'Glee' Does Michael Jackson: 5 Things To Know

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."

When Glee goes big, it doesn't mess around and Tuesday's Michael Jackson tribute episode is a prime example.

The episode, which was first reported in early December and pushed back a week so as not to conflict with President Obama's State of the Union address, will feature 10 songs -- the most yet for a tribute installment.

Here are five things you need to know about the hour.

1. There are 10 songs featured in the episode: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "I Want You Back," "Bad," "Scream," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Human Nature," "Smooth Criminal," "Ben," "I Just Can’t Stop Loving You" and "Black or White." It's the biggest song count yet for a tribute episode, featuring four more than the 90-minute Lady Gaga installment, three more than the Britney Spears editionand two more than the Madonna hour.

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2. Finn (Cory Monteith) will get an answer to his big marriage proposal that came at the end of the "Yes/No" episode. Considering the Valentine's Day episode is poised to be a big one -- and feature Rachel's (Lea Michele) two gay dads (Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell), we're guessing Finn could either be getting traditional and asking their permission to marry their daughter or breaking the news to the musical duo. Also ready for some love? Chord Overstreet's Sam and Amber Riley's Mercedes appear as if they're back on the road to romance.

3. It's the Dalton Academy Warblers vs. McKinley High's New Directions battling it out for the right to perform the King of Pop's music at Regionals. Grant Gustin (Sebastian) told THR last week that he takes a turn for the mean and winds up making some quick enemies after he gives Blaine (Darren Criss) the slushie treatment and the former Warbler has to head to the (gasp!) hospital.

STORY: 'Glee's' Grant Gustin Previews Warblers vs. New Directions Michael Jackson Episode

4. Don't mess with Santana. The Lima Heights adjacent badass won't take too kindly to Sebastian crossing the line and the duo will go head-to-head in song -- covering Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." Also, can we register our vote to have Naya Rivera ditch the Cheerios uniform in favor of suits and a fedora?

5. It's big and it's "Bad" but will it deliver? Tribute episodes for Glee don't have the best track record when it comes to luring an audience. The November 2010 Spears offering scored a then-series high (13.5 million viewers and a 5.9 in the coveted adults 18-49 rating), besting the April 2010 "Power of Madonna" hour's 13 million and 5.3 in the demo. The April 2011 "Born This Way" special, however, didn't fare as well, attracting 8.6 million viewers and a 3.4 in the demo.

Glee airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Fox. Are you looking forward to an hour of Jacko?

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit