Friend or Foe? Glee’s “Frenemies”

Tonight, Glee returned back to primetime with their first new episode of 2014. For these talented aspiring artists, ambition, jealousy, and insecurity rose to an all-time high, pitting friends against friends, Frenemies style. As the old saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

Rachel Berry & Santana Lopez

Santana (Naya Rivera) is sick and tired of being the only member of the New York crew who has yet to figure out what they want to do, and she is anxious to make it in the Big Apple. In an effort to give her gal pal a boost, Rachel (Lea Michele) invites Santana to her New York Magazine photo shoot for her big-time debut as Fanny Brice in the Funny Girl Broadway revival, and on set, they sing and dance along to Sara Bareilles’ empowerment anthem “Brave” in full luxurious dress and make-up. This glimpse into the lifestyle of an star sparks Santana’s ambition, and she ends up auditioning (and winning) the role of Rachel’s understudy by tackling Rachel’s signature song, “Don’t Rain On My Parade” with great gusto (is this like SMASH or what?). As one can imagine, Rachel is furious and the two roommates revert back to high school nemeses, all while belting out their hostility towards each other with a dramatic take on “Every Breath You Take“. The episode ends with a shocker that will leave you begging, “Nooooooo!” (my exact reaction.)

Artie Abrams & Tina Cohen-Chang

There are only a few weeks left until the seniors must let go of McKinley for good, and original New Directions members and long-time best friends Artie (Kevin McHale) and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) are determined to make the best of their final moments of high school together, as they celebrate their closeness with a sweet rendition of “Whenever I Call You Friend” (and this Kevin and Jenna duet was a looooong time in the making – they are absolutely positively lovely together). But there are two obstacles in their way – Graduation and Nationals. Artie and Tina are tied for the prestigious title of class valedictorian and are the two candidates vying for a solo during their last show choir competition. The two friends are driven to compete head to head, and harsh words are exchanged between the two friends who share a long history. After a sing-off to “My Lovin’ (You’ve Never Gonna Get It)” that goes too far, they concede in their battles against each other (opting to deliver two very touching and hilarious speeches in ode to one another) and sing a stellar performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” (along with Blaine Anderson, played by Darren Criss) as a toast to their upcoming graduation.

Kurt Hummel & Elliott “Starchild” Gilbert

Kurt (Chris Colfer) suspects that his bandmate, Elliott/Starchild (American Idol‘s Adam Lambert) is aiming to steal the spotlight and take over as the frontman of the band he formed, Pamela Lansbury (Kurt has good reason to be worried – have you seen his “Marry the Night” cover?). In an effort to discover his true intentions, Kurt decides to spend some quality time with Elliott, which leads to them heading to a guitar shop in the city to rock out and head bang (and pole twist and swing?) to an electrifying performance of “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. What Kurt learns is that Elliott is a genuinely awesome, good, and talented person – not unlike himself, and they vow to stick together and kick ass together as struggling musicians should.

What was your favourite duet pairing and favourite performance from tonight’s episode of Glee?

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