Lea Michele’s voice is impeccable no matter what she sings, so the task of picking out her best music moments is basically impossible. However, we’re always up for a challenge, so here are our choices for Lea’s top 5 Glee performances as the incomparable Rachel Berry. And don’t worry, Lea — we would never rain on your parade.
5. “Faithfully” (Season 1, Episode 22: “Journey”)
You didn’t think we could make a list like this without at least one Finchel duet, did you? (What are we — made of stone?) This is one of our top romantic Glee duets ever — in part because Finn had said “I love you” to Rachel right before going on stage (aww!) — and it’s also one of Lea’s best, with all those high notes. Needless to say, these two can’t get back together soon enough.
4. “Firework” (Season 2, Episode 12: “Silly Love Songs”)
Lea’s most memorable Glee tunes might typically be torch songs or show tunes, but we also love her take on pop. For example, her Season 1 rendition of “Take a Bow” or Season 3’s “Without You” show how great she can be with a radio hit. However, our favorite is “Firework,” as this is the take-charge, self-empowered side of Rachel that we love the most.
3. “New York State of Mind” (Season 4, Episode 1: “The New Rachel”)
This might have been our introduction to Marley — and Marley certainly does a great job on it — but it was especially Rachel who truly grabbed our attention. The two of them together sound great, with Rachel proving that she definitely belongs at an elite institution like NYADA. Take that, Carmen.
2. “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” (Season 2, Episode 3: “Grilled Cheesus”)
We hate remembering Burt’s heart attack, but his unfortunate medical drama did allow for this stunning solo from Rachel. Sure, it’s another Barbra tune, but Rachel’s voice is amazingly well-suited for this challenging number. If this mesmerizing performance couldn’t help Burt get better, nothing would.
1. “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Season 1, Episode 13: “Sectionals”)
We have three words to say about Rachel’s show-stopping performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”: Wow, wow, and wow. Rachel definitely deserves the enthusiastic standing ovation she receives from the Sectionals audience —and from us — for this mind-blowing number. This is definitely parade-worthy.