Cory Monteith

As Glee's New Directions makes its way to Regionals this week, Cory Monteith (Finn) gives us some scoop on the season's final episodes — and tells kids how they can sing for him and win big moolah for their own glee clubs.

TV Guide Magazine: Tuesday's episode finds New Directions performing in Regionals before a judging panel consisting of Kathy Griffin as judge Tammy Jean Albertson, Loretta Devine as Sister Mary Constance and Lima, Ohio's very own WOHN news anchor Rod Remington. What can we expect?

Cory Monteith: Well, Kathy Griffin brought her mom to the shoot and brought her usual wry sense of humor. This is our first performance of original songs.  

TV Guide Magazine: And what are you shooting now?

Cory: We're shooting two different episodes. One, "Born This Way," is a classic Glee episode where we explore embracing the things about ourselves that we don't like and tailoring our performances around that.  

TV Guide Magazine: Judging by the title, I'm guessing this is the episode in which homophobic Karofsky finally comes to terms with who he is?

Cory: For sure, and there's a little blackmail involved. It gets kind of heavy. And then the second one we're shooting now is "Night of Neglect," which is an episode focusing on artists that may have been neglected or underappreciated over the years.

TV Guide Magazine: In other words, one-hit wonders?

Cory: That's the idea. We were trying to clear a Bjork song, but they couldn't track her down. Apparently she doesn't have a phone number. I know they've also trying to get Kristin Chenoweth back [as April Rhodes] for an episode if she's available.

TV Guide Magazine: And then you're off to New York City for Finals?

Cory: I couldn't be more excited. We're going to shoot there for like a week and a half at the end of April.    

TV Guide Magazine: I understand you're playing judge yourself as part of a fun music campaign.

Cory: It's a co-production of VH1 Save the Music Foundation and Apple & Eve Fruitables, looking for the best school music mash-ups in America. Kids are sending in videos of their real-life glee clubs mashing up two songs. In April, I'll sort through all these real-life glee club entries and select two winning schools — one elementary school and one middle school. Each will get $10,000 toward their glee club program. (Six runners-up will be awarded $1,000 each. For details, go to http://www.facebook.com/AppleandEve. The deadline is April 1.)

TV Guide Magazine: Why did you want to do this?

Cory: It seems like the perfect fit for me. It helps under-funded music programs and allows me to turn the table and play judge.

TV Guide Magazine: How is it playing judge when as Finn, you're usually the one being judged?

Cory: We've covered a lot of songs on Glee, so I feel I can do this. I've learned even if you don't personally enjoy someone's performance, as a judge you have to find merit in it. I have to put myself in the audience's seat, because maybe the performance is speaking to someone outside my perspective.

TV Guide Magazine: So, what is Judge Monteith looking for?

Cory: (Laughs) People taking chances and being original with their compositions. Like we do on the show. 

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