In January, I wrote a post about why New Directions would lose Regionals. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s a Glee thing.)
My premise was that New Directions relied too heavily on the “strong soloist with backing vocals” arrangements, while their main competition, Vocal Adrenaline truly performed as an ensemble. Because of this, I said that Vocal Adrenaline was the stronger group and would therefore win the great sing off.
I was right, they did win and our plucky heroes lost, but for all the wrong reasons.
To add some drama, this season saw the addition of Jesse (played by Jonathan Groff) who was Vocal Adrenaline’s main talent. And just like that, Vocal Adrenaline went from an ensemble to the all-Jesse-all-the-time Show.
Meanwhile, we heard more from supporting players Tina, Artie, Mercedes, Kurt, Puck, and Quinn. We even got several vocals from Santana. (And a shout-out for Brittany, whom we haven’t heard sing yet, but gets all the best lines that are made even greater by her fantastic throw-away deadpan delivery.) While I still want to hear more from the two football player guys whose names I don’t even know (and please? Give Brittany a singing line!) It was definite progress from the first season.
And tonight we saw the great showdown. Vocal Adreneline did “Bohemian Rhapsody” entirely fronted by Jesse.
New Directions did a Journey medley. “Faithfully” was all Finn and Rachel (for added emotional punch, given Finn’s declaration of love right before they started) but the mash-up of “Anyway you Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” was as about as of an ensemble piece as you get with this group (especially with the way it was edited for TV.) Then, they closed with the song that put the Glee pilot on the map– “Don’t Stop Believin” The original version was Finn and Rachel and their back-up singers. On TV tonight, we saw Finn and Rachel with some bit singing by Puck, Santana, and Mercedes. But, if you listen to the full version, we hear from almost everyone. Yes, it’s solo centric, but everyone gets one. It was an ensemble piece.
And they still lost, and as far as I can tell, they lost because Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban suck.
I’m so disillusioned. (But oh! That version of “To Sir, With Love” ?! Priceless.)
-posted by kidsilkhaze