Glee’s Darren Criss vs. Neil Patrick Harris: Who Did “Piano Man” Better?
Ever since hearing Blaine’s (Darren Criss) rendition of “Piano Man” from Glee’s upcoming Season 5, Episode 6: “Movin’ Out,” we haven’t been able to stop listening to it. Then again, back in Season 1, we felt similarly about the version of the same Billy Joel song that Bryan Ryan (Neil Patrick Harris) and Schue (Matthew Morrison) did as a duet. So which Glee performance is better?
It’s always a bit surprising when Glee decides to redo certain song performances. Obviously, Mercedes (Amber Riley) reprising Finn’s cover of “I’ll Stand by You” made sense for the recent Cory Monteith tribute episode. But Blaine’s ultra-somber performance of “Teenage Dream” in “The Break Up” made it hard for us to still enjoy his initial version of the song.
We’re similarly unsure of why Santana (Naya Rivera) will be singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in Season 5, Episode 9: “Frenemies,” which Rachel (Lea Michele) has already knocked out of the park. Other songs repeated by Glee over the years include West Side Story’s “Tonight” and Grease’s “You’re the One That I Want.”
Then again, can you really have a Billy Joel tribute episode without “Piano Man”? We think not. And Blaine — who frequently performs at the piano — is the perfect voice to cover this one. Plus, Schue and Bryan Ryan’s version was performed at a bar as informal karaoke, with the original version playing in the background, which isn’t quite the same as a proper performance.
So which Glee version are you leaning toward? It’s hard not to vote for NPH and Matthew, since they’ve both proven their vocal chops on Broadway. Still, we think we’d probably vote for Darren’s passionate performance, given that he does as stellar a job as he always does.
But you’re the one who has to make the final decision! So check out the two performances, and let us know which one has you feelin’ alright.