When Glee returns for Season 4 on September 13, its first new episode will be titled, “The New Rachel Berry.”
The name appears to have a double meaning. First, we meet the “new” Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) of Season 4: a newly-single college freshman who has just made the big move to NYC. Back at McKinley High, however, the New Directions are on the lookout for a “new Rachel Berry” of their own.
With their lead singer, not to mention their two other most promising divas Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Santana (Naya Rivera), graduated and moved on, the New Directions are in need of a new star performer for their group. Plus, with only seven remaining members this year — farewell Rory (Damain McGinty)! — they certainly could use a few new faces.
Who do you think should step up and take over the spotlight now that Rachel Berry has left Lima behind? Blaine (Darren Criss) seems like an obvious choice, given that he essentially was the Rachel Berry of the Dalton Academy Warblers back in Season 2. However, Darren himself said at Comic-Con that he hopes Blaine steps back and gives one of the other kids a chance to shine this year.
Rachel appeared to pass the gauntlet on to Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) after their quirky body switch back in Season 3, Episode 20: “Props,” but we’re not convinced the timid singer will find the necessary confidence to step up to the plate.
Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Artie (Kevin McHale) are both talented performers, but we’re not sure they have that same Blaine Anderson or Jesse St. James [Jonathan Groff]-level charisma needed to front a singing group — at least not with the number of solos they’ve been given on Glee so far. Also, we’re not sure the New Ds could handle that much country or rap music, respectively.
And while Brittany (Heather Morris) is the queen of Ke$ha songs, we’ve always pictured her as more of the awesome dancer in the group, rather than its main star. There’s always Sugar (Vanessa Lengies), too, but only if Daddy’s forked over some serious cash for vocal lessons since that atrocious rendition of “Big Spender” at the start of last year.
Joe (Samuel Larsen) could be an interesting contender, but he still has yet to prove his diversity and range. Then there’s Unique (Alex Newell), who mentioned the possibility of transferring to McKinley at Nationals last year. We haven’t heard any confirmation of such a transfer yet, but seeing as Unique has been confirmed for a larger storyline this season, a transfer to McKinley would make sense.
If Unique does transfer, she certainly could take over as Glee’s new Rachel Berry. With a year as the lead performer of Vocal Adrenaline already under her belt, Unique certainly has her fair share of experience and talent.
And if we’re in the mood for transferring, why not have Sebastian (Grant Gustin) head over to McKinley, too? Grant hasn’t been confirmed as returning quite yet, but we’d kill for the chance to see him on Glee again.
That said, the show may decide to bring in a totally new character to be the New Directions’ newest star. Who would you like to see attempting to fill the shoes of the great Rachel Berry this year?