'Glee' Cast, Charice Regurgitate Lady Gaga, Jay-Z

Kim Conte

gleechariceEven though I came a little late to the Glee party -- I watched all of Season 1 this summer in time for the Season 2 premiere -- I'm one of the show's biggest fans.

Yet, there is one facet of the show that has bothered me since the beginning and was driven home last night during newbie Filipina pop superstar Charice Pempengco's otherwise show-stopping performance of “Listen" from the movie Dreamgirls.

The plot revolves around a glee club that calls themselves "New Directions" -- yet they rarely take the songs they cover in a new direction. Instead, they perform Top 40 hits in a way that's often identical to the original songs. And, last night's performances were no exception.

The group did high-energy but by-the-book performance of Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind." Rachel and Sunshine (Charice) play the (exact) parts of Lady Gaga and Beyonce in their rousing "Telephone" sing-off. The boys mimic Travie McCoy in "Billionaire." And the final numbers -- "Listen" and "What I Did for Love" -- though amazing weren't exactly innovative interpretations.

I feel the same slight twinge of disappointment when I see a live show and the musician or band play the songs exactly as they do on the CD; as with Glee, I'm still excited because they're excellent performers, but I want something different live than when I'm listening to the track on my iPod.

Maybe I'm being too critical, but I've always thought that what makes glee clubs and a cappella groups is that they tweak the original songs and put their own interesting spin on them. For example, check out this male performance of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" (via Idolator). It really mixes it up!

Of course, I'll continue to watch the show despite this hiccup -- it's still my favorite! But is a little variety too much to ask?

What did you think about the Glee Season 2 premiere?


Image via Fox

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