11 'Glee' Duet Videos That Will Make You Remember Why You Loved The Lima Losers In The First Place
From its first episodes until its merciful final season, Glee has been a talking point of television culture. From cast member deaths (which I am still not over and probably never will be) to total divas to Ryan Murphy's penchant for taking everything I love and crashing it into the ground (hi, Nip/Tuck), Glee has quietly moved from its first season of controversial comedy into a sixth season of "is that show still on? Why are college students running a high school program?" I mean, now it's basically a vehicle for pint-sized vocal powerhouse Lea Michele to experience her own virtual reality simulation: "Do I want to be Fanny Brice? Or do I want to be on my own TV show?" But no matter how weird it gets, Glee will always have its incredible duet performances on its side.
Weird political statements and jump-the-shark plotlines aside — like when Dave Karofsky tortured Kurt for being gay and things got really dark, or when there was an accidental school shooting in an episode was callously called "Shooting Star" — it's time to focus on what really matters, and frankly, the music was always the best part of Glee; those tunes were a cultural zeitgeist in their own right. The solos were flawless, the group numbers vivacious, but the duets on Glee showed the connection of two performers to the audience, making them an emotional touchstone and a must-see.
Though it was hard, I’ve compiled a list of the very best ones, in no particular order (you can't make me choose between my children, OK?) to send off the musical show that captured our hearts as often as it furrowed our brows:
Sam & Mercedes: "Human Nature"
This Michael Jackson tune was a lovely way to demonstrate the budding relationship between sassy Mercedes and handsome-but-not-so-smart Sam. He's into her, and she's sort of into someone else, but sort of likes him. The vocals are soft and beautiful, a far cry from Mercedes' typical powerhouse singing. It's just nice, OK?
Blaine & Kurt: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
Glee loved to do a song to symbolize the foundations of a relationship. Here, Kurt and Blaine are rehearsing a Christmas tune for Blaine to sing for the Kings Island Christmas Spectacular. Kurt already thinks Blaine is adorable (which, duh, look at Darren Criss), but this is the moment in which the flirting reaches a fever pitch, signifying the beginning of some pretty big story arcs/romances for these two guys.
Jesse St. James & Rachel: "Rolling in the Deep"
Jesse done Rachel wrong, and then suddenly he's back at McKinley to win her back... or really just screw with her. You can never tell with Vocal Adrenaline's Jesse St. James. The acapella rendition of the biggest song of 2010 (and 2011, let's be real) was a nice, clean refresher of the tune, and I like the semi-gravelly thing that Jonathan Groff (Michele's real-life BFF, by the way) does here: It's a nice contrast to his big, belty Broadway voice.
Finn & Quinn: "I Don't Want To Know"
At this point in the series, Finn and Quinn had both been with other people (Rachel and Jesse, respectively) but decided for some reason to get back together. Their trust level is zero, and, thankfully, they have one of the most volatile songs of the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks relationship to demonstrate that. Plus, I'll never say no to Fleetwood Mac.
Will & April: "Alone"
Granted, literally none of the April Rhodes storylines make sense. Kristin Chenoweth visited Glee like five times, and, let's face it: It was all just a vehicle to get one of the biggest Broadway stars ever on the show. Game respects game, Glee, but at least call it what it is. Anyway, this tune is from the first time April comes to McKinley: You can tell that Will is living his fanboy high school dream in singing with her.
Shelby & Rachel: "I Dreamed A Dream"
Pre-Les Miserables-Anne-Hathaway mania, Glee tackled a tune from the best-selling show. In "I Dreamed A Dream," Shelby (the lovely and unimaginably talented Idina Menzel) are disillusioned with their current situations. Shelby is Rachel's biological mother (Rachel has two dads, as we're reminded every chance Rachel can get, especially in the first season), but Shelby pretty much can't handle it. This song is the manifestation of all the feels. Also, it's a chance for Michele, called a mini-Menzel, to shine along with her idol.
Bryan Ryan & Will: "Dream On"
One wouldn't really expect Aerosmith to be featured on this show, but those sweet, sweet iTunes dollars must have really called to Steven Tyler and company. This episode had a weird plotline, too, in which Neil Patrick Harris' Bryan Ryan was Will's old glee club nemesis, but it gave Harris a chance to showcase his expansive pipes, and hey, I'll take what I'm given.
Santana & Mercedes: "River Deep/Mountain High"
What do you get when you combine the two most talented singers on Glee who aren't Michele? Um, pure magic? Naya Rivera and Amber Riley were woefully underused in the um, five seasons in which they were full-time players. This duet (which is actually a part of the episode "Duets" from Season 2) shows what can happen when you hand someone else the mic for a change.
Blaine & Rachel: "Don't You Want Me"
This is one of my favorite songs ever anyway, so you better believe that I loved to see it on Glee. Rachel and Blaine singing the best of the 1980s was almost more than I could bear. This was a weird moment where everyone got drunk and Rachel thought she was in love with an already-out Blaine. Wasn't everyone in love with Blaine? Weird.
Quinn & Sam: "Lucky"
It is undoubtedly true that Dianna Agron's Quinn Fabray is the weakest singer of the ladies on the show, but here, boosted up by Chord Overstreet's Sam, they share a cute moment over a song that, well, isn't that hard to sing to begin with. In fact, I hate this song, but it's made tolerable with the budding of their new relationship. So there.
Finn & Rachel: "Faithfully"
I am 100 percent not at all over the fact that Cory Monteith (and Finn Hudson) is gone. Finding all of these videos, I may or may not have fallen into a hole watching Finn memoriam videos and ended up ugly crying like this:
Monteith's death of an accidental overdose in July 2013 was a huge blow to the show, and frankly, it hasn't recovered: He added a levity to Glee that has yet to be matched. This is how I like to remember Finn and Rachel, belting out Journey classics in gold-trimmed coordinating outfits. Rest in peace, Finn.
Images: Tyler Golden/FOX; gleerphelpers/Tumblr