Kevin McHale, Dianna Agron, Chord Overstreet, Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Naya Rivera, Lea Michele, Damian McGinty and Cory Monteith perform in the Jan. 31 Michael Jackson tribute episode. From the wardrobe dance moves, the episdoe will be the show's latest in a long line of tributes that have included Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Madonna. Curious here, why is Finn wearing his football jersey? Is his uniform number a tribute to the Jackson 5? Among the songs included in the episode, Jackson's "Black or White," which will be performed by Mercedes, Santana, Rachel, Artie and Kurt with the rest of New Directions.
Darren Criss' Blaine is set to cover Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' " in the Jan. 31 tribute episode to the late king of pop. Glee co-creator Ryan Murphytold reporters in October during a set visit to mark the show's 300th musical performance that there would be one tribute episode this season -- and that it has been in the works for two years.
Color Him Impressed
New Directions coach Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) gives the club a whiteboard assignment: WWMJD? -- What Would Michael Jackson Do? -- that will likely kick off the episode-long tribute to Jackson. Glee's tribute episodes have had mixed results for the series, with its Spears offering in November 2010 scoring a series high at the time and besting the show's Madonna effort, while its Gaga special didn't fare as well, registering a season low in viewership and the key adults 18-49 demographic for the season to date.
Mashups, Duets and More
A plethora of duets are slated to be part of the Jackson hour, with Artie and Mike teaming for "Scream," and Mercedes and Sam pairing (awwww) on "Human Nature"/"Nature Boy" -- a mashup of Jackson and the Nat King Cole classic. The Jan. 31 episode, the series' second after its return from holiday hiatus, will not be the first time Glee has tackled Jackson tunes. Jackson's "Thriller" was featured during Glee's post-Super Bowl episode and last year's "Hold on to Sixteen" hour featured the "Man in the Mirror," the Jackson 5's "ABC" and Janet Jackson's "Control."
Blaine and Santana will lead New Directions' version of "Bad," in which the McKinley High club goes head-to-head with Sebastian and the Dalton Academy Warblers in what looks like a re-enactment of Jackson's classic music video.
New Dalton Academy glee club member Sebastian had his sights set on Blaine, but the former Warbler remained loyal to his boyfriend, Kurt, and wouldn't have any of it. The possible result? A slushie.
A Real "Smooth Criminal"
Naya Rivera's Santana will face-off with Grant Gustin's Sebastian in the Jackson tribute hour when the duo perform "Smooth Criminal." The Jackson tribute will be the first tribute episode of the season, with an hour dedicated to the Bee Gees' Saturday Night Fever soundtrack also set for April.
Grant Gustin's Sebastian will continue to recur this season, with the actor telling THR that he's in talks to join the Fox series as a regular next season. As for the Jackson episdoe, appropriately titled "Michael," Gustin says Sebastian will be "slightly separating himself [from Blaine] and is less flirtatious and more of a dick. He's not necessarily pursuing Blaine anymore. He's not as into it as he has been in the past. Blaine's not giving him anything to work with and he's probably a little bored with it and moves on." Here's hoping Santana puts the Warbler in his place.
Time to Back Off?
"Being a Warbler is totally bad-ass but I wouldn't be surprised if at some point he made the switch [to McKinley] like Blaine did," Grant Gustin told THR. "As of the Michael Jackson episode, he's still a Warbler." Could you see Santana Sebastian getting along?