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)