Chord Overstreet

White chocolate or the promise of "beautiful cocoa babies" — which will Mercedes choose?

When Sam Evans — who during his time away appears to have been moonlighting as a stripper named "White Chocolate" — returns to McKinley High, he'll be surprised to find Mercedes (Amber Riley) has moved on. And her new guy, Shane (LaMarcus Tinker), has already made a big impression, giving her the confidence to step into her own spotlight and out from Rachel's shadow.

But returning Glee star Chord Overstreet tells TVGuide.com Sam's got something Marcus doesn't: "Blonde hair," Overstreet says, laughing. "Abs."

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True, but seriously now... Sam's a "goofy and lovable" guy, Overstreet says, and what he does have is determination. "He tries to pick up where they left off, regardless of her new boyfriend," the actor, 22, says. "He's trying anything that he can right now to get her back. Really. Everything. There's a bunch of fun surprises in Episode 10, which is what we're shooting right now." Overstreet famously exited the series at the end of Season 2, but was recently asked back for several episodes.

Sam's plan of attack does, in fact, include showing off his well-defined abs, first spotted during the Rocky Horror episode. So he joins the synchronized swim team... Hmmm. "He wants to get a letterman jacket because he thinks everyone at school wants to date someone with a letterman jacket," Overstreet says.

But will that be enough for Mercedes? Perhaps. Turns out her feelings for Sam haven't entirely gone away. "She's just mixed up and confused because, you know, when you're interested in two guys at once, you don't really want anyone to know it or say it out loud," Overstreet says. "But she already has a boyfriend, and she doesn't want to be a bad person, so, yeah, she's pretty conflicted."

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Maybe Sam should whip out his impressions! (He hasn't gotten to do one yet, according to Overstreet, but here's hoping for more James Earl Jones. Or Sean Connery. Or George Bush. Or Matthew McConaughey.)

Outside of Glee, Overstreet has been hard at work on his music career — the one that pulled him away from the show in the first place — and says fans might get a taste next year. "I got to work on a lot of music, and it came together really well," he says, adding that he's finishing a bunch of songs in the hopes of releasing something in 2012. "It's kind of an acoustic pop vibe, a lot of singer-songwriter stuff that I've written over the years. Lyrically, it's more toward jazzy stuff. I think it will be good."

Watch the Glee kids welcome Sam back with open arms — and red solo cups -- in Tuesday's all-new episode, "Hold On to 16," airing 8/7c on Fox:

What do you think, Gleeks: Samcedes or Shanecedes?