Glee's Michael Jackson Tribute: Who's the Villain, Who's Dueting, and Who's Warming the Bench?

You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet — especially when it comes Glee spoilers — but you can trust TVLine’s scoop about the show’s upcoming Michael Jackson tribute episode slated to air later this month. That’s because our crack team of reporters caught up with several cast members at Sunday’s Television Critics Association bash to get the news straight from the show choir’s mouth:

Sebastian Will Be Startin’ Somethin’ | Yes, folks, get ready for Grant Gustin’s Sebastian Smythe to turn into a total terror, says Kevin McHale (Artie). “For this episode, it’s everybody versus Sebastian,” McHale says of the sneaky gay teen who previously tried to come between Kurt and Blaine. “He’s our first male villain.” What turns so many people against the carefully coiffed Warbler? “I do a majorly douche-y thing to one of the characters. So first off the fans are against me, and now the whole cast is against me,” explains Gustin with a laugh.

Santana Might Just Leave Some Blood on the Dance Floor | After Sebastian commits his bad act, “Santana comes to Dalton [Academy] and confronts me,” teases Gustin. “And then we go into ‘Smooth Criminal’ together.”

The Show Will Rock Without ‘Rock With You’ | Gustin says he’ll also pop up in a performance of “Bad” that features both New Directions and the Warblers, as well as a scene where the Dalton show choir covers a Jackson 5 number. But alas, the guys in the navy-and-red blazers won’t be doing “Rock With You,” as reported on a number of sites. “It didn’t get cleared,” says McHale, although it was in the script at one point, adds Gustin.

A Couple of Characters Will Beat It | Indeed, Jayma Mays and Jane Lynch confirm that Emma and Sue won’t be part of the episode. What’s more surprising, though is that Matthew Morrison’s Mr. Schue won’t get his MJ on, either. “I don’t [sing in the episode], unfortunately,” says Morrison. “But in a weird way, there’s a pressure [when you have to] sing a Michael Jackson song, so I was kind of relieved.”

Mr. Schue Wants the New Directions Kids to Remember the Time…When MJ Topped the Charts | “A lot of the kids in high school today know Michael Jackson, but I don’t think they really are influenced and affected by him,” says Morrison. “[Will wants MJ] to go down as one of the greatest performers of all time — and I think he will. [The episode] is about bringing Michael Jackson to a new generation.” In fact, look for Will to take to the blackboard with an episode-shaping question: “WWMJD?” (Yes, folks, that stands for “What would Michael Jackson do?”)

Sam Is Not Alone | Chord Overstreet won’t reveal much, except for the fact that the Jackson tribute finds Sam in duet mode. (That said, a credible set list from TV Guide pointed to Sam tackling a “Human Nature”/”Nature Boy” mashup with none other than Mercedes.)

The Way “Ben” Makes Chris Colfer Feel…Is Confused | Colfer says Kurt will deliver Jackson’s 1972 soundtrack cut “Ben,” from that horror movie about a boy and his rat. “I have no idea [why it was chosen], but I know it was voted the worst song in history by some group. It was about a rat, but we’re singing it about Kurt’s boyfriend,” says Colfer. “I’m not sure what the connection is! They didn’t [change lyrics from “Ben” to “Blaine”]; that would have been clever, though.”

Mike Chang Will Turn into a Dancing Machine | “Everyone gets to contribute in their own way,” says Harry Shum, Jr., whose character will tackle the Michael-Janet duet “Scream” (reportedly with Artie). “It’s going to be a fun duet,” he says. “And that particular song has so much anger and angst about all these things that have built up, and Mike Chang has a lot of pent-up anger he couldn’t express, so you’re going to see a lot of explosive dance moments.” (Reporting by Matt Webb Mitovich, Michael Ausiello and Vlada Gelman)

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  1. Jackson says:

    i can’t wait for this episode.. it’s so exciting

  2. anon says:

    What.. So the warblers don’t have anymore songs left on the ep? They worked their ass off only for it to be cut off.. First awesome songs to not so awesome ones to none.. Was looking forward to this episode at first but not now..

    • maj says:

      can you read..? “Gustin says he’ll also pop up in a performance of “Bad” that features both New Directions and the Warblers, as well as a scene where the Dalton show choir covers a Jackson 5 number”

      • yep says:

        Besides, the video of Bad with Michael was about a rumble between to factions in a parking garage- it was cool. Glee is doing it’s own version of it. New Directions vs The Warblers-with Sebastian as head of it. I think it’s gonna be outstanding.

    • jason says:

      The New Directions are the stars of Glee. Not a bunch of no-names or no-one-cares called the warblers.

      • Jessica says:

        I don’t know what planet your living on but don’t lie.. you love the blazers.. I love the Warblers – your loss

  3. Hailey says:

    Can’t wait for Finn and Rachel – they are just the best

    • The Truth says:

      Finchel is unhealthy. Go get bent.

      • Jay says:

        Finchel is the best relationship on the show. It is the most realistic and loving. You obviously are bent… :)

        • yep says:

          Thanx Jay. They are the most loving and are realistic. Yessir, I just cannot understand where people feel they are unhealthy. Yea, season 2 was way out left field but now their in sinc and have remained that way. Supportive of each other, giving. Now the xmas episode was not a win IMO. Rachel was to act as Sally in Charlie Brown xmas shows. Not funny to me. It just made Rachel look bad. But it was written as supposed joke filled. Not their finest hour to me creators that is.

          • Trish says:

            Actually, the most loving couple is Mike & Tina. Finn & Rachel are the most realistic because their “relationship” is like most relationships…one person always looking out for themselves (Rachel) & the one person supporting the other more (Finn supporting Rachel more than she supports him).

        • Imani says:

          no its the most unrealistic and annoying couple, how are you going to say a fictional couple is realistic smh, but anyways can’t wait for ARTIE!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • yep says:

      I’m so with you. Just love this couple. Their story is getting good.

    • Nicole says:

      I’m with ya there! that is really all I am looking forward to I just want to see what happenes with them!!! CAN NOT WAIT

  4. Tina says:

    Did none of you seriously get anything on Finn and Rachel despite the fact that Cory AND Lea were both there? What-a-fail.

    • Kendal says:

      To be fair, all you Finchel fans ever get is Finchel scoops…

      I agree with Carol Uck – what about Quinn and/or Puck???

    • Tina says:

      I think they’re deliberately putting a tight lid on the Finchel storylines for the next few episodes. Kecks from TV Guide wouldn’t crack even though he was bombarded with Finchel tweets. But Lea and Cory keep insisting that they have a BIG storyline coming up. I can’t freaking wait!

  5. Carol Uck says:

    What about Quinn and Puck?

  6. Liz says:

    Another Michael Jackson tribute. Was the Super Bowl episode last year not enough? I wish they would stop with the theme episodes.

    • Léna says:

      How was the SB episode an MJ tribute? There was only one MJ song.

    • yep says:

      They have said that this will be different from Power of Madonna which had little story. Story lines will coincide with the lyrics of the songs. I love Michael Jackson and glad they are doing his music.

  7. sofia says:

    Can’t wait for Finn and Rachel – they are just the best

  8. Katie says:

    What about Quinn and Puck? Who is she singing to? Is she the one with night school?

    • yep says:

      I’ve read that Quinn sings her solo to her 3 ex boyfriends. Puck/Finn/Sam. I also read that she is the first of the class to graduate who knows what her future is. So what does this mean? I don’t have a clue. Is Dianna returning for season 4? I guess we’ll have to watch to find out. Maybe, in future episodes. There are supposed to alot of storylines for the characters in upcoming episodes. A down hill race so to speak. I for one have noticed Quinn’s character finally changing from crazy- a good thing. I think for her characer to heal she needs to be independent. She is healing and being more self assured- more like old Quinn.

  9. Krystal says:

    Like them separately, but no, Finchel succckks!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Glee, you just lost me. Isn’t there enough about Micheal Jackson going on in this world?

  11. Juliet says:

    I just hope that when it comes to the dance numbers, the camerapeople and editors can get over their ADHD and just hold the shots still! When Harry Shum danced to “PYT” last season, there were so many quick cuts that the viewers didn’t get to appreciate the awesomeness. When Harry Shum is dancing to Michael Jackson, just sit back and let us watch!

  12. Ebony says:

    I’m pretty excited about the Michael Jackson episode, but I’m with Chris Colfer about the “Ben” song. It’s doesn’t make sense to me either. I was really hoping reports that his character, Kurt, singing “The Way You Make Me Feel” to Blaine were true. To be honest, I’m disappointed that Kurt’s song to Blaine is “Ben” and not “The Way You Make Me Feel”, as the latter song would’ve made ten times more sense. Oh well. I won’t let this put a damper on my enthusiasm for what otherwise sounds like an awesome episode. Can’t wait for it to air!

  13. Susan says:

    I can’t believe that they cut Will out. He is one of the strongest male singer/dancers of the cast, the ideal skill set needed to cover Michael Jackson.

  14. yvette says:

    OMG i cant belive SAMCEDES is doing another duet cant wait

  15. Alicia L. says:

    I’m the only one scratching my head over this MJ tribute episode because they covered MJ a lot in sectionals this year. Chris Colfer singing Ben will be interesting, but I understand why the actor thinks its a weird choice. I’m excited for the Sam/Mercedes duet, but I don’t expect much from it because Amber Riley has such a stronger voice than Chord Overstreet.

  16. Lol says:

    A song about a rat to Bkaine? Lol, I see a connection.

  17. Lol says:

    A song about a rat to Blaine? Lol, I see a connection.

  18. F says:

    Their Madonna tribute ep was more exciting.

  19. Captain says:

    Honestly, I love Glee but I’m not excited for this. They JUST did 3 Jackson songs two episodes ago. The tribute episodes are fun when they’re covering artists we haven’t seen them cover before (Madonna, Britney Spears, Fleetwood Mac) but they’ve already done Michael’s best songs in my opinion (Man in the Mirror, PYT, Thriller). Obviously MJ has tons of awesome songs to choose from but I don’t see the point in paying tribute to someone they’ve paid tribute to plenty in the past. ALSO out of all the MJ songs they could have chosen, they really didn’t pick the best ones. Ben? Really? What about Beat It, The Way you Make Me Feel, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough…

    • Jessika says:

      If you read between the lines, they couldn’t get permission to do some of the songs they wanted to do. There are a lot of legal hoops television shows have to go through to be allowed to air songs. Shows like Glee probably have to go through more hoops simply because they’re doing something like 5-10 songs an episode.

  20. Katie says:

    I don’t understand where “Samcedes” came from, everyone knows he sings best with Quinn. And why can’t Rachel and Finn sing separately?

  21. Matt says:

    What are you all on about??? Why they are paying tribute to michael jackson again??? Maybe because hes the greatest ever!! Madonna, britney etc all their music is influenced from michael jackson!!!! Did you not read the article properly? They want this generation to remember who michael jackson is and was for his music!! Your favourite artist wud b influenced by michael! Even your artists favourite artist!! GLEE keep rockin!!!

  22. Shannon says:

    It’s ridiculous that the best male singer, MATTHEW, is not doing a number – Glee is squandering his talent

  23. Anyone know the DATE the show will air please? I want to mark my calendar but can’t seem to find the date in any of the articles.


  24. Leo says:

    Mike Chang. Dancing Machine. Yum!

  25. Ella says:

    I absolutely cannot wait for this! Scream, Bad, Smooth Criminal – sounds like Glee’s back with a bang!

  26. mk says:

    Another Samcedes duet? Yes please!! Can’t wait!

  27. suzanne says:

    im really digging the mercedez and sam hook up!!

  28. Kelly says:

    What are you guys talking about finchel has nothing on Klaine. Klaine is definitely the best couple on glee. Not really looking forward to a whole episode of MJ songs, I feel like they’ve done enough. I really wanna know what meercat face is going to do:P Other then him I can’t wait to see the Warblers again <3

  29. Kristen says:

    Maybe Sam’s duet is “The Girl is Mine” with Mercedes’ boyfriend?

  30. Jess says:

    I really want to know what goes down with Sebastian. I hope Blaine finally punches him. Klaine forever. Xx

  31. Jess says:

    What about Elvis?? Xx

  32. Jasmine says:

    Heather better get some kick ass dancing in this!

  33. Shelby says:

    I’ve actually read the lyrics to Ben and I think it fits with Blaine and Kurt because despite being boyfriends they are also each other’s best friend. It talks about being together even though the world is against them. “the two of us need look no more
    We both found what we were looking for…There’s something you should know you’ve got a place to go…I used to say I and me Now it’s us now it’s we…They don’t see you as I do I wish they would try to.” I for one can’t wait to hear it.

  34. Jessica says:

    Actually the regional performance was a sort of tribute to the whole Jackson family… Jackson 5 – ABC, Janet Jackson- Control, and Michael Jackson – man in the mirror. Not just Micheal. I’m just saying :)

  35. Elizabeth w says:

    I love Finchel but agree that they get too much attention! Let’s get some other story lines like mike/Tina Quinn/puck etc…. But I disagree about how Rachel is only focused on herself an doesn’t support Finn. Yes, she may be selfish but she really loves Finn. Again, I love Finchel but I kinda hope that we dont see as much of them until the end of the season and more neglected characters now

    • Imani says:

      exactly, i wanna know more about Artie/Quinn/Puck/Mike/Tina/Brittany and etc if i missed some, sure at times i like or <3 Finchel but right now they are being REALLY annoying, but don't get me wrong I love love love Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith

  36. Kinsey says:

    If Brittany and Santana finally say something to each other in this episode, I will be pleased beyond belief.
    On another note, though I’m not a huge Michael Jackson fan, I think that Glee has made very good covers of his songs. I think this will be a good episode.

  37. Theresa says:

    Seriously when is Samuel Larson going to be on Glee? The MJ episode would be perfect for him.

  38. Tracey says:

    Hold on bud!No Warblers,NO BLAINE!They are incredibly talented,clean out your ears and get a clue.

  39. Em says:

    SOOO EXCITED! I was listening to the wrong “Ben” song. lol! Well now I have to go and listen to that one! I’m soo excited for this episode and to see what Sebastian does. Although I hate him for trying to breakup Klaine, I also love him for it because he’s basically testing if their relationship is strong enough without him even knowing it. I highly doubt that he’ll break up Blaine and Kurt. Blaine doesn’t really seem to interested in him (unless hes drunk). <3 glee! Imma gleek!

  40. Joanna says:

    Dude, way to recycle quotes from your previous post . . .

  41. karenb says:

    Bring it, Mike Chang!!

  42. Mae says:

    So true. They are also the most unrealistic. The fact that a girl as annoying, self centered and mean as Rachel would actually have a boyfriend, especially to a football player in a small town in Ohio would never happen. Maybe a haiiden relationship or a relationship after high school but never in High School. Finn and Rachel bring out the worst in eachother (especially when their fighting) an they both manipulate the people around them way to much. I think the best relationship on the show would be Klaine because while in real life they most likely would have dated in secret, they have one of the most healthy relationships, with Mike and Tina in second place.

  43. Nic says:

    Bah more MJ songs…I will admit sure he was a great singer…historical…whatever…I’m just not a fan…and considering that they did 3 MJ songs at sectionals? At least one of the few songs I do like is being sung by Naya <3

  44. Blu says:

    I can’t wait to see who Sebastian hurts that makes Santana so upset. And who knows? Maybe Santana and Brittany will actually have a conversation this episode…

    • sharron says:

      sebastian hurts brittany with a slushie and santana goes mad..
      brittany and santana sing in the closet..tats what i heard?

      • sharron says:

        santana and brittany are sooo in love..u all have to watch the valentine is in the air..we have more brittana coming yeahhh..

  45. Erin says:

    Guys, seriously, where is the love? Only true Gleeks love and embrace every couple.
    Finn and Rachel – the unlikely couple. At first, he was scared it’d ruin his reputation (most boys his age go through the same thing) but even through the rough times he realised he truly loved her, and didn’t care about what people felt.
    Mike and Tina – These guys are cute. They are the guys who have held onto their relationship forever! I know people exactly like this – it’s all love. :)
    Kurt and Blaine – At first they were friends but things changed. This probably happens in EVERY relationship. Girls/Guys always become friends with their crushes before they make a move.
    Lol, I’m not trying to be a love guru or whatever, I am just saying stop fighting about Glee being unrealistic and that all the couples are fake! It’s crazy.
    Oh and personally, can’t wait for things to get a little messy between the Warblers and ND. ;)
    This episode sounds awesome – MJ would be proud.

  46. kate says:

    gosh, i really don’t like Samcedes thing. i mean Sam gave a promise ring to Quinn, he said that she is the best thing that ever happened to him when he transferred and that she was his first love. i really don’t get it, how can he want to be with mercedes, who he likes just for one summer INSTEAD of Quinn, his first love!! Oh gosh, so depprest with this thing, just can’t stand that! :D sorry for my english. I think it would be so cute if Quinn still would wore that promise ring and then Sam would fell in love with her again! …. I think I need to relax from glee :D

  47. Glee222 says:

    I do not get Sam/Quinn fans. Quinn had her chance with Sam and blew it. I actually wish Quinn and Finn were together because I can’t stand Rachel and Finn as a couple. Anyhow, happy the show is going with Sam and Mercedes! They make a great couple I hope Ryan Murphy doesn’t mess them up! I am looking forward to Sam/Mercedes duet during the MJ episode! They both did great doing the Grease number and I know they will be amazing in the MJ episode!!!

  48. Lauren says:

    I wish that Samuel Larsen The winner of The Glee Project was gonna be on this episode especially since MJ is his insperation!<3

  49. Gleek141414 says:

    Last nights episode was soooo good I cried… Only at the end… Finn is so sweet but aren’t they a little young???