TV: Santana out-divas all on ‘Glee’

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 5/5

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Tonight’s episode was so filled with witty remarks, fantastic performances and sass that it reminded me of some of the reasons I originally loved the show. I guess Ryan Murphy just had to let his inner diva loose – although I feel as if that happened a while ago.

The moment I have been waiting for all season finally happened: Kurt (Chris Colfer) is done with Rachel’s (Lea Michele) ego that has gone overboard since she won the Winter Showcase. He decides he needs to knock her down a few pegs. Oh, happy day! I have longed for those days in which Kurt and Rachel were enemies and have only recently seen a glimpse of the old, sassy Kurt, but he was in full swing tonight!

In order to prepare the glee club for Regionals, Finn (Cory Monteith) decides to hold a diva-off (hence, the episode’s title) and have Emma (Jayma Mays) be the judge. Instantly, I am in love with the idea. Pitting the glee club members against one another has often created some of the best performances on the show.

And may I just say that Emma shines tonight as well. Her introduction to the diva-off is flawless when she quotes the urban dictionary as to what a diva is, “She is not a trek-ass hoe, and she does not sweat the haters.” Plus, she gives an example as to how she is a diva when she goes to restaurants because she knows what she wants. Flawless. She needs to be featured on the show more. You hear me, Ryan? Or I’m going to use my finger and use my snap (again, Emma is flawless).

To start off the diva battle, Unique (Alex Newell), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Brittany (Heather Morris), Blaine (Darren Criss), Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Kitty (Becca Tobin) all sing Beyoncé’s “Diva.” PERFECTION. This was one of the best bigger performances the show has done in a long time. The attitudes were perfect, humor was included, the runway stage was marvelous, and, of course, the song was performed wonderfully.

Unique – the true diva of the group – OWNED that performance.

Going from one sassy scene to another, Kurt challenges Rachel to duel at the Midnight Madness, a competition NYADA students perform in for winner-takes-all bragging rights and popularity. She is sure she will beat him again like she did when they had a duel-duet to “Defying Gravity” in season one – the good ol’ days. He throws that right back in her face by telling her that he purposely threw that performance in order to save his dad’s face. Burn!

Apparently, that triumph was what fueled Rachel’s confidence for the next few years. Really? I think that’s a bit of an overstatement, don’t you?

Trying to prove that men can be divas too, Blaine sings Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” to channel male diva, Freddie Mercury. Great song, of course, but Blaine is just not a diva. This is the only negative feedback I will ever give to Darren Criss, but it just didn’t work.

To make it even more diva-y, Finn brings Santana (Naya Rivera) back, who performs “Nutbush City Limits.” Santana owns tonight’s episode. She steals the spotlight in every scene and outshines everyone in each performance – that is a TRUE diva.

Santana has also found out, from Tina, that Brittany is dating Sam (Chord Overstreet), and she is not ok with that. The two then duet to “Make No Mistake (She’s Mine),” which not only fits the context perfectly but also, again, shows how marvelous of a performer Santana is.

Santana claims Brittany only wants revenge since she went after Sam, Santana’s ex-boyfriend. Sam counters that he’s the best thing for her and for Santana to let her go. She replies, “Never.”

Excuse me while I cry for a moment…

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Tina is the farthest from being a diva! I can’t stress it enough. Her desire to be one this episode was just unbelievable because that’s not who the character is.

Though he is sick, Blaine offers to help Tina show her inner-diva. While in his room, Tina describes how divas are brutally honest, so she should be honest too. She tells him she’s in love with him and how it would be worth it even if it were only a one-way relationship. An adorable, heart-felt scene that comes to an abrupt end when she realizes Blaine fell asleep. Ouch.

While this isn’t important to the plot, I have to discuss what happens next. Why does Tina straddle Blaine to put vapor rub on his chest?!!! Don’t get me wrong; I would never miss that opportunity, but come on? What was that?!

At the Midnight Madness, Kurt and Rachel battle duet to “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables. Their Broadway song battles are the best. I would never have been able to decide a winner; though, Rachel’s finale was amazing. However, the crowd voted for Kurt.

Sue’s (Jane Lynch) wit is wonderful and quite satiric tonight, asking Santana how everyone seems to teleport back to Lima. Sue reveals that Santana dropped out of school, so she offers her the job to head the Cheerios. No, I will not see your future go down like this; you deserve better!

Tina is overly mad at Blaine for taking advantage of her – says the one who straddled him – so she sings Madonna’s “Hung Up.” Parodying that music video, this performance was one of Tina’s best. While I still can’t think of her as a diva, she can certainly perform when given the chance (four seasons, Ryan; four!)

Tina won the diva-off. I’m glad she finally won something but not this; she’s just not right for it.

Blaine apologizes to Tina and tells her that she’s the most important person to him at school right now, and apparently that’s all she needed to here. Whatever, I’m done with this.

Still mourning her loss, Rachel doesn’t want to audition for the supposed revival of Funny Girl; a good thing to because no one should play that role except Barbra Streisand! She says that she can’t handle the “fame” without going crazy, but Kurt tells her that being a diva means being original, not being a nightmare. Amen. The two reconcile. Well, I figured that would happen but I loved the fight while it lasted.

Emma is having a mental breakdown over the wedding planning, and Finn tries to calm her down. He grabs her and when I think he’s just going to say some sort of sappy monologue, he kisses her! WHAT???!!!! I did not see this coming. How on earth is this going to play out? Good twist, Ryan; very good plot twist.

tumblr_mhvu072Mzh1ra5gbxo6_250Coming off an adorable, reconcilable scene with Brittany, Santana sings Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” and blows me away. Her vocals are breathtaking and the performance was one of the best I have seen on the show, ever. The episode ends with Santana going to New York and moving in with Rachel and Kurt.

To say that I am ecstatic would be an understatement. Naya Rivera will, most likely, now be in about every episode and all my dreams have come true.

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