Exclusive Glee Video: Watch Mercedes Steal the 'Spotlight' From Rachel!

The long-simmering rivalry between McKinley High divas Rachel and Mercedes comes to a head in Tuesday’s must-see Glee. And while both Lea Michele and Amber Riley more than rise to the occasion, make no mistake: This episode belongs to Riley. And the proof is in the embedded video player below.

Spoiler Alert: Bonus Ask Ausiello Devoted to Glee

In this exclusive clip from “Asian F,” Mercedes — fed up with playing a mere supporting role what she dubs “The Rachel Berry Show — belts out a fierce cover of Jennifer Hudson’s “Spotlight.” The fact that the performance doubles as an audition for McKinley’s production of West Side Story (for which she is competing against Rachel for the role of Maria) only adds to the drama.

Glee Scoop/Spoilers Can Be Found 24/7 on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello

For her part, Riley says the number marked one of the high points of her Glee experience so far. “It was really fun to sing a current pop song, because Mercedes usually does the old diva-ish sings,” notes the actress, adding that the episode as a whole required her to dig deep into her character’s psyche. “There were some things that were challenging for me. I really had to think about who Mercedes is. It was amazing to be challenged in that way.”

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  1. Tammy says:

    I don’t know if many people know this. If you do, please correct me if I am wrong. I think Lea was a serious contender for the broadway revival of WSS, right? She did not get it, and somebody said that it was Idina(Shelby Corcoran) that comforted her about losing it, right? Sorry I am not sure, but I heard it was true. Maybe they will make this like Lea’s own life experience. They do that a lot with Rachel(nose job, drive, ambition, energy, and I think Lea even said that her teacher hated her in her school chior). I don’t want Mercedes to get maria at all, but they could very well decide to make this the same thing that Lea went through. But then again I don’t know. I just think if you are a contender for the broadway musical in real life, you would be a better fit than someone who wasn’t. She didn’t get the part though, so idk. I agree with someone on here. If you look back at what Lea accomplished before glee, you could say that she could almost play any role on broadway. I remeber her saying that she auditioned for one broadway show with paper moon, and then her saying that she wanted to play eponine so bad that she learned how to belt just for that role. Idk, but I am pretty sure that te girl can pull off maria. I love Amber though, I really do. Maria is just not her role though.

    • jonathan says:

      yes Tammy, it is true. Lea Michele was a serious contender to get that part of Maria in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. She did not get the part. She was extremely upset, was in her apartment for days. Idina Menzel encouraged her and advised her that these things are common. She then advised her to take a break for a while. And, Lea’s friend Jonathan Groff (Jesse on Glee) then told her to look for guest spots in TV shows. He also mentioned about a spot on Glee. Since Lea met Ryan Murphy years ago, she signed up for the show, and got the part.

  2. Dawn says:

    While this a good performance for Mercedes (Amber), it is not Maria good. Not polished enough. This rivalry is tired. I don’t think Mercedes is all that. There are plenty of karaoke divas that can belt it out like she does. Rachel (Lea Michele) has star quality and a vocal range far superior to Mercedes. Meh.

    • Ryann says:

      Exactly. The way Ausiello wrote the article I thought the song performace was going to be amazing, but it wasn’t. Mercedes/Amber has sung better. I don’t get all the attitude towards Rachel, either. Overall, the performance was WEAK SAUCE.

  3. Joan says:

    Am I the only person who can’t stand Amber Riley in general?

    • Ash says:

      Haha. I think you might be. Amber is awesome, but mercedes is starting to rub me the wrong way. I guess I still love her though.

  4. JDHetherington says:

    I love that everyone is hating on Mercedes for finally stepping up and going after something she wants, rather then always being given opportunities when Rachel decides to step back. Almost all the major solo points Mercedes has recieved, Rachel had a hand in getting her the solo. She shouldn’t have to only take what Rachel doesn’t want to do, when she has just as much raw talent as Rachel. “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going” was only chosen to be a solo at Sectionals, after stepping up and confronting Rachel in front of everyone, and in the end Rachel still got the solo, because the other show choirs cheated. Dog Days Are Over was only given to her and Tina at Rachel’s request, due to “not feeling up to it”, and Mercedes only got to close out the show in Night of Neglect because Rachel again chose to not go on, while showing during Mercedes performance she was struggling with Finn and Quinn being together.

    • andrea says:

      Yeah but is not Rachel fault, and she have the problem with Rachel, also it she is not Maria and that audition is not a good way to show that she can sing and be Maria

      • JDHetherington says:

        But she’s not doing this to get back at Rachel for always having the lead, she’s doing this for herself. She’s entitled to want things for herself. This is an opportunity to spread her wings, like she tried to do with The Cheerios briefly in Season 1, and again taking a key role in Rocky Horror in Season 2. Her problem is less at Rachel and more in general of always being overlooked compared to her New Directions teammates in things in regard to the Glee Club, and outside the Glee Club.

  5. $ says:

    If Mercedes was cast as Maria… and Kurt was cast as Tony…… that would be very poor casting indeed.

  6. Jamey says:

    I am done with Mercedes or the writing… Rachel has grown as a character – Mercedes has not. I too liked the friendship last season and don’t know where it went. She is being a jerk and I wish the writers would show growth with the character.

  7. stacey says:

    this is discriminatory against Canadians. I want to watch too.

  8. Susan says:

    Why can’t Canadian fans of Glee watch these videos?

  9. Stef says:

    It was okay. I dont’ see how this was the best song choice for her. I get why it was sung but not a true showcase of her talent. This song doesn’t show her better than Rachel.

  10. hayley says:

    merceeds has a serious attitude problem and something needs to be done about it. sure rachel can be just as bad, but she doesnt go around acting like a diva 100 per cent of the time. she has the drive and the talent but she does step aside when she needs too. merceeds just complains the whole time. i mean she was complaining about having to go to dance boot camp, if she was really serious about being the lead she would be happy to improve herself. everyone needs to give rachel and break and stop putting mercedees on this ‘aw poor merceeds trip’.

  11. emid fuller says:

    I am a Singer I would love to sing backup

  12. Barney says:

    Mercedes is passive aggressive and blaming Rachel for her short comings. If you competition is going the extra mile than you need to go the extra mile. If you fell something is unfair than you need to speak up.

    Mercedes problem should be with Mr Shue if she feel she is being over looked for solos.

  13. Block says:

    So where is the video of Mercedes stealing Rachel’s spotlight becasue this can’t be it? While I like Amber she will never be in Lea’s league. She sjut doesn’t have the acting chops.

  14. Nancy says:

    That’s a fierce cover? Sorry, but I didn’t feel anything! Last week, when Lea and Idina sang “Somewhere” I was crying by the time they finished. Last season, when Lea sang “My Man” I was bawling! THAT is what a performer does! I’m not denying Amber is a fantastic singer, much better then some of the people currently in the music business. But, and perhaps this is embedded in the character, she sings about herself, and to herself. There’s no projection to her performances. That’s why she was referred to as lazy last season. I love both characters but I am getting really tired of Rachel always being blamed for “stealing” the spotlight. To me, she has earned the spotlight. If she doesn’t get the lead, then this wasn’t based on talent and who’s right for the part; it will turn out to be a pity contest.

    • For reals says:

      Yeah. I don’t think any song on glee has gotten to me like “My Man” did. That was seriously unreal to me. I have gone back and forth about who is better(even though I somehow always give the edge to Lea), but after “My Man” I was done. She is seriously amazing. I love Amber though. I just think that Lea is better than her. Don’t hurt me. It is just my opinion.

  15. Z says:

    Anyone but Kurt singing is great. He is not very good and everytime he sings it is WAY TO LONG, I guess it may just seem long because he is so bad. PRODUCERS PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT LET KURT SING.

    • Sam says:

      Chris is a great singer… its just that everything sounds the same from him. I feel the same way about Lea. They are both very talented however. His solos are a bit longer than everyone elses, I will admit. I felt like his audition performance last episode went on for much longer than it needed to. He does have a lot of talent though.

      • Ri says:

        I have actually heard Lea switch up her sound a few times. Listen to DROMP and then listen to IF/UP, or My Man and then something like Smile. I don’t think Chris is good at all. His falsetto has ruined a lot of songs IMO. I love him, but I hate his voice.

    • jenna says:

      He’s an unbelievably incredible actor and has insane stage presence, which more than makes up for whatever he *might* be lacking in vocals.

      • Um Ok says:

        He is not unbelievably incredible at all. He is very good, but he is hardly the most amazing actor. The character is not even funny anymore. It is always poor kurt. I am the victim kurt, and I don’t like that. That is all they let him do is cry and sulk. Chris is wonderful, but his charcter is starting to really make me hate him. Hate his character of course, not Chris.

  16. Demi says:

    Mercedes is a senior, like Rachel. Why can’t she shine like her also. Mercedes has never had a solo in any of the compitions. She is always belting out the final note. And that’s not enough for her. Mercedes is the only real compition for Racheal, as shown in previous dive offs. Rachel suggest this play, why shouldn’t Mercedes want to be apart of it too?

    • autospellcheck says:

      *competitions *Rachel *diva *a part

    • Ri says:

      Because they are making it seem like the only reason that she wants it is because she just doesn’t want rachel to get it. You can not go from saying that your boyfriend thinks that you are a park and bark, and agreeing with him. Not wanting to particpate in booty camp. To wanting to be the lead in a musical. No, I am not buying it. She is becoming really really annoying. She just complains about not getting anything when she does not do half the stuff for glee club that rachel does. Go and watch acafellas where it was Santana, Quinn, and rachel trying to recruit Dakota, and not mercedes. Even though the cheerios had other motives. Go and watch vitamin d, where she was the only one willing to practice. I don’t even need to mention what went on in matress. When mercedes starts working as hard as rachel does for the glee club, then I will respect her more when she moans about not getting stuff.

      • Funny thing... says:

        Mercedes doesn’t want to do the Booty Camp to dance…does she not realize that West Side Story is a very dance heavy show?

    • why says:

      Again not Rachel’s fault. if it isn’t enough for Mercedes she should give suggestion to Mr Shue like Rachel does. She should put in the extra effort. If your competition is working extra hard to make sure she gets the lead than you better find out what you need to do to get that chance too. Mercedes want to blame Rachel but Rachel is just doing what she can to be the best she can and to achieve what she want to achieve. Why is that bad?

  17. Tiny says:

    Okay, I agree with most of the comments here. The writers are making Mercedes pretty dang whiny. It’s almost like they want you to not like her. I used to love her in season 1! Now… not so much. I swear I JUST watched that video of Mercedes singing and I can’t really remember it but I can remember Rachel’s. Another thing I’m curious about is why people are just randomly bashing other charactor’s like Dianna Agron, like she’s not a good actress? What? But I digress I really hope they don’t screw up this episode.

  18. SheShe says:

    Actually it’s been said time and time again that Lea is most like Rachel. So doesn’t seem like she has to transform much.

    • I agree says:

      I agree with you to an extent. The part of rachel was written for lea, so it is definitely within reason that she would have a lot of similarities. It has been stated that by jenna that she is probably more rachel berry than lea is. Everyone in the cast has said the reason she is like rachel is because she is a very strong woman that knows what she wants and who she is. The determination, the drive, the you wont bring me down attitude comes from lea. The loud, and energetic, and funny side comes from lea also. That being said, she figured out her character drom the get go. Pulling from characters like tracy flick, and blair waldorf, and herself when she was younger. That is transformation to me. When you can go back to a certain way that you used to be, while at the same time pulling from other characters from movies, and characters that are on tv now. But like people have stated on here. Amber does not really get that chance to do that, because they keep giving her rachel vs. mercedes.

      • sam says:

        Amber could have put more into her character she is loud sassy Amber to loud sassy Mercedes. I don’t even see much differences from a 25 year old to a 16 year. Lea on the other hand you can see physical differences in mannerism and even in voice.

    • fred says:

      They said she is most like Rachel becasue they both are driven. That has really been the only comparison. Lea isn’t a naive, goody, goody. Please for every way they are alike, there are probably 5 differences.

  19. Lot says:

    I also wanna see this.. Love from Holland..

  20. jenny says:

    I think that the whole rachel mercedes thing needs to come to a head rele. They’ve done the same thing in several guises already! They even had a diva off! (Take me baby or leave me)

    To settle it I think they cud do an interesting story where the other glee members vote mercedes lead vocals, and she has a trial week or something to see how it works, following rachel around, so she knows the pressures. Might show her how much work rachel puts into everything, and emphasising jessie st james’ opinion that mercedes is just plain lazy.

    Might work, and get the glee club respecting rachel a bit more coz she deserves it before she leaves.

  21. I agree says:

    Ok, I agree with you. There is a major difference between leas voice and rachels voice. The New York accent definitely comes out more in Lea. What I am trying to say though is that this role was written for her so it is only natural for the similar traits. But I do see what she does with her as a transformation. I think she plays her brilliantly, and down to a tee. And I think part of that is because she can relate to so many sides of her.

  22. Jazza says:

    Awesome… She has a beautiful voice and a lot of talent singing. I enjoyed the Video very much and will listen to it again and again

  23. laylagalise says:

    Can I just say I wish McKinley High had chosen a different musical? Why must all high schools perform West Side Story, Grease, or Bye, Bye Birdie?

  24. sam says:

    I can’t believe it…. I have never been a Klaine shipper, but when I saw that scene on the stairs with the flowers… I AAAAAAAAAWWWWW’ed so hard. It killed me. Killed me ded.

  25. lynde says:

    I would like to point out that “Out Here On My Own” is NOTHING like ANY of the songs Maria sings. It’s lower, and it’s a song that you can belt. Because that describes EVERY song that Mercedes sings, of course she nailed it. If the directors had given them an actual Maria song, Rachel would have killed it and gotten the part easily. So okay Mercedes, you won the battle, but the “West Side Story” War? Rachel all the way.

    And by the way, Lea Michele has been performing on Broadway since she was eight. If anyone on that show could own a musical, it’s her.

  26. lynde says:

    Also, I am so sick and tired of everyone acting like Rachel is a horrible person for wanting to be the best singer in the group. Isn’t that the point?

    One last thing, I swear. I just felt that these two things basically sum up the entire Rachel/Mercedes competition.
    Mercedes (after her audition in Funeral): I don’t need to practice!

    Mercedes (after failing (HARD) in Booty Camp): I don’t see Rachel here, being part of the team.
    Finn: Rachel practices every-
    Mercedes: Stay out of this, Finn!

    So even though she thinks she doesn’t need to practice, she still thinks Rachel does?

  27. Dee says:

    Lea is great, but Amber is better! She and Chris Colfer are my favorite singers in the series.

  28. Ludo says:

    Whether people feel one or the other is better is subjective and to individual taste. Personally, I prefer Lea Michele’s style of singing. Amber has a lovely voice, though.

  29. hblivy says:

    Amazing! Her version is even better than Jennifer Hudson’s.