The competition begins, and as we could have predicted, the Hipsters do a great rendition of Mike & The Mechanics‘ “In the Living Years.”
Then the Warblers do “Soul Sister,” Blaine singing lead. This clip was leaked earlier this week so it’s not new to anyone, but maybe now we can understand why Rachel’s cheering Kurt on from the audience, Puck is glowering and Mr. Schue looks like he has acid reflux during the song.
Rachel leads a standing ovation when they’re done, and then we cut to the green room where New Directions is having its usual pre-competition nerve-fueled fight. And it looks like Brittany and Mike are having an affair… and Brittany is all but groveling to Artie about it.
Now, I’m trying not to turn this entire recap into “If they don’t stop this whole ‘BARFIE’ arc I’m going to kill myself,” but I have no problem with Brittany having sex with every guy and girl at McKinley. It’s part of her charm. But seeing her all cringe-y over cheating on Artie (which it turns out later she didn’t do) or losing his stupid comb (which is what she did) really pisses me off.
Anyway, there are a bunch of other little dramas, but Mr. Schue gets them back on track, and they hit the stage – although just before they do on, Brittany tells Artie she didn’t cheat on him, she lost his comb while she was at Motocross practice. Oh, Brittany.
It wasn’t a magic comb, he tells her. It was just a comb he picked up off the floor and was taking to the trash when he saw her.
“And you let me comb my hair with it?” she asks.
He tells her that he shouldn’t have told her it was a magic comb, and that it’s her and her moves that have magic. Gee, Artie, ya think? We could have told you that a long time ago.
Then they kiss and say schmoopy stuff. Whatever.
The performance leads off with Quinn and Sam singing “The Time of My Life,” and they just don’t have the power that Finn and Rachel would have. And I really love Quinn as a character, and thought Sam was interesting, but we’re not seeing any of that in this episode.
Kurt leads the standing O, and then … Santana sings The Zutons’ “Valerie” (better known as covered by Amy Winehouse). And Brittany smacks her butt before she starts singing. And dances backup. And dances front-up with Mike, doing all the fancy acrobatic moves you’d expect from a cheerleader but that aren’t really my favorite part of Brittany’s dancing… and Santana crooks her finger and beckons her over, and Brittany dances her heart out and shakes her hair and stalks on her high-heeled sandals, and none of that is enough, it’s really not, but I loved it anyway. And Santana was amazing.
The crowd agrees, and in something of an anti-climax, New Directions and The Warblers are tied for first place.