Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Photo: Glee Cast Hugs Lea Michele at Teen Choice Awards on August 11, 2013

Seeing Glee win the award for Choice TV Show: Comedy at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards was emotional. It was a happy moment, of course, but still overshadowed by the very obvious fact that one beloved cast member was not there: Cory Monteith (Finn), who passed away suddenly of a drug overdose as recently as July 13.

A huge group of the Glee stars took to the stage to accept their award, and Cory was on everyone’s mind. “We lost someone that we really love, and that all of you guys love too,” Amber Riley (Mercedes) said.

“Cory was like a brother to us and like a dad, he was always ready to sign an autograph and take a picture with a fan.” Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) also spoke, but one very familiar Glee face was missing from the acceptance speech: Cory’s longtime girlfriend, Lea Michele (Rachel).

Never fear: Lea was present at the show. The 27-year-old star stayed backstage during her show’s win, but emerged briefly to accept her award for Choice TV Actress: Comedy. The tearful actress thanked fans for their support, and spoke a heartfelt tribute to her late boyfriend — clearly emotional — before heading backstage.

This year, Glee was up against The Big Bang Theory, Suburgatory, The New Girl, and Modern Family. We love all of those shows, of course. But in lieu of the recent tragedy, it only seems right to us that Glee walked away with the award.