Clockwise from Top Left: Bob Marley,Katy Perry, Rolling Stones, En Vogue, Supremes, and Bon Jovi.
I suspect everyone watching GLEE tonight will have seen the kids performing the songs, so I thought I would include the original artists with the songs, to show everyone where this great music came from. For clips of the kids performing the songs, you can check out my friend Rickey's blog here. This weeks episode opens with Puck's return from the home for wayward boys, tough as ever. Kurt is being roughed up and bullied in the halls by a big, beefy football player, and it seems to be breaking his spirit. As part of Puck's deal to return to McKinley High, he must do community service. He decides to help Artie, and the first thing they do is busk for money outside the school, singing Bob Marley's One Love.
When Kurt is tossed into the lockers yet again, he yells at the bruiser, show comes back to threaten him. In the choral room, Mr. Shue announces the next assignment, pitting the boys against the girls. There are a few comments about which team Kurt would join, as well as innuendos about one of the teams they will be facing at regionals. Mr. Shue chats with Kurt, asking him about the bullying. Kurt admits it is an issue, but he will deal with it. Mr. Shue changes the challenge, and makes the teams push themselves, and sing music of the opposite sex. At a brainstorming session, the boys dismiss Kurt, even suggesting he go to the other boys school. Hurt, he decides to do just that. He meets Blaine, a handsome and friendly boy who seems to be a leader for the glee club, and he and his club sing Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.
Kurt is truly smitten with Blaine - I can't blame him, the dark-haired boy is so very handsome, and quite flirty. While talking to Kurt, he tells him he too is gay, and understands what Kurt is going through. He suggests not running away, like he himself had done, but rather to stay and stand up for himself. We also discover that the boys have been using an unusual device to help them avoid becoming overly excited while making out with the girls. They think about 'The Beiste', the football coach, in lingerie. Sue discovers this, and tries to use it to get rid of the coach to regain her budget. When Mr. Shue finds out what is going on, he is not impressed, and tells the boys what he thinks. Once Kurt returned to school, he is once again shoved into his locker. He follows the jock into the locker room, trying to figure out what is up. He finds out, when the boys kisses him full on the mouth. He is stunned. As was I, as this is on prime time television! When Coach Beiste approaches Shue to figure out what is going on, he tells her, and she is crushed.
Kurt has called up Blaine, and he comes to help him confront the jock. He does not handle this intervention well, and runs off. That is when we discover it was Kurt's first kiss. It is time for the competition to begin, and the girls are up first. They mash up two songs that are performed by male rock icons, Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi. The girls sing it with a strong bravado, incorporating both bravura and machismo, as well as a dose of feminine sexuality. They start it off with the Stones' Start Me Up.
The bulk of the performance is Bon Jovi Livin' On A Prayer. This is old school Bon Jovi, quite fun.
Before the boys have their time to shine, it is learned that Beiste intends to quit. Shue talks to her, only to discover she, too, has not been kissed, and has never felt desirable or pretty. Shue tells her she is beautiful, inside and out, and kisses her. He also invites her to see the boys perform. Dresses all in sequins tuxedos, the boys tell Beiste they are sorry, and they have learned she is not just hardened on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside as well. They dedicate their performance to her. The boys are definitely less frenetic, more of an homage to some of the Motown groups with the choreography, especially with The Supremes' Stop, In The Name Of Love.
The other part of the mash-up is the incredible song by En Vogue, Free Your Mind. I thought Artie carried the lion's share of this part, and was pretty good.
Coach Beiste accepted their apology, and there is a big group hug. And so the show ends.