When I think diva, I think power, personality and punch. Those were three things I felt were missing from this week's episode of Glee - Diva.
In an attempt to get New Directions thinking about regionals, Finn and Emma teamed up to hold a diva competition. In episodes past, Will used to hold stupid contest after stupid contest, but at least they produced great performances. This time round, in Diva, I felt that while the vocals were pretty good, the overall performances just didn't hit the right note for me.
Beyonce's Diva, performed by Unique, Brittany, Tina, Blaine, Kitty and Marley, was more about show than substance. Yes, the costumes were amazing and the diva attitudes fun to watch, but I didn't really get anything from the performance.
Blaine's version of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now was vocally good, and again the costume was great, but I felt it lacked the energy of previous Blaine performances, confined as he was to the piano for most of the song.
And it wasn't Blaine's performance that showed men could be divas too - it was his behaviour towards Tina. Blaine and Tina could have been great friends, but what started off as a harmless crush on Tina's side has morphed into something truly horrific to watch. Feeling ill, Blaine accepts Tina's offers of food and medicine, without giving much thought to why she is helping him. Calling her pet names and telling her how amazing she is, Blaine is completely blind to Tina's feelings, which he shouldn't be since she made her crush quite clear a couple of episodes ago.
And Tina, quite frankly, is displaying bad behaviour towards Blaine. When he offers to help her find a song for the diva-off, Tina takes it the wrong way, believing it to be sort of an admission of his love for her. I'm insulted on Blaine's behalf that Tina seems to hint that she believes she can be the one for Blaine, even though he's gay. And when Blaine fell asleep as Tina confessed she loved him, it disturbed me to see Tina undo his shirt and put Vaporub on his chest before laying down to cuddle him - it felt like a huge invasion of personal space, and even ventured into assault territory, since Blaine wasn't awake to know what Tina was doing.
Tina's crush has gone from something amusing to something disturbing, and I'm not quite sure what the Glee writers think they're doing. I'm hoping Tina's win at the diva-off (well-deserved despite her creepiness this episode) will have given her confidence - and perhaps her lack of confidence is what was causing her strange behaviour. Please, please, Glee, let this be the end of Tina's crush on Blaine - I fear it is heading into dangerous territory and I don't want to see anymore. However, I'm not sure I'll get my wish, since Blaine asking Tina to be his date to the wedding next week may not be sending out the right signals.
EDIT: I've read two great posts here and here that have made me reconsider how Blaine and Tina's relationship is being portrayed. I still feel uncomfortable watching it, but maybe that's the point? It's not supposed to be easy to watch. Although I still don't like the whole Tina-touching-Blaine-while-he's-asleep thing.
Talking of the wedding, Emma was going crazy this week trying to organise her big day with Will, who was still in Washington. Never fear, Finn would help. Who didn't see their kiss coming a mile off? Why, why, why, does Glee do this? Why can't we just have uncomplicated characters who deal with their feelings in normal ways without venturing into inappropriate, unrealistic territory? I don't think there's anything else I want to say on Finn and Emma.
Santana was also back at McKinley to show New Directions how to be a diva. Again, I felt her performance of Nutbush City Limits was lacklustre - I know Santana can do better. Which is what she thought of Brittany's choosing Sam. When Santana and Brittany broke up it was sad, but not heartbreaking, because it was the right decision. It was a mature break up for the right reasons. In the course of this episode, that maturity disappeared, as Santana fixated on the idea that Sam wasn't right for Brittany.
I think Santana does genuinely love Brittany, but her feelings are also a lot to do with her own insecurity about still not having found her place, even when she left Lima to go to college. While Nutbush City Limits wasn't amazing, I did like Girl on Fire, because I could feel Santana's emotions and love for Brittany, but also felt that Santana was ready to face her own future and take control of it, and taking control involved going to New York and moving in with Rachel and Kurt.
But before Santana got there, Rachel and Kurt had been having a diva-off of their own. Sick of Rachel's behaviour, Kurt (who is way more patient than I am) challenged her to a diva-off at Midnight Madness, some competition where those crazy theatre kids break into a NYADA classroom and sing against each other. I was happy to see Kurt calling Rachel out on her behaviour, and confessing that he'd thrown that note when the pair competed against each other singing Defying Gravity (now that was a diva-off). Rachel needs some home truths to bring her down to size.
And so to Midnight Madness, where Kurt narrowly triumphed over Rachel as they both sang Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. They were both vocally excellent as always, but Kurt always seems like he's feeling the song, while I always feel Rachel is acting that she's feeling the song.
Miserable that she'd lost, Rachel decided not to audition for the Funny Girl revival, until Kurt went and signed her up and the two made up. Rather than showing Rachel's humble side, I felt her attitude to defeat was diva-like. I'm really not a Rachel fan this season.
Far more interesting than Rachel and Kurt's diva-off was the small glimpses we saw of Kurt and Adam's relationship. I think they're still in the friends/getting to know you stage, but it was nice to see Kurt with a support system that was exclusive to him. And it was nice to see Kurt defending Adam and the Apples (and putting those shallow NYADA divas in their place), and nice to see Adam offering good, mature advice to Kurt on his friendship with Rachel and his career. While I'm a Klainer, I like that Kurt has someone he can talk to, it's healthy.
I don't know if I'm in the minority, but I just didn't love this week's episode, but I watched it when I wasn't in a great mood myself. It was therefore hard for me to pick what I liked best, and after some thought, it was probably the stuff with Kurt standing up for himself and really taking control.