If you’re like us, then you don’t have 10 favorite songs from Season 3 of Glee — you have a hundred. Seriously, how are we supposed to single out only 10 songs from a season full of gems? It just ain’t right!
That said, nothing worth doing is ever easy, so we bravely tackled the near-impossible task of picking the ten performances from this season that stood out the most. May the best song win. And be sure to also check out our list of the five worst song performances of the year.
10. “Without You” by Rachel
Starting the list off with a Rachel (Lea Michele) song is never a bad thing, right? In fact, Rachel’s stunning vocals manage to even surpass Usher’s original version, especially on those high notes. (We still love you, Usher.) Sadly, the song takes on extra meaning with Rachel indeed heading off to the Big Apple sans Finn (Cory Monteith) in the season finale, but the look that Finn gives Rachel while she sings “Without You” to him is enough to reassure us that there’s no way we’ve seen the last of these two. (Right?! Please tell us we haven’t seen the last of these two!)
9. “Let It Snow” by Kurt and Blaine
It wasn’t quite the slice of perfection that was their Season 2 duet on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” — and it wasn’t even our favorite Klaine duet of this season, as you’ll see later on this list — but it was still “so delightful.” This jaunty holiday tune allowed these two to show off some very fancy footwork — not to mention those impressive scatting skills. And if you didn’t get chills from them singing while sitting back-to-back, it may be time to adjust your thermostat.
8. “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” by New Directions
If this was the last-ever competition performance by New Directions, it was one hell of a way to go out. Between the incredible choreography and the way everyone’s voices came together so perfectly, we definitely wouldn’t need to “sleep on it” to decide if this group is worthy of winning Nationals — and neither did the judges. Paradise, indeed.
7. “Not the Boy Next Door” by Kurt
If you’re planning to re-watch this performance in hopes of finding reasons why Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) inexplicably rejected Kurt from NYADA, we can save you the trouble: You won’t find any reasons. Between Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) commanding high notes, his fleet-footed dance moves, and yes, even his pelvic gyrations (c’mon — we’re only human!), it’s impossible not to be mesmerized by this performance. The moral of this story: Always have your swans on standby. (And the other moral of this story: We hate Carmen Tibideaux.)
6. “We Are Young” by New Directions
Can Glee take at least partial credit for turning this song into such a phenomenon? We think so, as many people’s introduction to the catchy number by fun. was this tear-inducing performance which saw the Troubletones members rejoining New Directions. It’s no wonder that the newly united glee club’s performance helped this song to set the world on fire and burn brighter than the sun.
5. “Perfect” by Kurt and Blaine
So now we get to the season’s best Klaine duet! Come to think of it, Blaine (Darren Criss) gave a slew of amazing performances this season, including “Cough Syrup” and the duet with his bro on “Somebody That I Used to Know,” but the way that Kurt and Blaine’s voices combine on “Perfect” put this one over the top. Okay, so that half-sweater thing that Kurt was wearing during this song was far from perfect, but at least the voices were.
4. “Run the World (Girls)” by Brittany and Santana
Brittany (Heather Morris) delivers her best performance ever in this high-energy adrenaline blast. Then again, whenever Brittany and Santana (Naya Rivera) team up for a song — especially one as empowering as this one — there’s no way we’re not gonna adore it. And let’s not even get started on those dance moves. (Translation: Have you ever tried to move like that in thigh-highs? We rest our case.)
3. “Roots Before Branches” by Rachel and Finn
We wish there were some way to re-watch this performance without having to relive the pain of the devastating Finchel breakup. That said, “Roots Before Branches” was truly breathtaking, with some amazing Rachel-Finn harmonies. Sure, we assume thatsomeday we’ll be able to watch this performance without bawling our eyes out, but that clearly hasn’t happened yet.
2. “Rumour Has It / Someone Like You” by Troubletones
We’re not always the biggest fan of mash-ups on Glee, but when they’re as outstanding as this one, there’s no denying it. The vocals were fabulous — not always an easy task when taking on Adele (see: Season 2’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Turning Tables”) — and Santana’s pain was especially powerful. We think this performance would make Adele smile with pride — and that’s saying something, since Adele isn’t exactly known for being super-upbeat.
1. “Smooth Criminal” by Santana and Sebastian
Here it is — the best Glee song of the year! The crown goes to this “thrilling” Santana-Sebastian (Grant Gustin) duet. Sebastian may be a major pain in the neck (or eye), but the guy can sing, and we of course love any song that allows Santana to both belt it out and get angry at the same time. Heck, even the instrumentals were incredible, combined with Santana’s priceless line when she asked the “cello guys” to hang back — because when you think Michael Jackson, you think cellos, right?
All told, in a season full of standout songs, this was the one we were “struck by” the most.