Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ranking Glee's Competition Episodes

Hola! I am still in hibernation because the OT saga isn't over yet (it's been THAT long, believe it or not). In fact, I had to go to work today (it's Saturday as I'm writing this), and we're also asked to report tomorrow, which is a SUNDAY.

But because I love Glee so much, I'm gonna force some time for a blog post dedicated to the show. In light of New Directions' recent win at the Regionals, I'm going to rank the series' competition episodes. There are 4 so far: Sectionals, Journey to Regionals, Special Education, and Original Song.

The ranking will be guided by 4 categories: Costume, Choreography, Vocal Performance, and Overall Impact (yeah, just like a real show choir competition, lol). I'm gonna use a Place = Point system. This means that, for example, if Sectional's performance set ranks 4th place for me in a particular category, it's gonna get a score of 4. In the end, whatever episode/performance set gets the lowest score wins.

Here's a recap of the songs that were performed for each episode:

  • Don't Rain on My Parade
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want

Journey to Regionals
  • Faithfully
  • Any Way You Want It / Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
  • Don't Stop Believin'

Special Education
  • (I've Had) The Time Of My Life
  • Valerie

Original Song
  • Get It Right
  • Loser Like Me

Okay, let's do this!

Costume (based on the girls' costume because the guys' were too plain to be judged)

4th place - Sectionals
Red and black looks good together, but the whole thing was just to simple for me.

3rd - Original Song
I don't like the color aqua very much, and the leggings-boots combo threw the ensemble off. But because I know why they wore those things (I bet you do too), it's one rank ahead of simple.

2nd - Special Education
1) Skirt + leggings + heels = worked really well
2) Black? + white + alternate/fading effect = genius
3) Very show choir, made them look as competent as Vocal Adrenaline

1st - Journey to Regionals

Gold was a great choice of color because it's the color that symbolizes winning. Although they didn't win then, it still worked perfectly with all the elements of the costume, especially with the vintage-looking hair and the print on the girls' dress that matched the 70's and 80's feel of the performance set.

Choreography (based on the complexity of the moves and the choir's mastery of the steps, like if they moved as one or their limbs were all over the place)

4th place - Sectionals
Rachel's performance in Don't Rain on My Parade reflected Lea Michele's theater background, but the choir's moves in You Can't Always Get What You Want really seemed like it was just planned a few hours before they went on stage. Yes, it was supposed to be that way, but that also makes it unfair to place them ahead of the others.

3rd - Original Song
Their Loser Like Me number was their most active performance, but the difficulty of the moves didn't impress me at all. Moreover, it looked a bit disorganized because of the random/freestyle moves that weren't very show choir. I partly blame the camera work for that because there were some bad shots, like Mercedes' chaotic wiggling of her head during a brief belt out.

2nd - Journey to Regionals
Their choreography in Any Way You Want It / Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' and Don't Stop Believin' was cute, polished, intricate, and very show choir. But we all know why it didn't get 1st place...

1st - Special Education

Santana, Brittany, and Mike in Valerie. 'Nuff said.

Vocal Performance (if it was enough to judge them as the winner even if they only stood still behind a curtain of smoke)

4th place - Original Song
Nothing special. Rachel Berry's vocals in Get It Right was superb because of the dynamics and the emotions it carried, but other than that nothing stood out.

3rd - Journey to Regionals
It could have easily placed first because their Any Way You Want It / Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' cover is my favorite Glee song ever, and that Finn and Rachel's vocals in Faithfully completely blew me away. But the flaws in their rendition of Don't Stop Believin' really turned me off. 1) Finn was off-key in the word "took", 2) Santana sounded stupid in pronouncing "smell of wine" as "smelowine", and 3) the choir was very Auto-Tune towards the end of the song. That's why I wonder how the hell it garnered a Grammy nom.

2nd - Special Education
Quinn sounded like an angel in (I've Had) The Time Of My Life, so I didn't mind Sam's off-putting voice that much. And then Santana in Valerie... her vocal technique and the texture of her voice could win her American Idol. Ooh, I could just listen to her all day. I really hope that Diana and Naya get their own record deal outside the show. But I have to admit, there's some bias here because (as some of you may know) I'm already well-acquainted with Valerie because of Amy Winehouse, so that's a big plus plus.

1st - Sectionals

I may have said that Faithfully blew me away, but that was just a breeze compared to the storm that was Don't Rain on My Parade. It was just so damn good. The power, the dynamics, the phrasing, the technique -- it was all perfect. And then add their brilliant vocals in You Can't Always Get What You Want... instant 1st place.

Overall Impact (how good I felt after the performances)

4th place - Special Education
I felt really good here mainly because of the Amy Winehouse connection (obviously, I'm a big fan), but that was just excitement. I mean, if I didn't know Valerie beforehand, I don't think I would have enjoyed the number that much.

3rd - Sectionals
I was left impressed by Lea Michele's vocal prowess, and I really liked the song You Can't Always Get What You Want. The lyrics and melody appealed to me a lot.

2nd - Journey to Regionals
After their performance, I felt all giddy and musically empowered inside, like I already won just by witnessing them perform those Journey songs. They were that good. So it really disappointed me when they didn't win in the end.

1st - Original Song

Whoever thought of performing original songs for the 2nd Regionals is a descendant of Einstein. Get It Right was brilliantly penned, and Loser Like Me was simply the most fitting song ever. Both were catchy, contemporary, and ORIGINAL. That's the winning factor right there.



Sectionals - 12 pts.
Original Song - 11 pts.
Special Education - 9 pts.
Journey to Regionals - 8 pts.

There ya go! For me, their performance set in the episode Journey to Regionals is the best of the 4. Do you agree or disagree? Any extra compliments or violent reactions? Send them in through comments. Thanks!

Note: All photos with markings are mine.


  1. So the winning formula to Nationals is:

    Dance like Special Education
    Dress like Journey
    Sing like Sectionals and
    Choose songs like Original Song...

    You go New Directions!!!

    (awesome analysis, btw)

  2. This is really interesting! Very nice.

    It's funny how I agree with the overall tally but somehow disagree with some of the rankings per "category".

    I HATED their costume on Original Song. I don't understand why they need to wear leggings when they didn't move that much in that episode. No extreme choreography, unlike in Special Education. I don't know. The overall ensemble looked SO weird. Sectionals was too simple, but I'd rather have that. Hehe.

    I agree with the choreography. But as for the vocal performance, I prefer "Journey" over "Special Education" and "Sectionals". The Journey medley was just outstanding. I don't think Finn was off-key, Santana's phrasing of that phrase wasn't even major - unless you're nitpicking - and I didn't hear any auto-tuning at the end.

    Sam and Quinn sounded good, but that's weak compared to the group's rendition of Don't Stop Believin'. Valerie was exceptional though.

    Now, as for the sectionals. I loved DROMP - I still think it's Rachel greatest solo EVER - but, again, YCAGWYW was leightweight compared to the 1-2-3 punch of their Journey medley. :)

    Overall Impact: 4 - Sectionals (it felt bitin) 3 - Special Education 2 - Original Song (their costume really irked me) 1 - Journey to Regionals (I thought it was flawless).

    Haha. Sorry. It's too long. Can't help it. :P

  3. @Claudia: You might just be right, Claudia! Ha ha! I hope this reaches Mr. Schuester so that he'll know what to do to win Nationals. Thanks!

    @DAM THE NATION: Ha ha! I guess what matters is we arrived at the same conclusion.

    Yeah, their costume in Original Song was bleh. I really think it was the boots, lol. But a simple dress wouldn't have matched their choreography, so I would stick to what they wore. He he!

    Hmm, I guess I was nitpicking there with Santana, but I really thought Finn was off-key in that particular word and Auto-Tune was used for the choir voice. He he, idk.

    Thanks for agreeing with me in Valerie! Ha ha, see the bias? Lol.

    Yeah, DROMP was just so great, and for me that was enough to outshine their Regionals performance.

    Hmm, I wonder why Original Song placed 2nd for you if their costume irked you. He he!

    I don't mind long comments! As long as it's not spam. =) I really appreciate your comment! Thank you!

  4. Because the impact of them singing original songs (thankfully) outweighed the bad costume. HAHA

  5. Ahaha! So that's why. Nice point. =))

  6. Completely agree with your final tally. Their Journey medley's still the best set they ever gave. :D

  7. Hehe, thanks for agreeing! I really hope that their Nationals performance will outshine all of the other competition episodes. =)

  8. I agree with Special Education coming in second because Journey To Regionals overall simply AMAZING! Faithfully: the way Finn and Rachel's voices blended together and then the rest of the glee club joining in with a simple but powerful Oh. Any Way You Want It/Lovin Touchin Squeezin: AWESOME! They came in with a strong start and kept it strong throughout the entire song. Last but not least Don't Stop Believin: Perfect! Superior! Outstanding! Once again I love how they came in, soft and then BANG! BIG! I REALLY LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED Mercedes high note. THAT WAS THE CLIMAX OF THE WHOLE SONG! Completely enjoyed and loved the whole set!


Any comment will do. Even spam. Seriously. Loljk

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