Lea Michele Explains Why She's Never Watched Glee's Cory Monteith Tribute Episode

It’s the only episode of Glee that the star hasn’t seen.

GLEE: Rachel (Lea Michele, L) and Finn (Cory Monteith, R) have dinner with her dads in the "Heart" e...
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There’s only one episode of Glee that Rachel Berry hasn’t seen, and it’s for a particularly sentimental reason. During the first performance of her Life In Music tour in Washington D.C., Lea Michele revealed that she’s never watched Glee’s tribute episode to the late Cory Monteith, who died on July 13, 2013 of an overdose. Just like their characters Rachel and Finn, Michele and Monteith had been dating offscreen for nearly two years at the time. “It's the only one I've not seen, because I think if I don't watch it, it just kind of feels like Finn is still there,” she explained.

In a video captured by a fan, Michele gears up to perform her cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” which she sang as a tribute to Monteith in the 2013 episode entitled “The Quarterback,” revealing that series creator Ryan Murphy asked her to choose the song that her character would sing for Finn. “I don't even remember what I was listening to at the time,” she said. “Like, nothing. I was just in such a hole.” However, she clarified that she was thankful to be able to sing what she wanted. “I'm grateful that he asked me. I really, really, really am,” she said. “Because it needed to be something that felt real for me. But it was also so hard.”

The singer went on to describe filming the tribute episode, saying she had to run off set at times. “It was wild and hard, but we healed together, and this song helped,” she said. Michele also revealed that parts of the script reflected her own way of dealing with grief. “A lot of what I say to [Matthew Morrison's] character in that classroom were exact words that I said to Ryan after everything,” she said. “I said I don't want to be treated with kid gloves. I want to just come back to work and be with everyone because this is the only way I'm going to feel better.”

Michele continues to honor her late boyfriend in subtle ways, even after she moved on by marrying Zandy Reich in 2019 and welcoming their first child, a son named Ever Leo, the next year. On the nine-year anniversary of his death, the actor shared a throwback photo of her gazing at Monteith, decked out in a suit and tie, while she was carrying flowers. Michele also has two tattoos dedicated to Monteith, one that reads “Finn” and a number “5” tattoo, in honor of Finn’s football jersey number. Clearly, Monteith will never leave our hearts.