Glee was probably one of the most popular American TV Shows of the early 2010s. Over the course of the show, 738 songs were performed. Throughout this article, we are going to take a look back at the series and count down the top 10 performances from the Show.
Originally Performed by: Stevie Nicks
Landslide was performed in the second season by Holly Holliday, Santana, and Brittany. This was such a beautiful performance as Santana was coming to terms with her sexuality and coming out about her feelings for Brittany. Realising she wasn’t ready to be fully out and open to the whole world yet, Santana got the help of Holly and Brittany to open to the Glee Club and express her true feelings to Brittany.
Of course, this song had to make the list. Not only did it have the symbolic meanings of acceptance and love, but the way it was performed was beautiful. It wasn’t a big, over the top, dance performance- it was completely stripped back with just the three characters and a guitar, and I feel that’s what made the performance so beautiful.
9. The Scientist
Originally Performed by: Coldplay
This song was performed in the fourth season of the show in an episode titled ‘the break up’. This song was extremely emotional, as it was sung during the breakup of the show’s most popular ship-pairings. Rachel and Finn, Kurt and Blaine, Santana and Brittany, and even Will and Emma as they were having marital problems.
The actors were able to portray the emotion perfectly, and having such a sad, stripped back performance as they were breaking up just made this performance a tearjerker. Since this performance evokes so much emotion, we knew it had to be in our list.
8. Paradise by the Dashboard Light
Originally Performed by: Meat Loaf
Paradise by the Dashboard Light was performed in the penultimate episode of the third season during the National show choir competition.
This was the last time that the original members of the New Directions would perform on stage and compete in a competition together, so it had to be special.
This performance was full of energy, amazing vocals and perfectly highlighted the singing ability of the different members of the group, but also the dancing ability of characters like Brittany and Mike. This performance has become a fan-favourite, and we can see why. It would have been a crime to leave this performance off our list.
7. Don’t Rain on my Parade
Originally Performed by: Barbra Streisand
This song was first performed in the first season of the show. It was performed by Rachel Berry in the first competition that the New Directions competed in- and it has since become iconic for a number of reasons.
This was the first time we properly saw Rachel perform on stage, and to quote Kurt Hummel “She May Be Difficult, But, Boy, Can She Sing.”
Not only did this song show us just how talent Rachel really was, but it holds a greater significance. The actress who played Rachel in the show, Lea Michele has since gained the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway, where she has to sing this song every night to sold out crowds. This just added another level to the performance on Glee, so we knew it deserved a place on our ranking.
6. Teenage Dream
Originally Performed by: Katy Perry
This was the first time we were introduced to Blain Anderson and the Warblers and the song that made Blaine become a fan favourite character.
When Kurt was told by the New Directions to go and spy on the Warblers to see what they would be up against at their sectionals show choir competition, Kurt came across the Warblers and Blaine singing ‘Teenage Dream’, which instantly began Kurt’s crush on Blaine and the ‘Klaine’ ship was formed.
This performance was so different from the original song, and was done acapella, with lots of energy and harmonies. This song has become one of the most popular glee songs amongst fans as it was obviously one of the best performances on the show.
5. River Deep, Mountain High
Originally performed by: Ike & Tina Turner
River Deep, Mountain High was performed in the second season by Santana and Mercedes. When Mr. Schue sent a duets assignment, Mercedes and Santana decided to work together to try and win the prize.
Their vocals were out of this world, and the performance itself was incredible as it matched a lot of the original moves from the song, with a modern twist. This performance deserved to win the duets competition and is honestly one of the most clever and best performances from the show.
4. Cough Syrup
Originally performed by: Young the Giant
Cough Syrup was sung by Blaine in the third season of the show. He sung the song in the auditorium to Kurt when he was told to sing a song about inspiration. You can see from Daren Criss’ facial expressions and energy that he put all of his energy into this performance of playing Blaine on the show.
However, the thing the puts this song in our list is the intercut scenes. During this performance there were scenes of Dave Karofsky being outed as gay, and him attempting to end his own life. These serious themes that were portrayed in such an emotional way during this song just made the performance on the show even better and earns the performance the fourth place on our list.
3. Smooth Criminal
Originally Performed by: Michael Jackson
After Sebastian blinded Blaine, Sanatana paid him a visit, and they had an epic sing-off to ‘Smooth Criminal’. Yes, I am aware how weird that sounds, but it was such an amazing performance.
Both Santana and Sebastian had great vocals, and the tension between the two characters during the song was so thick that you could cut through it with a knife.
This performance is a fan-favourite and its one of those that you just can’t take your eyes away from the screen. The actors did such an incredible job, so this performance obviously deserves to be in the top 3 of our list.
2. Don’t Stop Believing
Originally performed by: Journey
We couldn’t have a list ranking the top ten Glee performances and not mention ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. This was the first proper song performed by the New Directions at the end of the first episode, and its what made fans fall in love with the show.
It showed the on-screen chemistry between Lea Michele and Cory Monteith along with the other cast members of the original New Directions.
This performance holds so much nostalgia and love for the show, that it would be a crime not to include in our list, so it’s successfully gained the second place in our list.
1. Rumour Has it/ Someone Like You
Originally Performed by: Adele
This mash-up was performed in the third season of the show by the ‘Trouble Tones’. This performance highlighted the talent of Mercedes and Santana in an amazing way, through choreography and vocals.
The mash-up was done incredibly by putting the two songs together, and the two main vocals were two powerhouses. There is no competition, Rumour Has it/ Someone Like You has gained the top spot on our list.
Do you agree with our choices? Let us know in the comments below.