The fourth episode of Glee — which, by the way, has been picked up for a full season by FOX — didn’t provide much in the way of performances. We got a dance number, a snippet of a Celine Dion song (that is actually a Platinum Weird song) and an admittedly sharp version of a West Side Story number. But still we go on.
We’ll start with Rachel’s take on “Taking Chances,” a song originally done by American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi and Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart in the band Platinum Weird, then done more successfully by Celine Dion. The performance is brief, but since it’s done by Rachel (Lea Michele), it’s also strong. Since we don’t totally love the original, we’re fine with the abbreviated version. Besides, if you want to hear more of it, you can always pick up the Glee soundtrack when it comes out Nov. 3.
Then there’s Tina. Poor Tina. She finally gets a lead, singing “Tonight” from West Side Story, and she’s forced to “take one for the team.” It’s obvious that the actress who plays her, Jenna Ushkowitz, has a strong voice — but the script called for an awkwardly sharp final note, and that’s what Tina delivers. It looks like Tina will be relegated to the background again, at least for the next few episodes.
That brings us to the dance number. Before we continue, keep in mind that we really enjoy this show and that everything we say is out of love. That said, the mere existence of the football field performance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” removes any degree of plausibility the show might have hoped to achieve. Forget the number of false start penalties that would be accrued if an offensive line actually jumped up and danced right before the snap — assuming referees hadn’t already blown the whistle as the stadium speakers began blasting music during play — but Kurt’s choreographed approach to the ball during the extra-point attempt took at least five full seconds, which is approximately the amount of time it would take for all 11 defenders to bust through the line and block the crap out of his kick. Plus, while each team member seems to be an adequate dancer, not one looks like a football player. Given the circumstances, we’d have expected the opposite. That said, we don’t want to be too rough on the performance, especially since nobody actually sang. We actually enjoyed Kurt’s re-creation of the Beyonce video at the start of the episode. Not only did it introduce a solid guest performance by Mike O’Malley as Kurt’s dad, but we’ve heard the original set a pretty high standard, making the attempt all the more admirable.
©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Carin Baer/FOX