Glee, Lea Michele

Still floored that Rachel botched her big audition in this week's episode? (Its title, "Choke," was kind of a giveaway...) Freaking out that only a few episodes stand between you and the McKinley High graduation? You're not alone. At a Tuesday Glee panel, the show's cast and crew explained why hope is not lost for Rachel and teased what's to come before G-Day.

You will need tissues.

Glee: What should Rachel do after her big bomb?

1. Rachel is not so easily defeated. Viewers shocked to see New Directions' shiniest star choke during her NYADA audition, don't be fooled. While series boss Ryan Murphy said it was a more interesting choice for Rachel (Lea Michele) not to go sailing through to her dream school, it's not in the character's DNA to accept defeat. "The great thing about her is that she does not give up," Murphy said, adding that the writers had fun in the upcoming episodes writing to her defining "tenacity." Michele said she was "really devastated" for Rachel, and identified with the "real fear" of failure that performers face regularly.

2. Oh yes, there will be tears. It's still anyone's guess who will be moving on from — and out of? — Glee when Graduation Day comes and Season 3 ends. But the cast is already all broken up about it because they began shooting the season's last episode this week. "I definitely collapsed on to the ground the other day," Michele said. All the actors 'fessed up to crying at some point -- and they had only been through two days of filming! Kleenex, gleeks. Kleenex!

Glee spoiler photos: See the kids in their prom finest

3. Freaky Friday time. This is totally happening: Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) will fall into a fountain at the mall, and when she comes to, everyone will have switched bodies. Really. You want proof? Fine. Look for Tina to wake up as Rachel. Also, Kurt (Chris Colfer) will play Finn (Cory Monteith), Puck (Mark Salling) becomes Blaine (Darren Criss) and Santana (Naya Rivera) becomes... Artie (Kevin McHale)? "Naya as Kevin is hilarious," executive producer Ian Brennan said. But perhaps topping even that is Mike Chang (Harry Shum) as Joe Hart (The Glee Project winner Samuel Larsen). "Harry with dreads... best thing ever," Brennan said.

4. The next formidable pairing: Coache Bieste (Dot Marie Jones) and Puck! You read that right. No clue as to why they're teaming up, but consider this: They'll be singing Taylor's Swift's banjo-driven "Mean," which the country star wrote in response to her critics. (She's a fragile flower, people!) Let's read into these lyrics together: "Someday I'll be livin' in a big ol' city and all you're ever gonna be is mean. Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me and all you're ever gonna be is mean. Why you gotta be so mean?" Wait, who's picking on Puck?!

5. Official: Brittany's a senior. If you're wondering if McKinley's senior class president had magically reverted back to junior status just because Heather Morris' face isn't on the cover of the Glee graduation soundtrack, think again. What kind of grades she's pulling is a bit murkier...

What are you most looking forward to before diplomas are handed out? All predictions welcome.