Glee, Naya Rivera and Heather Morris
Whitney Houston joined the ranks of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Fleetwood Mac on Tuesday when the late pop singer was immortalized with her own tribute episode of Glee.
The episode started out on a somber note, with graduating seniors Mercedes, Santana, Rachel and Kurt gathering around a photo of Whitney as they slowly burst into a stripped-down version of "How Will I Know" — similar to Whitney's a capella vocals that went viral after her death in February.
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The theme of Whitney's tribute episode — that everyone was sad about her death because they were avoiding dealing with graduation — unfortunately felt much more contrived than the central messages of past homage episodes, such as be yourself (Gaga), female empowerment (Madonna) and the danger of rumors (Fleetwood Mac's Rumors album). However, it did serve as a way to once again move the graduation story forward, as Kurt's dad and boyfriend faced their respective denial about his leaving for New York, and Mr. Schue got worked up about the thought of getting married without the glee club seniors by his side (a little too worked up if you ask us, but we're happy to hear he'll be rapping at his wedding).
The Whitney episode did a great job of showcasing hits from many stages of Whitney's career, from one of her first big hits, "Saving All My Love for You," to one of her most recent big chart-toppers, "My Love is Your Love." Slightly new arrangements of classics like "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "So Emotional" were reminiscent of the Glee of yesteryear when half the fun was listening to how the Fox musical had changed and freshened up established hits (Rachel and Shelby's slowed-down duet of "Poker Face" and New Directions' version of "Toxic" immediately comes to mind).
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Also, the show's recreations of Whitney's most famous music videos left us split. "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" was pretty spot-on and radiated fun, while Mercedes and Rachel's death glares in the background during Blaine's performance of "It's Not Right, But It's OK" were weird.
Also, was anyone else slightly grossed out by the sight of the New Direction kids suddenly getting over their Whitney remorse and unceremoniously taking her photos out of their lockers? It felt a tad icky.
So what did you think of Glee's tribute to Whitney Houston? What was your favorite tune? Sound off below!