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'Glee': The cast's best Season 2 songs

Now that “Glee” has finished up the first half of its second season, it's time for some judgment. This season brought us a new hit -- “Teenage Dream” -- new voices and some showstoppers. But rather than listing this season's best songs, we're giving each character his or her moment to shine by picking the best performance.

Best Rachel: “What I Did For Love” -– Give Lea Michele a show tune and she'll deliver. In an empty auditorium, wearing a polka dot blue dress, Rachel belted out this number from “A Chorus Line” after  trying to justify her selfish behavior. It wouldn't be the last time. As much as Rachel sometimes makes you want to shake her, when it gives you a number like this, you almost don't mind.  But can we put a moratorium on crying while singing?



Best Finn: “Losing My Religion” – Finn's not the strongest male singer in the group even though he keeps getting most of the leads. But this soft-rock song was perfectly suited to Cory Monteith's voice.



Best Mercedes: “River Deep, Mountain High” –- With its spirited choreography and enemies-uniting theme, Mercedes and Santana's rousing cover of Ike and Tina Turner's duet almost had us thinking they would walk away the winners of the duets competition. 

Best Kurt: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” –- Chris Colfer's aching, lovely voice as he sang about his hospitalized dad made you more than want to hold his hand. It touched and moved you.



Best Tina & Best Mike Chang: “Sing!” –- While this isn't the best showcase of Tina's singing voice –- the limited pickings suggest it would have to be “The Dog Days Are Over” -- Tina and Mike's clever song-and-dance routine was retro, funny and truly a partnership.

Best Artie & Best Puck: “One Love (People Get Ready)” –- Who knew Puck and Artie would make such good singing partners? There's not a lot in the way of choreography, but Puck and Artie's gentle harmonies more than make up for it.

Best Sam & Best Quinn: “Lucky” – Jason Mraz's ode to friends in love stole the duets competition -– and our hearts. The ridiculously sweet song even brought out a sweetness in reinstated head Cheerio Quinn, softening her voice and her heart to Sam's charms. And a guy playing a guitar, singing about how lucky he is to be in love with his best friend is very charming. You can stay, Sam.



Best Brittany: “Me Against the Music” –- Like the real Britney, Brittany's solo singing debut was overproduced. Underneath all the synthesizing is likely a decent voice, but this one is really about Heather Morris' impressive dancing skills. With this number, Brittany outdid Britney. (The following video features Brittany and Madonna singing, but the moves are all Morris.)

Best Santana: “Valerie” –- Santana was the perfect choice to channel Amy Winehouse's unique sound. With her more raspy, funky singing voice -– at least compared to the rest of the Glee club –- Santana gave us something a little different for Sectionals. Just what the teacher ordered.

Best Blaine: “Teenage Dream” –- Was there really any other choice? The song made Blaine a fan favorite, skyrocketed Darren Criss to Gleek fame and was even better the original Katy Perry tune. Having a male voice take on the song was a smart approach that elevated an OK song and gave it a memorably distinct quality. Add to that that Blaine appeared to be singing right into Kurt's soul and, well, Kurt's smitten face pretty much said it all.



Best Duet: “Happy Days Are Here Again” / “Get Happy” and “Baby, It's Cold Outside” – Although very different songs, both have something in common: Kurt takes on a part that was originally sung by a woman and makes it his own. “Happy Days Are Here Again” / “Get Happy” was a wonderful homage to Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland's timeless duet on “The Judy Garland Show.” While the former showed off Kurt and Rachel's blossoming friendship, “Baby, It's Cold Outside” highlighted the flirty chemistry between Kurt and Blaine. It's hard to find a bad cover of the song, but even so, “Baby, It's Cold Outside” stands out.





Best Group: “Time Warp” – Try to listen to this without tapping your feet a little to the left and then a little to the right. I dare you. In a season where we haven't had many big group numbers, “Time Warp” was a treat. Everyone got a chance to shine from the great pairing of Quinn and Kurt as Magenta and Riff Raff to Finn as a surprisingly well-cast Brad to Brittany and Tina's tap dancing.



Best Adult: “Forget You” – Sorry, Mr. Schuester. Your singing “Toxic” with the Glee Club was so oddly inappropriate, you've been disqualified. And while Emma's “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” was fun and unexpected, something about it just didn't sit right. We're betting it's Mr. Shue again. So this one goes to Gwyneth Paltrow's sadly sanitized, but increasingly infectious cover of Cee Lo Green's “F--- You.”



Readers, what do you think of my picks? Weigh in with your choices in the comments!

— Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

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Comments () | Archives (16)

I thought Rachel's best was actually Papa Can You Hear Me. It was gorgeous. Rachel and Kurt's duet was so good it rivaled the Rachel/Shelby duets from season 1.

I would have voted in Don't Go Breaking My Heart for best duet- but I'm partial to Elton John (and Finn and Rachel LOL)

Definitely agree with Best Kurt!! That song made me cry! And I love Brittany dancing! One that I would have included was the "Singing in the Rain"/"Umbrella" mash-up! And while you're right about "Toxic" being oddly inappropriate, it was still hot! ;-)

Great choices! I'd give honorable mentions to "Singin' in the Rain"/"Umbrella" (Best Mashup?) and "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" was a gorgeous duet (of sorts), but I can't argue with any of your choices.

I think "Time Warp" has been my favorite number of the season. Reminds me so much of S1. :)

"But can we put a moratorium on crying while singing? "

Sorry but Rachel has not shed a tear since episode 2 and The Only exception. Not even after Finn dumped her did she cry in a song. She may have been sad and she often closes her eyes but not tear....

I agree with you on everything. REALLY. I couldn't have pick them any better myself. I do think those were the highlights of Glee music this season, till now at least.

Good choices. I agree with every choice but it was Colfer's "I Want To Hold Your Hand" that made me a Glee fan. I happened to be channel surfing and caught this and was absolutely floored by its beauty and depth. I went right out and purchased season one on DVD and haven't missed an episode since. Glee is the best show on TV right now. It tackles deep issues in a way that is accessible to all. Unlike the heavy hitters of HBO and Showtime that aren't family viewing, Glee sends messages of tolerance and support for the arts to the people that really matter - the next generation.

Chris Colfer deserves the Golden Globe and SAG for his work. He is an amazing young man.

I agree with your choices as well. Kurt's "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was absolutely stunning, and I loved Kurt and Rachel's "Get Happy/Happy Days" duet as well. That and "Teenage Dream" would round out my top 3, but I would have to give an honorable mention to the Puck/Artie duet "One Love/People Get Ready." They sounded GREAT together!

I agree with Best Rachel - "What I Did For Love". I've been annoyed with her other performances, but this song was really just perfect for her.

I also agree with Best Adult - Gwyneth Paltrow's "Forget You" was fresh, fun and entertaining.

John Stamos Opportunity!!!

Once again the comments proving that glee is Rachel and Kurt. Non lease is barely mentioned.

Rachel had three great song What I did for Love, Papa can you hear me and the duet with Kurt.

Kurt had I wanna hold you hand and Happy Days/Get happy with Rachel.

The rest of the performances are pretty much forgettable especially Time of my Life

Glee without Rachel and Kurt would be canceled.

Also just becasue Rachel closes her eyes while she sings doesn't mean she is crying. I notice during Lea's interviews for her Golden Globes nomination she tend to close her eye a lot when emphasizing a point. So that may just tend to cross over to her singing. Plus I can't fault Lea and/or Rachel for putting everything they got into a song.

"But can we put a moratorium on crying while singing? "

*massive eye roll* OMG people. Find something else to complain about!! The last time she did that was during "The Only Exception" like SEVEN episodes ago. Stop making it into a bigger thing than it actually was holy crap.

I like Papa Can You Hear Me and O Holy Night the best so far this season.

I thought the better group song was "Marry You" from the Wedding episode. It was funny, bright and went well with the theme. Even though everyone didn't get a chance to sing they were all very involved and it was a great dynamic.

I think that Mr. Shuester knocked it out of the park with Sway sung during the wedding reception from the Furt episode.

Mercedes had some great hits; I Look to You and Sweet Transvestite.

I agree with almost all of them :)
but the one that i disagree with is Best Adult, I dont care how "inappropriate" Mr.Schue was, his singing was amazing and totally HOTT!!! so yeah, thats just my opinion :P

hey i love this i think u should add new songs tho from glee like the best one is marry me and living on a prayer


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