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

December 16, 2010 |  1:20 pm

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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