Fall TV Preview

Glee's Amber Riley Teases a Different Mercedes, and New Musical Direction in Season 3

Brassy, big-voiced Mercedes Jones spent much of Glee‘s second season in “Hell to the No” mode, but according to Amber Riley, the show’s latest crop of episodes will find her singing a more tender tune.

“Mercedes is actually going to be shown in a different light for once. She has a relationship, and you’re going to see a softer side of her,” Riley revealed at Fox’s fall kickoff party. “She’s very lovey-dovey. It’s kind of like, ‘Oh my God? Is this Mercedes?!’ She dresses different. She’s girlier now.”

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As previously reported by TVLine, Glee has cast Cougar Town‘s Lamarcus Tinker as Mercedes’ love interest, a lineman for the McKinley Titans named Marcus. But Riley said she’s not certain whether there’s a duet in the couple’s future. “I don’t know if LaMarcus can sing or not,” she explained. “I never asked.”

Of course, when Gleeks last saw Mercedes, she was surreptitiously holding hands with Sam (Chord Overstreet) in the Season 2 finale — a romantic pairing that took Riley by surprise at the time. “We found out about that two days before it happened, so we were like, ‘Oh, Sam and Mercedes are going to be together. OK. Cool.'”

Since that revelation, however, Overstreet went through a rather public breakup with Glee, which begs the question: Will the demise of Samcedes be addressed? “Yeah, it is,” hinted Riley, though when asked for further explanation, she stayed tight-lipped. “Hmm,” Riley added with a laugh. “It’s addressed.”

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Riley was a little more forthcoming about the musical direction of Glee‘s third season. “We’re doing a lot more Broadway songs this season. The first couple episodes are very, very Broadway.”

Glee returns to the Fox schedule Sept. 20 at 8/7c. Are you excited to see the softer side of Mercedes? Sound off below. And to stay up to date on breaking Glee news and commentary, follow us on Twitter @TVLineNews. (Reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Frank says:

    Her acting is better than the first season but please I hope she doesn’t have to do too much drama. And hopefully alight tune mean less wailing and screeching when singing.

  2. Lauren says:

    Yay!!! More Broadway! Sometimes I think the Broadway and Lea Michele are the only things that keep me watching through the atrocities of Justin Bieber and Kesha covers. Ugh.
    I agree, Frank. Her acting leaves something to be desired. But I disagree with her singing – her voice is outstanding. Though not as good as Lea Michele’s, my favourite. I think all of the Glee crew have fantastic voices (except Mike I guess – I wonder if the actor really can’t sing?) and it makes me sad when they are given such trash to do.

  3. John Berggren says:

    I’m thrilled to know they’ll be tackling more broadway. I enjoy when they do current pop songs (mostly because they tend to bring more emotion and meaning to them than they originally held for me), but they should do more broadway.

    Mercedes powerful voice would be wonderful on any number of broadway show stoppers.

  4. John says:

    Ever seen season 1 I’ve secretly hoped the show would take on some lesser known, quirkier, contemporary Broadway music, and it seems with a slate of new writers (and nerdy ones at that!), that could very well happen. I’m optimistic about this season, since I’m a fan of Marti Noxon and Ali Adler’s previous work.

    Also: TINK! Loved him on Friday Night Lights.

  5. Carmichael says:

    Sadly, they won’t be able to do the best song currently on Broadway, and I highly doubt that they’ll be doing I Believe any time soon either.

    • protomelvin says:

      I’d like them to do I Believe, as well, but considering the subject matter, I doubt any of the current members would be singing the song. Maybe if they introduce a new mormon character.

  6. Rose says:

    As for Harry Shum Jr.’s singing, I know in one of the many, many interviews that he gave promoting the 3D movie, Harry said that he can sing, at least better than Mike Chang, but this is the direction the producers choose to go with his character.
    By the way, in one interview, Lamarcus Tinker also said that he can carry a tune but he didn’t know if he would be singing on the show. I understand that all or virtually all of the actors involved with Glee were asked if they can sing or sang at their auditions whether the show uses that skill or not. Dot Jones has recounted that when she asked Brad Falchuk if he would write her a part in Glee, he asked if she could sing!

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, Harry can actually sing! So can Ashley, I was surprised when I heard her and Harry sing a little something when I met them.

  7. Amanda says:

    “We found out about that two days before it happened, so we were like, ‘Oh, Sam and Mercedes are going to be together. OK. Cool.’”

    Wow RIB, I would have never guessed. -_-
    I remember even Brad saying the idea of Samcedes happened after the Prom episode. Oh yeah and Ian said it look them all by surprise.

    It all makes sense now because it was looking like Sam still cared for Quinn in some way (Rumours, Funeral) and then BAM Sam likes Mercedes. o.O

    • znachki says:

      Well – that’s just another example of the “let’s throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” mentality, of last year’s uneven writing, isn’t it?

      I am really hoping that the additional writing staff can drag the show out of the mire it was sinking into.

      • Amanda says:

        Yes, that is true. I really wished they hired the new writers last season like they were going to. It just sucks because Chord wanted to be a part of S3 and this season is already looking better than last season. =/

  8. Lisa says:

    I’m happy for Amber that she gets to play a broader range but I don’t really care about Mercedes as a character. For me the show is about Rachel, Kurt and Finn. I enjoy Will and Emma, Brittany, Santana, Bieste and Sylvester but Mercedes…I can take her or leave her.

    • Lawrence says:

      She is like the only African American character (which is sad) so I guess they have to make her stand out even more. She is just as much a part of Glee as her other co-stars.

  9. James says:

    Couldn’t care less about Mercedes and Amber, though slightly improved, can’t act to save her life. Yet they gave her a big story line it appears as well as a lot of songs. A lot of wailing coming our way. Hello ratings dropping.

  10. Puckleberry says:

    Am I excited to see the softer side of Mercedes? Of course I am! More than excited as I’ve been wishing to see more Mercedes. Too bad, Samcedes is not a possibility anymore! I’ve commented before that we’ve seen a lot of kissing except for sassy Mercedes. She deserves some snogging on screen!
    I cannot wait to see more of my favorite Glee characters: the original New Directions!

  11. Mimi says:

    yeah!!! More Mercedes. Plus I actually like “the wailing” N Rating will go up,WATCH THIS SPACE

    • Peechez says:

      I agree with your comment amber will do great she is a great singer not a wailer and you can’t judge someone ability to act if you are not given any story line to your showcase her character you really never get to see what they are capable of rating will go up I like diversity I
      They are all great even with Lea story lines her acting is not as great as her wonderful voice so I think the rating are gonna go up more story lines for everybody that’s what needs to happen

  12. Kat says:

    Wow a lot of haters talking crap on this article! Just because Mercedes isn’t your favourite character, doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of other fans that love her character, as well as the actress who plays her. Thankfully, Glee doesn’t revolve around your wishes and desires.

    She may not be the best actress on the show but she’s improved a lot since season 1, and even then I don’t think she was terrible at all. Try and separate your dislike of the character/actress from the actual facts :)

    • Sal says:

      I know right?? Lea Michele isn’t that great an actress either (and don’t throw your SHE GOT 2 GOLDEN GLOBE NOMS AND AN EMMY NOM at me- I stand by my statement). I think it’s about time Mercedes (and Tina!) got more screen time. I’m sick of having Rachel shoved down my throat.

      • wierd says:

        Lea is a very good comedic actress and getting better with drama every day. Amber has improved but is still lacking.

        You do know that Rachel is the lead kid character right?

    • James says:

      She has so many fans that she’s one of the worst sellers on Glee. Her acting is horrible. Well we’ll see how they like it when people start tuning out and how long those story lines hold.

  13. Lily says:

    Looking forward to Mercedes having decent “A” storylines. And what happened to her friendship with Kurt ? Just want to see Kurt’s reaction to Marcus… Maybe he will have an innocent crush on him…

  14. LC says:

    I hope they at least give her more to sing rather than a few high notes at the end of a song. She has too good a voice just to go unused.

  15. Captain says:

    I may be in the minority but I preferred it when the songs were all Top 40 and 80s power ballads.

  16. Will says:

    I just want the Kurt/Mercedes friendship to be back on track! It really irked me how the writers ignored their bond just to build Kurt/Blaine.

  17. Louise says:

    Halleluyah!!…Thank god they are bringing more Broadway songs back, last season there were way too many current covers and it just didnt mesh well at all, it became let’s re-do that popular tune that’s just come out, it became annoying…plus I really love Lea and Chris singing show tunes, let them do what they do best!!.

    Bring it on.

  18. Monkeyrat says:

    @Captain: you’re not the only one. I don’t care about Broadway songs. And I couldn’t care less about Mercedes. She really can sing, but there’s nothing about her that I care about. I don’t hate her either, I’m just indifferent.

  19. Amy says:

    More broadway numbers? Yawn. I can enjoy some Avenue Q or Webber but I don’t think showtunes is what Glee does best.

    • twist says:

      Huh? Rachel and Kurt are all about show tunes. Rachel and Mercedes did a show tune duet. They do show tunes better that n top 40.

  20. Paula says:

    I loved Mercedes and Kurt’s friendship way more than Rachel and Kurt’s.

  21. Mikey says:

    I’m glad to see that Mercedes will have a softer side…she was a bit too demanding/screechy last season. I do wish they would add more to her backstory…esp as a main character (from day 1). Glad to see more Broadway, but I too, like the Top40 & 80’s Power Ballads. Some of the cast have voices better suited to showtunes than pop music – Absolutley hated the Glee version of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ but Rachel & Kurt do great on B’way stuff. it would be nice if they tried to match songs to the singers strengths and not just because they are either the focus of the story or the ‘leads’.

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