Kelly Rowland and Michael Bolton acted as backing singers for a 12-year-old boy at the Autism Speaks Winter Ball in New York on Monday (02Dec13). The pair took to the stage to support young singer Christopher Duffley, who suffers from the condition, during his rendition of Lean on Me.
They were also joined by the Harlem Boys Choir at the event, which raised $1.1 million (£730,000) for Autism Speaks, a charity which sponsors autism research and awareness programs.
The ball was hosted by fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This week’s episode of Glee, “Sweet Dreams,” highlighted three different storylines of characters following their dreams. Finn in college hoping to become a teacher, Rachel’s journey in NYC to become a Broadway Star, and Marley in Lima trying to show the glee club her original songs. If I’m being perfectly honest this week — with the exception of the New York storyline — was a giant waste of time. But I’m here to recap it for you anyways. My apologies Glee-bees, there’s quite a bit of snark ahead.
So Here’s What You Missed On Glee
Original Songs 2.0: Coach Roz is back and she announces that she’s taking over the Cheerios and it’s clear that she is still just as blunt as ever. After a long-winded bragging monologue in the teachers lounge she asks Will, “How’s your delicate group of weirdo’s? Are they still rattled by that that fake school shooting?” Will quips back that last week’s episode was a traumatic and terrifying experience for all the students but then the conversation quickly turns to making amends with Finn. (Side-Note: Um, hi, I’m sorry, what? I knew that Glee was going to gloss over the “school shooting” but if this is any indication of how the matter is going to be treated then ughhh.)
Marley is getting an inner monologue as she walks down the hallway noticing all of the strange PTSD behavior that the McKinley kids are going through. Brittany is apparently getting pressure from MIT to commit to early acceptance, Tina is trying out a new look called “Steam Punk,” and Sam is trying to convince everyone that he has a smarter, Australian twin brother named Evan Evans. Oh and Unique is popping two birth control pills a day to “turn her B’s into D’s.”
(Side-Note: No, just no to all of this. No no no no no. Remember how Season 2 was all about different-themed episodes that never really moved the storylines forward? I feel like the Lima side of Season 4 is just a hot mess of wacky costumes, erratic behavior and storylines that I honestly don’t even care about. It makes me sad to admit that, but it needed to be said. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.)
Will announces that the theme for Regionals this year is “Dream” so they’re going to take the theme as literally as possibly and only use songs that have the word “dream” in the title. Some of the more gullible glee-clubbers are excited (Yes, I’m looking at you Ryder!) but Marley asks if they could try out some original songs like they did two years ago — and then Will quickly shoots her down.
Blaine, as “Honorary Rachel,” holds a secret meeting of the glee club to talk about the extremely outdated songs that Will chose. Marley once again pitched the idea of using her original songs but the group said “No!” faster than Sam and Evan could switch places. (Side-Note:I feel like Marley’s face is always stuck in that confused, sad puppy frown. Girl you need to figure out a new hobby or something because I feel like you’re becoming one giant rain cloud.)
Back in the choir room, Blaine announces that the group came up with some fresh alternatives to his outdated tunes and almost instantaneously, Will flies off the handle. He snarls, “I honestly I don’t even know what’s going on in this room any more, what happened to you guys?” (Side-Note: Uhh, didn’t they just go through a fake yet traumatic school shooting? Calm down Will, is your sweater vest a little too tight this afternoon?)
Marley asks Blaine, Unique and Sam/Evan to meet her in the auditorium and then asks them to sing one of her original songs with her. The piano begins a somber tune and the foursome starts singing, “You Have More Friends Than You Know.” (Side-Note: I think this was supposed to be a sweet bonding moment but goodness gracious! That was the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to sit through except for waiting in line at the DMV. I was about ten seconds away from falling asleep and then this recap would’ve been just a bunch of Zzzzzzzzzzzz’s.) Somehow, the group absolutely loves Marley’s song and tells her to try and talk to Mr. Schue again — little to they know he’s creepily watching them from the side of the stage.
(Side-Note: This is the point where I’m supposed to talk about the scene between Coach Roz, Blaine and Becky in which Roz made the two Cheerios recite an oath to not put a “voo-doo hex” on her. However that scene was a gigantic waste of our time so I’m just going to skip over it. All you need to know is Roz is obnoxious, Blaine is still on the Cheerios for some reason, and Becky is starting to crack.)
NEXT: Hello Gorgeous!
Hello Gorgeous: We open the scenes in New York in the most wonderful way possible — with a Rachel voiceover describing why she is absolutely perfect for the role of Fanny in the Broadway Revivila of “Funny Girl.” (Side-Note: I love this! She’s acting exactly like the Rachel we first met and fell in love with. She’s a big dreamer with a slightly condescending attitude who believes that her talent is enough to take her straight to Broadway. Welcome back Rachel Barbra Berry! We’ve missed you more than you know!)
After some quick ooh-ing and aah-ing in the mirror, fans are treated to a small glimpse of 5-year-old Rachel (She’s adorable!) and a shrine for the one-and-only Barbra Streisand. (Side-Note: Sometimes I swear like that Bushwick loft is expanding! Every time I see it, it seems bigger and packed with ever more shabby chic pieces that I want for my apartment. Sigh) She reminds herself that long ago, Barbara was once an unknown small town Jewish girl and with a perfectly placed eyebrow, and a quick, “Hello gorgeous,” Rachel is ready to take on this audition.
Before Rachel can wow the judges with her star-quality, she needs to find the most perfect song. While thumbing through her massive repertoire a familiar face entered the scene — Shelby! Rachel is delighted to see her mom but originally didn’t tell her about the audition because she didn’t want to remind Shelby that this is a role that she never got to play.
Shelby smiles and says, “I love my life, I do. It’s not the life I always imagined I’d be liviing but I have Beth and I have the new Broadway Daycare business and we’re both in the same city now so I get to see you. I have no regrets.” (Side-Note: Attention Viewers: Beth is apparently alive and well! Now if only we knew what Quinn was up to…)
Shelby announces that she is there to help her “incredibly beautiful daughter” find the perfect audition song. (Side-Note: Wait, I just realized, has Rachel always had bangs this season? What happened to her hombre hair? She just looks so drastically different now that Grody Brody is out of the picture.) Shelby pulls out some sheet music and the mother/daughter duo breaks into a lovely version of “Next to Me.” (Side-Note: Everyone stop what you are doing!! The Queens Lea Michele and Idina Menzel are singing a perfect song!! Pay attention! Dare I say it? I think that was better than “Poker Face.” Gasp!)
In Lima we see that Finn is getting a phone call, looks at the screen and takes a deep breath before answering. “You’re probably still pissed about Brody so I’ll start by saying that I’m sorry and that my hand still hurts, his face has sharp edges.” Rachel smiles and says that she actually owes her former fiancé a debt of gratitude and she wishes that he had stayed in New York for a bit longer. (Side-Note: Squee! I love that Rachel was never mad about the Brody beatdown.) The two share some small talk about Finn’s new college life and then get onto the subject of Rachel’s audition.
Rachel is looking to Finn for advice on which song to sing and as always, he has the perfect answer: “You’re one of the most unique talents in the world, you always shine your brightest when you do something personal something intimately important that defines you.” (Side-Note: Finn goes on to say even more amazing things but I couldn’t hear there because I was too busy hyperventilating with excitement that this phone call is happening. I love that through it all they’re always there for each other.)
Right away It’s time for Rachel’s “Funny Girl” audition and she takes the stage announcing that she is going to be singing a “classic.” The familiar tune begins and Rachel break into a smile-inducing performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’”—a Glee classic for all you newbies out there. Halfway through the performance Rachel imagines that 5 other original New Directioners are singing along with her, providing her with love, confidence and support. (Side-Note: Not gonna lie, I totally got a little teary-eyed during this performance.)
NEXT: Party Like a Frat Boy!
Party Like a Frat Boy: The episode begins and we see that Finn is already enrolled in The University of Lima and he’s quickly finding that college is not nearly as scary as he once thought — it’s actually really fun! (Side-Note: Does anyone have any idea as to which month is it in Glee-land? Given that we haven’t gone to Regionals yet, I’d say maybe February? I’m just trying to figure out how Finn magically popped into this 4-year college in the middle of a semester.)
However there appears to be one downside to being in college at a time like this — every single person is trying to make a Harlem Shake video. From the library, to the quad, and even Finn’s own dorm room, he can escape the craziness. Finn decides to embrace the obnoxious YouTube sensation and when someone in a sleeping bag is squirming to the beat on his floor, he unzips to see his best bro inside. (Side-Note: How adorable was Finn’s little squeal when he saw that it was Puck? I swear I haven’t seen his face light up that much since the superman of kisses at Nationals)
The next thing we know, Puck is dramatically slipping and sliding down their hallway slip n’ slide and Finn is using an iron to make everyone grilled cheeses. (Side-Note: Okay, be honest: who else was totally thinking about “Grilled Cheesus” right now? Ahh good times. And by good I mean that was such a strange and bizarre storyline.) Two girls walk by Finn into the bathing suit-filled bash and he stops them asking for their tickets.
Clearly there are no tickets necessary, but Finn manipulates the dumb blondes and asks for their bikini tops instead. They happily agree and Finn’s eyes light up as he watches the promiscuous bimbos slide down the hallway with their breasts out for all to see. (Side Note: Awww man... Not a fan of skeevy Finn. You're better than this honey!) All of the sudden Will appears in the hallway and apologizes to his former best man and asks him to come back and help coach the New Directions to victory. Finn not-so-politely declines and then rushes down the slip-n’-slide. (Side-Note: He should’ve taken off that tank top. Just saying…)
Over in the world’s most cliché college party Puck and Finn are rocking out to The Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right (To Party)” and everyone absolutely loves them — they even automatically get asked to join a Fraternity. (Side-Note: That would never ever happen bee tee dubs.) It’s clear that Finn has been partying a little too much because Puck finds a note from one’s of Finn’s professors that he has missed another test. (Side-Note: That would also, never ever ever happen. Professors in college don’t care if you miss a test, or fail their class, so they’re sure as heck not going to write you a little note reminding you to show up to class.)
Puck gets oddly irritated at Finn telling him this is not high school and he needs to quit fooling around and focus on his dreams of becoming a teacher. (Side-Note: I’m sorry Puck but weren’t you the one standing next to him getting wasted at all of these parties? I love that you’re trying to help your friend but please stop being so hypocritical. Also, WTF I thought you were dating Kitty?) The two best bros decide that it’s time to become the best versions of themselves and they even sealed the deal with a silly little handshake.
Finn finds Will in the auditorium reliving the glory days of when Glee was actually good and tells him that he’s ready to come back to help coach the club. Finn reveals that the dean is willing to give him college credit for the time that he helped out with the Glee club. (Side-Note: Once again this is another thin that will never ever happen in college.) Finn says that he will only comeback if he and Will are equals and a brief hug, all is back to normal between the late thirties teacher and his 19-year-old best friend. (Side-Note: Did you know that in real life Matthew Morrison is only 4 years older than Cory Monteith?? Crazy I know.)
The Final Five: Will admits to the group that he’s sorry that he was acting like a stubborn douche and goes on a rant about his old glee club director Lillian Adler. (Side-Note: Okay seriously , what is the big deal about this woman?? We’ve never even met her and it seems like this season every time Will or Finn look at her picture they’re on the verge of tears.) Will introduces their new, and permanent, co-glee club director Finn, gets them pumped for nationals — which at this point is like two years away — and then reveals that they want to hear more of Marley’s songs.
Rachel is desperately waiting for news from the “Funny Girl” producers and we finally get a brief yet glorious HummelBerry moment. Just as Rachel was about to go on a rant about the narrow-minded people she sang for, her phone rings and after a brief freak-out she answers. It turns out, in a not-so-shocking twist that Rachel got a callback for Fanny and she is one step closer to achieving her dreams. (Side-Note: I just wish we were able to witness a second Finchel phone call in which she would excitedly reveal the good news to Finn. Sighh. A girl can dream right?)
The episode ends with the New Direction singing another one of Marley’s original songs, “Outcast.” (Side-Note: Okay this is basically “Loser Like Me,” and Marley’s desperation to be a carbon copy of Rachel is getting absolutely ridiculous. Are my eyes deceiving me or is she actually wearing an owl sweater? Ugh this is a joke right? I hate to admit it but I’m completely over the Lima side of Glee and its going to take something seriously special to bring me back.)
Most Heartwarming Moment: Watching Rachel and Kurt excitedly jump up and down after Rachel learned she got a call back.
Most Heartbreaking Moment: Finally realizing that Season 4 is becoming a huge waste of our time.
“They really want me to study string theory, but I’m not all that interested in arts and crafts.” — Brittany
“I’ve got to shave my hello giggles.” — Puck
What did you think of “Sweet Dreams”? What was your favorite part of the episode? Does anyone care about the Lima side anymore? Sing your thoughts in the comments below!
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MORE: 'Glee' First Listen: The Songs (and Scoop!) From 'shooting Star' 'Glee' Tackles A School Shooting: Did It Work? — Poll 'The Glee Project' Might Be Canceled. Sorry, Gleeks!
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