapsody" as Quinn gives birth.
When the entire club admitted how much Mr. Shue meant to them by singing "To Sir With Love". Not only did it demonstrate that they got the "It's the journey not the destination" message, but it came at Will's lowest point of the episode, perhaps of the season.
Mercedes performing "Sweet Transvestite" and shutting up almost everyone who was pissed that a girl was playing Dr. Frank-n-Furter. Not only does it make sense in context (she was the last resort after Will tried getting several guys to play the role), but even people who heard the song in advance and hated it were impressed by her performance once they saw it. Makes sense since she performs it like a Drag Queen.
"Science Fiction Double Feature" won Santana a spot as many people's favorite character.
"Hot Patootie (Whatever Happened to Saturday Night)". Plus, John Stamos proved he still had the moves in that song.
The short tune that played during Kurt and Blaine's hand-holding scene.
The girls' mashup of "Living on a Prayer" and "Start Me Up".
The boys' mashup of "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Free Your Mind".
Puck and Artie's fabulous acoustic version of Bob Marley's "One Love".
"Teenage Dream" as sung by Blaine and the Warblers - which would go on to outsell "Don't Stop Believing" within a week. In five minutes of screen time and one performance, Darren Criss out-performed Katy Perry on her own song, gained hordes of devoted fangirls, and catapulted himself into the national spotlight. Not bad, Darren. Not bad at all.
Episode 7 ("The Substitute"):
The combination of "Singing In The Rain/Umbrella" may sound stupid at first, but it's awesome.
Gwyneth Paltrow rocking the hell out of Cee-Lo's "Forget You".
Episode 8 ("Furt"):
Will's "Sway" and Finn's "Just The Way You Are" were both amazing.
New Directions' "Marry You" was so completely perfect.
Episode 9 ("Special Education"):
Santana channeling Amy Winehouse on "Valerie" (yes, the Zutons originally did it, but they're clearly doing the Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson version). Couple that with Mike and Brittany's amazing dancing, and we've got ourselves a winner.
"Dog Days Are Over". Yes, Tina and Mercedes do need to have more solos, Rachel.
Both Rachel and Kurt's versions of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina".
Blaine showing off his dorky side at Regionals with "Hey, Soul Sister".
Episode 10 ("A Very Glee Christmas"):
Kurt and Blaine upping the UST to four-billion with "Baby, It's Cold Outside".
"Island of Misfit Toys" It's a perfect Christmas theme song for the club.
"Welcome Christmas", if for only one reason: There's no solos. None whatsoever, it's the first straight choir number the show's done.
Can we just say ALL the songs from "A Very Glee Christmas"?
Episode 11 ("The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle"):
The "Heads Will Roll"/"Thriller" mashup, complete with zombie dance. Not only does Kevin McHale completely hold his own with the King of Pop, but the football team joining with New Directions was epic.
Rachel and Puck's version of "Need You Now" was pretty awesome, too.
Cory Monteith tearing up lead vocals - along with the rest of the boys - with the Zombies' "She's Not There".
And let's not forget the Warblers - "Bills, Bills, Bills" was hilarious.
Episode 12 ("Silly Love Songs"):
"Fat Bottomed Girls" by Puck, via an actual electric guitar.
"When I Get You Alone" by Blaine and the Warblers. It's so over the top, but still completely awesome at the same time!
Katy Perry gets outsung again by Rachel in the latter's version of "Firework".
Artie/Kevin McHale does it again with Michael Jackson's "Pretty Young Thing" (with some sweet moves from Harry Shum Jr.)
Kurt, Blaine, and the Warblers serenading New Directions with "Silly Love Songs". Total Heartwarming Moment.
Episode 13 ("Comeback"):
The cover of My Chemical Romance's "Sing" was epic!
Lauren Zizes letting loose and actually having fun in Glee club while singing "I Know What Boys Like". Sure it's a little shaky and she's inexperienced, but she's showing a level of joy that she's never shown before.
Episode 14 ("Blame It On the Alcohol"):
I suddenly have the urge to "Blame It (On The Alcohol)".
Hard to say which was more hilarious, Blaine and Rachel's hilariously drunken rendition of "Don't You Want Me Baby", or Rachel's hideous 60's dress.
Shannon 'the Cannon' Beiste and Will Schuester's tipsily adorable version of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer".
Episode 15 ("Sexy"):
Holly's rendition of "Do You Want To Touch Me" there was fantastic. And to answer you question Holly, yes. Also her's and Will's cover of Prince's Kiss.
Paltrow's cover of "Landslide" was pretty good, but the performance was made so much better by some unbelievably emotional acting by Naya Rivera and Heather Morris. Just mind-blowing.
Speaking of mind blowing, "Animal". The thing was one of the most rocking Glee songs yet!
Episode 16 ("Original Song"):
New Directions finally wins Regionals with their original song: "Loser Like Me". Rachel's song "Get It Right" also gets props for being a sweet ballad.
Kurt. Blaine. "Candles".
Kurt doesn't knock "Blackbird" out of the park. He knocks it across the state line and into the Pacific Time Zone. It's so good, it makes Blainefinallyrealize he loves him. That's pretty epically awesome.
"Big-Ass Heart" is hilarious! If it wasn't for the profanity it could have been written by Weird Al!
The Warblers raising the roof with their subversive, tongue-in-cheek cover of "Raise Your Glass".
Mercedes's hilarious diva sendup of her own catchphrase with "Hell to the No".
"Trouty Mouth". Santana tries to compose a song to declare her love to Sam, but all it does is make fun of the size of his mouth. What makes this song so incredible is that the hilarity mixes perfectly with Naya Rivera's sultry 1940s lounge-bar-singer voice.
Episode 17 ("A Night of Neglect"):
This one begins and ends with Amber Riley and a gorgeous "Ain't No Way".
Averted (by the writers) with "I Follow Rivers", by Tina. The beginning is awesome, but her performance is soon disapointingly interrupted.
Listen to the album version. Jenna Ushkowitz knocks the song out of the park.
The awesomeness of "Turning Tables".
Sunshine's triumphant return - "All By Myself".
Episode 18 ("Born This Way"):
The episode namer, "Born This Way". Kurt, Tina, and Mercedes should always sing Gaga.
Kurt's stunning, utterly flawless rendition of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard. It's so amazing, it's the first song that has been used in the show without a single second being trimmed. Considering that this episode was already so jam packed that they had to extend the air time, leaving all 4:55 minutes of this song intact is a pretty big clue that this song is so perfect no one could bear to cut any of it.
"I Feel Pretty/Unpretty" is possibly the best mash-up the show has produced, with some beautiful and haunting vocals from Quinn and Rachel.
"I've Gotta Be Me" is easily the best song that Finn has sung on the show by a long margin-especially outside of the more rock-based songs. The addition of Mike's dancing throughout only helped.
And since the episode was flawless, musically, we can't forget the (likely) final song from The Warblers, "Somewhere Only We Know", which started as a wonderful a cappella, added in the ND band and then climaxed with an amazing mix of Warblers, band and ND Chorus. The performance by all of the actors was also exceptional, as a perfect farewell from The Warblers to Kurt and from the show to The Warblers.
They may not have been singing it, but the "Barbra Streisand" epic dance number still definitely goes here.
Episode 19 ("Rumours"):
Rachel's cover of "Go Your Own Way" is fantastic.
"Never Going Back Again". With guitar chorus, awesome.
"Don't Stop". Pure True Companions moment of the entire club banding together to support Sam.
"Jar of Hearts". Rachel's performance does not disappoint.
"Rolling in the Deep". One expects Jonathan Groff to be excellent, but he absolutely blows everything away in that song. Lea Michele is good as well, but Groff owns the song.
With what might be the longest Glee song title yet, "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You". As seemingly random as the Blaine-Tina-Brittany combo was, they made it work. Finn-and-Jesse fight aside, it was one of the funnest numbers of the episode.
Kurt's rendition of "Some People" and Santana's "Back to Black' are both jawdroppingly good in their different ways.
The awesomeness of "Some People" increases substantially when you see the choreography. It goes through the roof when you realise that Chris Colfer—self-admitted klutz—choreographed the entire thing. Including that power slide into a flat backbend...
Mercedes's rendition of "Try a Little Tenderness" is amazing.
Rachel belting out "My Man". Kurt and Jesse are right, she handled it amazingly.
Kurt and Rachel's remixed "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead". Can we just have Chris Colfer and Lea Michele do all the duets?
The Glee Project's Lindsay taking lead on a hilarious mashup of "Anything Goes"/"Anything You Can Do". Great way to break the Rachel Expy ice.
Episode 2 ("I Am Unicorn")
Shelby and Rachel's duet of "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Absolutely beautiful.
Blaine proving Kurt's earlier comment that he'd be a perfect Tony right with his gorgeous rendition of "Something's Coming" from West Side Story.
Kurt's vocally flawless, characterful, powerhouse rendition of "I'm The Greatest Star" for his West Side Story audition - scaffolding, athleticism and sai swords free of charge! When Coach Beiste later said he "owned that song like it was his prison bitch", she was actually understating the case quite considerably.
Episode 3 ("Asian F")
Brittany, Santana, and the rest of the McKinley girls owning "Run the World (Girls)"!
"Cool". Mike finally gets to sing! For real this time!
Let us all be agreed that Will needs to sing Coldplay more often. His gorgeous rendition of "Fix You" will bring tears to any listener's eyes.
This episode begins and ends with Ms. Amber Riley! A gorgeous and heartfelt "Spotlight", an amazingly gutsy "It's All Over", and an "Out Here on My Own" that everyone knew was better than Rachel's. Mercedes is right, she IS a star, and she should get to show it.
To give credit where credit is due, "It's All Over" is a collaborative effort. Kurt and Santana match Mercedes every step of the way; Finn, Puck, and Will all solo; and Mike shows off his new voice.
Episode 4 ("Pot 'O Gold")
Blaine absolutely rocks Katy Perry for the second time with his rendition of "Last Friday Night" with Mike.
Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany with Christina Aguilera's "Candyman".
"Take Care of Yourself". Who knew Damian/Rory could hit those high notesnote except for fans of Celtic Thunder, who probably could-a guessed?
Episode 5 ("The First Time")
In an episode full of gorgeousness, the rendition of "America" from the movie version of West Side Story. The vocals were excellent, the choreography was gorgeous, and the little character moments like having Mercedes still in the audience and Mike with his Mom just made the scene perfect.
Santana and Rachel's pitch-perfect rendition of "A Boy Like That". And the continuation of the song with "I Have a Love". Amazing!
Rachel and Blaine's take on "One Hand, One Heart" was gorgeous. Their voices blend beautifully.
Hats off to the Warblers still being great with "Uptown Girl".
Episode 6 ("Mash-Off")
The "Rumour Has It / Someone Like You" mashup absolutely deserves the honor of being the first Glee on VEVO song to reach two million views. It's wonderful, with Mercedes and Santana belting out those emotional notes just beautifully. It is also by far the saddest and one of the most beautiful songs Glee has ever done, with Santana's heartbreaking cries of 'Don't forget me!' and Mercedes sorrowful almost-(musical)commentary over them.
The "You and I" mashup of the Lady Gaga song and the Eddie Rabbit song.
"Hot For Teacher" when sang by Puck. The entire sequence is outrageously awesome.
Episode 7 ("I Kissed a Girl")
Dot Marie Jones singing her first solo on the show as Coach Shannon Beiste- a tear inducing rendition of "Jolene" by Dolly Parton. The emotion she imbues the song with is absolutely heart-wrenching and gorgeous.
Ignore the context and Finn's stripped-down rendition of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is very good.
It suffers from being cut down in the episode itself, but Kurt and Blaine's rendition of Pink's radio-friendly version of 'F*cking Perfect' is...pretty much perfect.
Episode 8 ("Hold On To Sixteen")
The Troubletones Sectionals mashup of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" with Destiny's Child's "Survivor".
New Directions' triple-Jackson number: Tina, Mike, and Kurt with lead on "ABC", Quinn, Blaine, and Artie with lead on "Control", and Finn, Blaine, Puck, and Sam with lead on "Man in the Mirror". All with some of the slickest, best dance moves yet. That is how you showcase all of your talent and win Sectionals.
"Buenos Aires". Ryan Murphy, extend Lindsay's contract!!!
"Red Solo Cup" and "We Are Young" are really fun and relaxed group numbers.
Episode 9 ("Extraordinary Merry Christmas")
Mercedes does it again: "All I Want for Christmas is You".
And so do Kurt and Blaine, with a gorgeously harmonized "Let It Snow" and classic soft-shoe choreography.
Brittany covering The Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping" (with back-up Cheerios!) is perfect.
Artie (and Mike and Mr. Shue) have "Moves Like Jagger". Blaine, Finn, and Puck providing mashup and backup vocals for "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was awesome.
The amazing synchronized swimming proposal number "We Found Love".
Episode 11 ("Michael")
Naya Rivera blows "Smooth Criminal" out of the water. It can be summed up by the fact that Sebastian loses his shit eating grin for the first time ever.
New Directions and the Warblers teaming up for "Black and White", led by the adorably sassy Trent. Sebastian isn't happy.
Artie, Blaine, Santana and the rest of the New Directions against the Warblers for "Bad". Just... wow!
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", especially the end, where all of New Directions is decked out in various MJ outfits. Perfect. Oh, and Darren can dance...
Kevin McHale and Harry Shum Jr's perfect re-creation of "Scream", complete with jaw-dropping dance moves.
Sam and Mercedes' totally sweet "Human Nature".
Dianna Agron hasn't had a solo in a while, but "Never Can Say Goodbye", done in a jazzy style, changed that. She knocked it out of the park.
Episode 12 ("The Spanish Teacher")
Once again, Mercedes absolutely kills her bilingual version of "Don't Wanna Lose You". Someone, seriously, just give Amber Riley a Grammy already!
Naya Rivera and Ricky Martin performing "La Isla Bonita" and a jaw-dropping salsa dance.
Episode 13 ("Heart")
Mercedes does it again by beautifully covering Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You", complete with a stunning red dress. The episode coincidentally aired a couple days after Houston's death, giving it an extra emotional punch.
Blaine making a surprise appearance at the end and kicking off a performance of "Love Shack". It's hard to watch this and not want to just get up and dance wildly.
The God Squad's rendition of "Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine.
Episode 14 ("On My Way")
Darren Criss's rendition of Young The Giant's "Cough Syrup" was exceptional enough to incite comments from self-proclaimed Blaine haters about how much they'd enjoyed it, even ignoring the cuts to Karofksy being bullied to the point of attempting suicide.
New Directions' Regionals numbers:
Rachel and Artie singing lead with Santana and Blaine providing the rapping on a mashup of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj's "Fly" with R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly".
Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany on Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You".
Finally, Rachel soloing on Halestorm's "Here's to Us".
"Stand" and "Glad You Came" by the Warblers. Grant Gustin owns them both AND looks like he's having the time of his life.
Episode 15 ("Big Brother")
Blaine's cover of "Fighter", especially if you yourself grew up in an older sibling's shadow. And if you factor in his reason for taking up boxing, it makes the performance absolutely chilling. The Shower Scene doesn't hurt either.
On that note, "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Blaine and Cooper was gutwrenching. Here's Blaine, who was talking earlier in the episode about wanting to have a relationship with his brother, but he's singing a really depressing Breakup Song that literally says "You have screwed me over," looking torn between crying and punching something. That's pretty blunt for the dapper one, and it hits home! And then you get Cooper who looks like "Wow... I have really messed up here, how do I fix this before I lose my little brother entirely?" Just wonderfully, poignantly done.
Matt Bomer and Darren Criss ran away with the entire episode in that song. Especially for fans of Bomer's from White Collar, this is a performance no one expected out of him - an over-the-top character, singing and dancing. And their tandem "Rio/Hungry Like the Wolf" kicked all sorts of ass too.
Quinn's triumphant return to the Glee club - a wheelchair-dancing duet with Artie of "I'm Still Standing".
Episode 16 ("Saturday Night Glee-ver")
Alex Newell of The Glee Project makes his debut with a faaaaaaahbulous cover of "Boogie Shoes" as Wade/Unique, the trans star of Vocal Adrenaline.
Mercedes, Santana and Brittany's scorching cover of "Disco Inferno". Especially Mercedes; no wonder Sam couldn't take his eyes (and camera!) off her.
Santana's amazing rendition of "If I can't have You" where she owns it.
Finn, Santana, and Mercedes getting their John Travolta on for "Stayin' Alive".
Episode 17 ("Dance With Somebody")
Chris Colfer does it again with "I Have Nothing". Not only does he blow it out of the water, he sings it in the original key. Just... wow. Wow. Can he have a Grammy now?
Chris also did an awesome job together with Naya Rivera, Amber Riley, and Lea Michele on their rendition of "How Will I Know" to open the episode. Just gorgeous. Sung in impeccable four-part harmony completely a capella. No Autotune in sight.
A feel-good, fantastic version of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" from Brittany and Santana. Heather Morris even sings lead!
Blaine's amazingly sassy rendition of "It's Not Right, But It's Okay".
Episode 18 ("Choke")
Chris Colfer does it again with "Not the Boy Next Door" - is there anything that boy can't do???
Mercedes, Santana and Tina perform an amazing arrangement of "Shake it Out".
It's been a while since we had a Puck solo; "School's Out" fixes that.
Sugar and Brittany join Mercedes, Santana, and Tina for the "Cell Block Tango". No one's sure what's better, the vocals or those outfits! And the fact that they were going for choreographing it like the movie, and got it pretty much spot on!
Rachel's "Cry" was equal parts awesome and heartbreaking. It provided the perfect backdrop for not only Rachel's, but several characters' shattered dreams.
Joseph, Rory, Artie, Sam, and Mike covering One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful". A successor in awesomeness of sorts to the previous year's "Friday".
Episode 20 ("Props")
Tinchel's incredible cover of "Flashdance/What A Feeling". Tina's voice has evolved so far since Tonight. Jenna Ushkowitz for ALL THE SOLOS.
"Because You Loved Me". Nothing more.
Puck, Beiste, and an ugly-sobbing inducing cover of "Mean". Who would have ever thought that the show's two biggest badasses - tough guy Puck and Coach Beiste - would be dueting on a Taylor Swift song? And making everyone cry while they were at it?!
Speaking of crying, there's no way to dam up the waterworks when the girls sing "Shake it Out" to Shannon.
Episode 21 ("Nationals")
Unique's cover of "Pinball Wizard" shows exactly why the show needs to do The Who much more often.
"Starships" wasn't too shabby either. If there was ever a singer who needed to cover Nicki Minaj and has the sass required, it's Alex Newell.
The New Directions cover of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf may have been the best song from a competition episode other than the Journey medley, and that is saying something.
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light". Lea Fucking Michele as Rachel Goddamn Berry. That is not a girl who is going to be a star. That is a girl who is a star. And let's give Cory Monteith some credit; he unloads on that song with both barrels. Go back and listen to his vocal weaknesses on the pilot version of "Don't Stop Believing" and then listen to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" - light years difference. Between the two of them, they absolutely make the song.
"The Edge of Glory". Naya Rivera wins all the goddamn awards, with Amber, Dianna, and Jenna on very excellent solos as well. "Glorious" doesn't begin to describe its awesomeness.
And speaking of Lea fucking Michele, she does it again at a major competition with "It's All Coming Back to Me Now". Just give her ALL the diva power ballads already.
We may not see them actually performing it, but "Tongue Tied" is an excellent fit for all of the events and emotions that follow the Nationals win.
Episode 21 ("Goodbye")
Burt's "Single Ladies." The perfect callback to Season One and the growth of the relationship between a loving, supportive dad and his son. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
"I'll Remember". Chris Colfer, you nailed it. You just nailed it.
The seniors' goodbye performance - "You Get What You Give". Finn, Rachel, Mercedes, Puck, Kurt, Santana, Mike, and Quinn being the friends we know they are.
And the underclassmen number, "In My Life". No solos, just pretty harmonies, and it was glorious!
Finn, Puck, graduation, and a fist-pumping performance of "Glory Days".
Lea's emotional performance of "Roots Before Branches" at the end. The album version manages to be even better than that, adding more backup from Cory and the rest of the cast.
Episode 1 ("The New Rachel")
Blaine's solo serenade to Kurt in the courtyard once again hits just the right note with his rendition of "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons. Not only Darren's vocals, but the whole number. Who would have thought that percussion with plastic cups could sound that good?
"Call Me Maybe" was awesome. The fun group number of such a great, popular song... feel-good all the way.
Kate Hudson's "Americano/Dance Again". It's always fun to see Rachel put in her place. Plus generally amazing singing and dancing.
Special mention has to go to Marley and Rachel's duet of "New York State Of Mind". Both singers perform it so awesomely that it merits In-Universe recognition: Will calls Marley's version one of the best auditions he's ever seen and on Rachel's end, Carmen Tibodeaux, the same woman came down on Rachel for choking on her audition in Season Three, had only one word to say: "Nice."
Speaking of welcome to the club Marley, the mashup of "Crazy" by Aerosmith and "'U Drive Me Crazy" by Britney Spears that she does with Jake is amazing! The two songs seem like they'd be incompatible on their own, but slowed down and played on acoustic guitar, the two work together really well.
Tina leading Sam and Joe on a Peter-Paul-and-Mary'd rendition of '3' both sounds gorgeous and is, in the words of Tumblr, "a song about a threesome that's so classy I could play it while having tea with the Queen", and deserves points for that alone.
Episode 3 ("Makeover")
"A Change Would Do You Good". Why hasn't Dean Geyer been a part of the show this entire time?
Blaine's rendition of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World".
Kurt and Isabelle both sound and look fantastic while working/playing together on a mashup of classic Broadway and Frank Sinatra ("The Way You Look Tonight/You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile"). Bonus points for the nod to Sarah Jessica Parker's Broadway history with the song from Annie.
Episode 4 ("The Break Up")
"The Scientist". Easily one of the most heart-wrenching group numbers the show has done.
"Teenage Dream", calling back to the first song Blaine ever sang Kurt. Darren not only sounds amazing and accompanies himself on a stripped-down rendition of the song, he does so with tears streaming down his cheeks. It is also one of the very few songs on the show that doesn't use the studio version and was instead performed live.
And for added awesome, that is, in fact, an arrangement of the song created by Darren himself that he's been performing since he got on the show at concerts he's done that the creators asked him to perform on the show. (Also qualifies as a Moment of Awesome for Darren Criss!)
Naya Rivera, reminding us all just how good she is, singing Taylor Swift's "Mine".
"Barely Breathing" shows us just how awesome a Finn/Blaine duet can be after we missed out on "Time of Your Life" from Graduation Day.
"Being Alive". Just...there are no words. The vocal track alone is breathtakingly magnificent, but in context? Kurt Hummel - the kid with the weird 'girly' voice whom William Schuester in three years never bothered to teach, help or even coach in preparing for auditions, and who was dismissed without helpful feedback by a Carmen Tibideaux unable to see the truth in front of her eyes in 'Choke' - stands in front of the luminaries and high-profile alumni of the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts, sings like a freaking opera singer, and in his first ever public solo performance wins a stunned and cheering standing ovation... for an audition. And wipes Rachel Berry's two self-indulgent solos completely off the map in the process, too.
And best of all, he does it not by playing Bobby, but by playing himself. The minute he started singing all comparisons to Raul Esparza were gone, not because either one was better, but because he wasn't trying to be Raul Esparza. He sang it with pure Kurt passion, showing them not Kurt the showman, but Kurt the person, and it worked, because he completely abandoned any thought of trying to live up to the legend and instead made the song his own. And it was luminous.
"All That Jazz". Kate Hudson's flawed bitch queen Cassandra impresses again, and Lea Michele looks sexy for one of the first times in Glee history.
Episode 10 ("Glee Actually")
Kurt and Blaine's annual Christmas duet once again absolutely shone as the two of them ice skated while singing "White Christmas". Gorgeous!
Episode 11 ("Sadie Hawkins")
Ryder's performance of "I Only Have Eyes for You" shows off Blake Jenner's ballad skills.
The boys' performance of TLC's "No Scrubs" at the Sadie Hawkins dance was great and definitely danceable.
Jenna Ushkowitz's flawless rendition of "I Don't Know How To Love Him". Tina for all the solos.
Episode 12 ("Naked")
Jake Puckerman. Marley Rose. "A Thousand Years". Gorgeous vocals and blazing sexual tension.
Jacob Artist outdid himself on "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)". Just... yes. All the things.
It's Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Naya Rivera together again on "Love Song", and the result is nothing short of superb.
"This Is The New Year" was the perfect way to end the episode.
Episode 13 ("Diva")
Kurt and Rachel's second ever Diva-off of "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables is absolutely stunning. Pure musical-theatre perfection, and Chris Colfer hitting that note was beautiful.
Blaine's cover of "Don't Stop Me Now" is definitely one of the best Queen covers they've done.
Naya Rivera performing a blazing "Nutbush City Limits" - a more than worthy cover of Ms. Turner.
The writers might have brought out the worst in Ryder to set it up, but "The Bitch is Back"/"Dress You Up" brought out one of the best performances of Unique's career.
Episode 14 ("I Do")
"(Not) Getting Married" from Company. Between Mercedes' beautiful operatic singing and Emma flawlessly pulling off the Motor Mouth spoken verses, it's definitely one of Glee's most impressive covers. They're also two-for-two on perfect Company performances.
Episode 15 ("Girls (and Boys) on Film")
Kurt's fantasy of him and Blaine singing "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge is simply stunning.
Will and Emma's Retraux recreation of "You're All the World to Me". They danced on the ceiling, using the same style of rotating set as the original Royal Wedding movie.
"Shout". Aside from the fact that it's Glee's 500th musical number (wow), the whole number was really cool with the awesome choreography and vocals.
Episode 16 ("Feud")
Santana's rendition of "Cold Hearted" by Paula Abdul, complete with NYADA student backup dancers, was simply fantastic.
Any time Jane Lynch sings is automatically awesome, but pulling off a flawless Nicki Minaj song ("Super Bass") just blew everything else away. And if you think that's all Autotuned, check her out on Conan, sounding exactly as awesome. Sorry Blainers, Sue wins this Diva-off.
Episode 17 ("Guilty Pleasures")
Blaine singing an emotional, stripped down version of "Against All Odds". It was so chilling and beautiful. Plus, Darren Criss was singing live, making it all the more awesome.
Basically all the music. "Mamma Mia" and "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" had the hilarious and awesome costumes to go with them.
"Wannabe" was just fantastic. The girls absolutely nailed that one, especially Marley as Posh, Kitty as Ginger, and Brittany as Sporty. They even had Geri Halliwell's famous UK flag dress!!
Episode 18 ("Shooting Star")
The New Directions' take on "Say" by John Mayer really hit home considering the Wham Episode that it occurred during.
Episode 19 ("Sweet Dreams")
Rachel's reprise of "Don't Stop Believin'". Her season 1 performance of it was nothing to sneeze at, but here, she blew it out of the fucking park!
"Outcast", the first original song of the fourth season. If we're to take this as a sample of Marley's songwriting talent, then the girl has a very bright future ahead of her.
Puck and Finn's take on The Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)".
Episode 20 ("Lights Out")
Ryder's take on "Everybody Hurts".
"At the Ballet" was just simply haunting and beautiful.
"We Will Rock You" done on anything that isn't an instrument (plastic bottles, trash cans, zippers, etc). Simply. Epic.
Episode 21 ("Wonder-Ful")
"Superstition". Mercedes Jones is back, ladies and gentlemen!
A severely kick-ass and triumphant cover of "Higher Ground".
Kitty and a great take on "Signed, Sealed, Delivered".
Episode 22 ("All or Nothing")
Rachel singing Celine Dion's "To Love You More". That is one hell of a ballad to risk, but she does it full justice.
Episode 1 ("Love Love Love")
Rachel and Santana's rendition of "A Hard Day's Night". Lea Michele delivers some truly awesome vocals and Naya Rivera is no less impressive. Also, the clever use of the Diner set in the choreography really made the whole thing work.
Artie and Kitty's rendition of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" was really well done.
Kurt and Blaine's reunion duet, complete with marching band, of "Got to Get You Into My Life."
Following in Mr. Schue's footsteps for over-the-top proposal songs, Blaine leading the New Directions, the Vocal Adrenaline, the Warblers, and the Haverbrook School for the Deaf's Choir in "All You Need Is Love" (complete with a dash of The Cover Changes The Gender for "She Loves You" at the end).
Episode 2 ("Tina In The Sky With Diamonds")
"Get Back", as sung by Rachel and Kurt. Rachel may have temporarily have lost her mojo, but Lea Michele has clearly still got it. Chris Colfer is no slouch either. The normally demure Kurt gives us some pretty awesome rock-and-roll vocals.
Santana and Dani sing "Here Comes The Sun" together. It was Demi Lovato's first musical number on the show and she definitely did not disappoint.
"Let It Be" was really touching and really well done.
"Hey Jude" was the perfect song to cheer Tina up and turn a terrible moment into a triumphant one. The entire ensemble sounded great, but Darren Criss as Blaine gets special props for some really high, improvised riffs.
Episode 3 ("The Quarterback")
Puck's rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender", sung to an empty chair, was absolutely gut-wrenching.
The episode opening with "Seasons of Love" from Rent was heartbreakingly effective.
Rachel (played by Cory Monteith's real life girlfriend Lea Michele) singing "Make You Feel My Love" was easily one of the saddest moments on TV ever.
Episode 4 ("A Katy or a Gaga")
Sam, Blaine, Artie, Ryder and Marley - the Katy Perrys of the group - and their performance of Lady Gaga's "Applause."
"Roar", by New Directions and Kurt and Rachel's band - even more empowering than the original.
Adam Lambert's incredible cover of "Marry The Night" was cited by many reviewers to be the highpoint of the episode.
Episode 5 ("The End of Twerk")
Marley's heart-wrenching rendition of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus after she learns that Jake cheated on her. Beautiful Vocals + the raw emotions of heartbreak and anger = awesome!
Wade "Unique" Adams and her Cover Changes The Meaning rendition of "If I Were a Boy" by Beyonce is as gorgeous as it is gut-wrenchingly depressing.
Episode 6 ("Movin' Out")
Sam and Blaine's take on the title number, "Movin' Out" by Billy Joel - from the halls of Mc Kinley High to the City that Never Sleeps, the two of them absolutely rock the number.
Glee Live 2011 Tour
The new and improved - and Hotter and Sexier choreography to "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Heather Morris and Jenna Ushkowitz still kill the dance, but it's Chris Colfer who really takes it to a new level, going from this to this in less than two years. Where the hell did he learn to do that with his hips?
Chord, Darren, Mark, Kevin, and Harry doing an acoustic version of Friday. It's simultaneously hilarious and awesome. It's pretty obvious none of them take the song seriously. Special props to Darren's falsetto riffs.
Darren singing "Teenage Dream", "Silly Love Songs" and "Raise Your Glass".
"Silly Love Songs" is especially cute. At the Chicago performance, Darren hugs Brian Holden.
"Raise Your Glass" seems to be the one song every critic points out as one of the high points of the concert.
Lea Michele knocking "Don't Rain on My Parade" out of the park and into the stratosphere again.
Lea and Chris managing to go Serial Escalation and outdo themselves on "Come On Get Happy/Happy Days".