Glee is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and for the sake of celebration, it’s worth noting their five best mash-ups!
The coming of age musical series had emotional storylines that paired well with the emotional musical performances.
Over the course of it’s six season run, Glee had some really great mash-ups sprinkled throughout the series.
For those of you who don’t know what a mash-up is, its when more than one song are composed together. They are so good it sounds natural and effortless.
Mr. Will Schuester, the Glee club coach, describes them as, “taking two songs, and mashing them together to make an even richer explosion of musical expression.”
Listening to them, you’ll probably ask yourself, “damn, who knew these songs worked together?!”
A lot of times the songs sung in the show coordinated well with what was happening in storylines, other times the songs were sung for fun or for “assignments.”
Mash-ups have appeared in every single season, and honestly thank God they did. Most of them were masterpieces. But here are the top five!
Glee Mash Up #5 – It’s My Life/Confessions Part II
Mash-ups were introduced in Glee season one. We discover it in the pilot when Mr. Schue revisits his years performing at singing competitions in the pilot episode.
He then introduces the concept to the students of the Glee club in the second episode. They are divided into two groups, boys vs. girls. The girls sang a mash-up of “Halo/Walking on Sunshine.”
But the most memorable mash up from that episode were the boys, “It’s My Life/Confessions Part II.”
Who would’ve thought an Usher song and a Bon Jovi song would make sense and work well together? Well thanks to the show’s musical producer and mash-up mastermind, Adam Anders, he made it happen!
4 – Borderline/ Open Your Heart
Later in season one, the Glee club is celebrating Madonna week. Rachel Berry, one of the best performers in the club, and her quarterback boyfriend, Finn Hudson, who is wary about even being in the Glee club and also performing Madonna songs.
To ease the experience for him, Rachel suggest as mash-up of Madonna songs, sung in a duet.
The “Borderline/Open Your Heart” blend gives me chills during the upbeat performance. It’s fun, fresh and really executed well from both Lea Michele and Cory Monteith.
3 – Singing In The Rain/Umbrella
Jumping to season two, another season loaded with mash-ups, we have the mash up of “Singing in the Rain” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”
In this episode, we meet a new substitute teacher, Holly Holiday, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Though she was a minor character, she was involved in some major parts during the series. I’d like to consider this performance one of them.
The story in this episode is the glee club dreaded the thought of singing “Singing in the Rain” so Mr. Schue asked Holly Holiday how they could make it better.
Cuts to the performance and we hear the recognizable symbol and “uh huh uh huh” from Umbrella. Gwyneth Paltrow’s voice isn’t the best, but it’s enough to contribute to this bop and make it great.
She sings the first verse, and then Matt Morrison (Will Schuester) comes in with the Singing in the Rain chorus. Then it goes into the Umbrella chorus.
Not only is this mash-up great, but the choreography and production of it is too. The cast is singing in rain pouring onto the stage with a tarp to make splashing effects as they hit the choreography.
2 – I Feel Pretty/Unpretty
Another season two mash-up is the duet of Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) and Rachel Berry (Lea Michele).
In this episode titled “Born This Way,” the glee club is learning about self-acceptance. Rachel Berry is envious of Quinn Fabray because she’s gorgeous and it’s her boyfriend’s ex.
Her insecurities take over when Finn accidentally breaks her nose during a dance practice. As she’s feeling unpretty, Rachel decides she wants a nose job. A nose just like Quinn’s.
When they are visiting the surgeon for a consultation, the performance starts.
It begins with Quinn singing the first verse TLC’s “Unpretty” followed by Rachel’s verse. Then they sing together.
“I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story is sung as the chorus and is intertwined with the chorus of “Unpretty.”
1 – Rumor Has It/Someone Like You
In season three, there were two mash-up’s that I was torn between on making the cut. The “Rumor Has It/ Someone Like You” and “Survivor/I Will Survive.” Both sung by the same sub-group, The Troubletones.
I decided to discuss the “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You” performance because it came from a very emotional storyline.
Misunderstood Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) is coming to terms with her sexuality. But before she can figure out her life, the rumor of her lesbian love life spreads. And during this performance she is feeling vulnerable.
While the rest of the glee club is watching this performance in the auditorium, she sees Finn Hudson whisper in Rachel Berry’s ear.
Santana sees this and immediately thinks they’re talking bad about her.
She jumps on the stage, confronts him gives him a smack across the face.
FUN FACT: This smack was a surprise from Naya Rivera. The writers wanted her to do it without warning Cory Monteith, so his reaction was natural.
Besides the mash-up being another well executed performance, I think the storyline and improvisation of Naya Rivera makes it even more special.