To celebrate Glee‘s 100th episode we’ve been taking a look back at the top six moments for the original six Glee members: Mercedes, Tina, Artie, Kurt, Finn, and Rachel. This final installment focuses on everyone’s favorite diva, Rachel.
Rachel Barbra Berry. It can be easily argued that Rachel is the main character on Glee, and no matter where the show decides to go in the future, you can be sure the talented diva will still be featured heavily.
So how do I even begin to choose Rachel’s top moments? If we’re being honest, at times Glee might as well be called The Rachel Show, and it wouldn’t be difficult to find a great Rachel scene in almost every episode.
Here are six moments I finally narrowed my very long list down to. There are so many great ones that I had to leave out, and this is by no means a list of the only amazing Rachel moments up until tonight’s 100th episode, “100”.
“Don’t Rain on My Parade”
How could I ever leave this iconic Rachel number out? A pivotal moment in season one, and a game-changer for the McKinley High glee club’s first Sectionals performance, Rachel absolutely owned this song, made famous originally by her idol Barbra Streisand.
I bet if you asked most people who have watched Glee what song they’d most associate with Ms. Berry, this would be at or near the top of the list. The power in Lea Michele’s voice here is absolutely stunning.
Performing this show-stopper, and performing it flawlessly, is definitely one of the highlights of Rachel’s early years on Glee. Thanks in part to this performance, the club won their first Sectionals, and were able to move on to win many more competitions over the show’s run.
I will personally admit that at times, the Rachel/Finn back-and-forth on Glee got on my nerves a little bit. I always wanted Rachel to really own her own confidence, without needing a guy to help her do it.
And this performance of “Firework” was exactly what I was looking for. In the second season episode “Silly Love Songs”, Rachel spends a lot of time trying to win Finn back, but eventually determines that she doesn’t need him, and instead she needs to focus on herself and her career rather than her love life. She then does this number at the end of the episode, with some of the other Gleek girls as back-up.
A great, empowering moment for our girl, and one that stands out to me among her many excellent performances.
“Don’t Stop Believin'”
Really, every time this song has been done on Glee could’ve ended up on the Rachel list. She is the main female lead on many of them, after all, and as arguably the most well-known song to have been covered on the show, it’s hard not to include it somehow on the list.
But I specifically chose Rachel’s performance of the song during her audition for “Funny Girl.” Why? Because it got her one step closer to her Broadway dreams.
A moment to reflect on her past, but also one that helped her on her journey to becoming the star she’s meant to be, this performance of “Don’t Stop Believin'” was one of the most important auditions of her life.
And I thought it was incredibly touching, the way the writers had the other original glee club members “appear” to Rachel when she needed them the most. The song definitely deserves a place on a list of big Rachel moments.
As much as I sometimes got bored with the show messing around with the Finchel relationship, it did deliver some pretty epic moments to make us believe in their love story. This presentation of “Faithfully” was certainly one of those times.
Taking the lead at Regionals, Finn and Rachel really brought it when it came to selling us the passion behind their words during this number. Powerful and moving, it’s one of my favorite numbers that the two ever did in competition together.
I’m guessing Rachel would count it as a pretty important moment in her life as well, since just before they went on stage to do this piece, Finn confessed his love for her. She’ll probably always remember the moment when her first love said those words to her.
The scene, and this performance, are filled with even more meaning when you remember that only a few short years later, Finn passes away. So the few moments like this that Rachel and Finn had together? Rachel probably cherishes them more than ever now.
“I Dreamed a Dream”/”Poker Face”
I had to include one of these on the list, and I couldn’t choose just one. Rachel exploring and understanding her relationship with her biological mother was one of the early intriguing story lines for her character that did not involve glee club, and I wanted to make sure it took it’s rightful place on a top moments list for the girl.
I like the performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” more, but technically it’s a fantasy sequence and the two aren’t actually interacting in it. But it occurs after Rachel hears her mother’s voice and recognizes it as that for the first time, so I’d argue it’s kind of a big moment for her.
“Poker Face” is the first time the two sing together while they both are aware of who they are to each other, so it’s a pretty important moment for Rachel too. Singing with her mother was a personal dream of Rachel’s, and that dream comes true in Glee‘s twentieth episode, “Theatricality.”
The Move to New York City
“Roots Before Branches” isn’t one of my favorite songs done on Glee, but the scene during the performance is incredibly important to Rachel’s character.
When the song begins, Rachel is singing it thinking she’s headed to her wedding but instead Finn brings her to the train station to head to New York. From Finn’s car to the station, from the station to the train, and from the train to the Big Apple, the biggest move of Rachel’s life is immortalized in a song and scene both less than five minutes long.
I think we can all agree that Rachel’s move to NYC was one of the biggest moments of her life. And while she’s had some amazing performances and scenes since then, this was the one that got her there, so I think it deserves the final spot on this list.
For the record, a few of the moments I almost had on the list for Rachel included:
- Winning Prom Queen
- Being proposed to by Finn
- “New York State of Mind”
- Winning Nationals
Told you I had a tough time with this one, Gleeks! Do you agree with my choices, or would you have picked other moments for Rachel?
And that’s the last of our character celebration pieces!
Check out all the look backs:
Click here for Mercedes’ Top 6 moments>>>
Click here for Tina’s Top 6 moments>>>
Click here for Artie’s Top 6 moments>>>
Click here for Finn’s Top 6 moments>>>
Click here for Kurt’s Top 6 moments>>>
Make sure to watch the 100th episode of Glee, airing Tuesday March 18 at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)