Last night's episode of Glee (entitled "Diva") proved that everyone could flaunt their best assets, but which character deserved the title? Glee was, in itself, a big diva, as it put its best voices on display. Starting the episode off with Beyonce's "Diva", each girl (and Blaine [Darren Criss], looking ferocious in red) tried to act fierce, though some were more convincing than others (seriously, Marley [Melissa Benoist]?). This episode made itself more about the music (of which, there was plenty) while keeping the subplots to a minimum. In other words, it was a better episode than we've seen from Glee in a while.
Some characters were meaner than others (looking at you, Tina [Jenna Ushkowitz]) while others were just plain better at the craft (Kurt [Chris Colfer]). And we got to see more of Unique (Alex Newell) who brought it with her bad self and her rafter-reaching vocals. Though, if being a diva is less about being a strong mind that knows what it wants and more about being a mean bitch, then it was fitting that Tina "won" the glee challenge.
As Brittany (Heather Morris) pointed out, Tina never wins anything, so for her to win the diva title solidifies the fact that she is no longer the same underdog we used to know. She was her sweet old self when she helped Blaine get over his cold with her homemade "feel better" kit, yet the claws came out when she felt that Blaine didn't appreciate her best efforts, ya know, despite the fact that he made her a playlist of diva songs to choose from for glee club while being sick as a dog.
Watching Tina aggressively pursue Blaine is painful. Sure, there are the old adages that "the heart wants what it wants" and "you can't choose who you love", but this storyline needs to be dropped and fast. It's awkward, it's silly and Tina needs a new love interest stat. Though, according to her cover of Madonna's "Hung Up", she may just be dropping this issue soon. Plus, it's sad to see Blaine still alone, even if he did do the cheating that led to his break-up with Kurt.
Speaking of Blaine, when he announced that he would be doing a Freddie Mercury cover, how many of you out there cringed? Though, his take on Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" actually wasn't terrible, and his outfit fit the bill. Blaine kept insisting that men could be divas, too, and no male rock star was ever a better choice of diva to cover than Mr. Mercury himself.
Kurt finally got the redemption he has waited three seasons for when he beat Rachel in NYADA's midnight diva competition (like Fight Club, with singing). The two competed against each other with "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables (always has its finger on the pulse of pop culture, that Glee does), and it is available on iTunes (and will soon be on Amazon MP3) as both the Kurt and Rachel solo versions.
This split-song pays homage to Rachel's "first big win" when she beat Kurt at "Defying Gravity" in season one, though Kurt finally came clean to Rachel that he threw the competition. When Rachel asks why he did this, Glee, as they are wont to do, poked fun at the explanation by giving Rachel a speedy recap while acknowledging that we already knew.
As satisfying as it was to see Kurt beat Rachel and for them to finally have a reference to draw upon as to why they are, in fact, equal, it would have still been nice to see Kurt tackle a high "F" or, at the very least, to close out the last note of the song. We all know what Rachel can do, and we've seen it often enough. It's refreshing when we get to see Kurt shine, too, which he certainly did when he told off the two-faced, bitchy gossipers who wanted to be his friends after seeing how talented he truly is.
Sweet miss Emma (Jayma Mays) is back, and she's freaking out over planning her upcoming wedding next week with Mr. Schu (Matthew Morrison). First: is that happening already? Second: Yeay! We missed Mr. Schu! Third: How jaw-dropping was Mays' performance when Emma panics over the centerpieces? Though, Finn's (Cory Monteith) decision to kiss her to calm her down was not only confusing but potentially disastrous. She will undoubtedly tell Mr. Schu, which could lead to some serious rifts in Finn and Mr. Schu's bond.
Santana (Naya Rivera) returns to McKinley (where Sue [Jane Lynch] also enjoys breaking the fourth wall in making a joke about Santana having a teleporter) in an attempt to win Brittany back once and for all. Santana got wind that Brittany and Sam (Chord Overstreet) are now an item, and she is not having any of it. She challenges Sam to a "fight", i.e. a duet of Kenny Rogers/Ronnie Milsap's "Make No Mistake (She's Mine)", and she warns Sam that she is not giving Brittany up so easily, despite her lying about being in love with a new girlfriend, Elaine.
Santana closes the episode with a seriously fierce cover of Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire." She makes us believe in the power of her convictions as she croons while embarking on a trip to New York City, where we wonder what it is that she's up to this time. When she reaches Rachel and Kurt's apartment, Santana knocks on the door and tells them (without asking first) that she's moving in. If that's not diva behavior, nothing is. Tina might have won the title, but the true diva honor belongs to Santana, with Kurt up for Honorable Mention.
Best Song of the Episode: "Girl on Fire"
If you were half-paying attention to this episode while trying to get your homework done, Santana made you sit up and pay attention with her fantastic cover of the Alicia Keys hit. This is a true diva song. She tells you who she is, and you know to stay out of her way. She's not going to let anything stop her from getting what she wants. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher: "if she has to tell you she's a diva, then she isn't one."
Worst Song of the Episode: "Nutbush City Limits"
There was nothing wrong with the execution of this song, but it was a head-scratcher. Just because the singer may have been a diva (Ike and Tina Turner) does not, by proxy, make the song "divalicious." A song about Tennessee is not exactly an affirmation song. Santana and her back-up posse did a great job (and we finally got to see her new cheer uniform!), but the song just did not work. Surely, they could have chosen another song by the legendary Tina Turner to make this moment more fiery.