On last night's season premiere of Glee, New Directions searches for more singers, Sue and Schue take on McKinley's female football coach, and the writers deliver a thinly-veiled attack on internet commenters.
"Audition" starts out with a clever dig at the show's critics, which references the rumors that Lea Michele's difficult to work with, the complaints about Will's rapping, and accusations that the show is "nothing but a glorified karaoke club designed to make the inventors of Auto-Tune millions of dollars."
Oh, Kurt. I'm so happy to see you that I'll disregard that comment about bloggers' "cottage cheese behinds."
Changes are afoot at McKinley High. Matt (better known as Black Guy Who Doesn't Talk) has transferred, but it looks like Mike Chang has earned himself a speaking role in Season 2, and Tina's heart, thanks to his awesome dance moves. And abs.
This leaves one spot open in New Directions, so Will posts a sign-up sheet. However, his new best friend Sue advises him that auditions are the way to go. She's been charged with child endangerment because,
There's been a line of would-be Cheerios out there since late July. I guess they lost their humanity a little bit. One girl ate a pigeon. Several others started worshiping a possum carcass as their lord. That's how much they want to be Cheerios.
After learning that both the Cheerios' and New Directions' budgets are being cut to give more money to the football team, Will and Sue launch a series of Mean Girls-like attacks against the new female football coach Shannon Beist ("it's French") because... it's actually unclear what they're hoping to accomplish, but it's still fun to see Sue and Will getting along (but not too well.)
New Directions can't be hurting too bad, because they have enough money to print up "New York City" shirts for a number advertising the auditions. The kids take to the never-before-seen McKinley courtyard and do an awesome rendition of "Empire State Of Mind," but even Mercedes' wailing can't distract her classmates from their love of the written word!
Well, except for the two new additions to the cast, who sheepishly tap their feet and mouth the lyrics. Later, Finn hears "this new transfer kid" Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) singing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" in the locker room shower. (Note: Three kids transfer in this episode. Doesn't anyone move away or simply enter 9th grade in Lima, Ohio?) I wasn't blown away by Sam's nude homage to Bret Michaels, but his performance of "Billionaire" later on was solid, though poorly lip synched. (For those who aren't averse to spoilers, there's more on Sam's role here.)
Predictably, Rachel isn't as excited about discovering there's another potential vocal rival auditioning for New Directions. Rachel foolishly assumes that Sunshine Corazon (Charice Pempengco), a Filipino exchange student, can't speak English. Then she and Sunshine get into a sing-off involving Lady Gaga's "Telephone" in the girl's room. (Though actually, it's Sunshine who looks like an idiot during this number. Why does she keep grinning even though it's obvious Rachel wants to strangle her?)
Rachel prevents Sunshine from auditioning by giving her fake directions (which actually lead to a crack house). Everyone finds out and gets angry at Rachel's diva behavior for the 4,000th time, and Sunshine is allowed to try out in the auditorium. She impresses everyone with her performance of "Listen" from Dreamgirls, but she won't be joining New Directions after all — Later she's poached by the new Vocal Adrenaline director, Cheyenne Jackson of 30 Rock.
In other comings and goings, Finn gets kicked off the football team when he brings Artie in to try out because Coach Beist thinks he's trying to make her look "like some kind of monster" for telling the disabled kid he can't play. Quinn is reinstated as head cheerleader after Santana angers Sue by getting a boob job (though rumor has it, Brittany is the one who's had an enhancement.)
Speaking of Brittany's breasts, Sue makes her accuse Coach Beist of sexual harassment by pointing to where she touched her on a Cheerios doll:
But then Brittany admits, "I made it up. Coach Biest didn't touch my boobs. Actually, I really want to touch her boobs." Will makes up with Beist because he suddenly remembers that he's a Nice Guy (with the notable exception of that time he shoved his ex-wife.)
Finally, Finn makes Rachel to admit that she didn't sabotage Sunshine "because you love Glee Club, you did it because you love yourself more." Finn tells her she should apologize, but instead she heads to the auditorium to sing "What I Did For Love" from A Chorus Line. See, Rachel "can't regret what [she] did for love." Uh, didn't she just say that she acted like an ass because she loves the spotlight? While the song is well-performed, the only explanation for closing the episode on Rachel's ode to her own selfishness is that Lea Michele just felt like singing a show tune.
Next week: The Britney episode!