It was finally NYADA Day on "Glee"! So many internal monologues and tense conversations between Kurt and Rachel have led up to this very moment, and Ms. Rachel Berry was ready. There was no way she could choke now.
Wait. The episode was called "Choke"? She's probably going to choke.
But before that all happened, there were a few more obligatory storylines to get through.
Puck hasn't had anything to do in a while, but in this latest episode, he got a whole subplot to himself. With graduation looming, Noah Puckerman was coasting to a cap and gown. Always the concerned friend, Finn overheard him tell a sophomore that "gowns are for ladies, and tassels are for strippers." Puck was serious about graduating, but it was going to take passing his European geography exam to get him to the podium. A little canoodling with his geography teacher didn't help, as she resisted his mohawked charms, so he channeled his rage into the Alice Cooper classic "School's Out."
Kurt's NYADA rehearsals were going as well as they could have been, but he started to doubt his choice of song, "Music of the Night," in favor of something edgier. As we all know, nothing is edgier than Hugh Jackman's Tony Award-winning performance in "The Boy from Oz." Rachel reassured Kurt that his original song was the one to go with since practice always makes perfect and never leads to a sudden and complete collapse on stage.
In what was clearly the most controversial topic of the episode, Coach Beiste was the victim of domestic violence. When the girls saw Beiste's black eye, they made light of the situation, something that didn't sit well with Roz Washington. As part of their new sensitivity training, Sue and Roz made the girls sing songs about female empowerment.
Tina, Mercedes, Santana and Brittany grossly misunderstood the assignment and sang "The Cell Block Tango" from "Chicago." Through flashback, we saw what really happened to Beiste. The once gentle Cooter turned violent and lashed out at her. Roz and Sue found her later, and she revealed the truth. They told her to leave as soon as possible, but Coach was afraid that she won't find someone else to love her.
Sometimes all it takes to convince the pool boy to graduate from high school is a visit from his deadbeat dad. Puck's dad showed up with beers, asking for help paying the rent. Noah paid him off to get his dad out of his mohawk, but the encounter lit a fire under his butt. He wanted to graduate. The male population of New Directions decided to help Puck pass his European geography test the best way they knew how, through song. But as anyone who lives in the real world can tell you, helping through song only goes so far, and Puck failed the test.
To celebrate the NYADA auditions, Whoopi Goldberg stopped by to share some of her EGOT wisdom as the brutal judge there to give her thumb up or thumb down to potential students. At the very last moment, Kurt changed his choice of song to "Not the Boy Next Door," after stripping down to hidden gold lamé pants. He nailed the spontaneous performance and wowed Whoopi. Rachel, on the other hand, could not deliver on her old standby, "Don't Rain On My Parade." She almost immediately messed up the words, started over, and then messed up again. Whoopi walked out, surely prompting some cry-singing later.
To make up for the previous insensitivity, the girls sang "Shake It Out" to Beiste, after she admitted to them that Cooter had actually hit her. She said that she had moved in with her unfortunately named sister, but that was a lie, as she had already taken Cooter back.
Oh, and the episode ended with Lea Michele cry-singing.
Download or Ditch
"The Music of the Night" - Ditch
A little painful. Kurt ditched it, and so should you.
"School's Out" – Download
Puck is the only cast member who can earnestly rock out.
"Cell Block Tango" – Download
Despite the insensitivity, the girls nailed it.
"Not the Boy Next Door" – Download
He got into NYADA for a reason.
"The Rain in Spain" – Ditch
Just not good.
"Shake It Out" – Download
The girls made up for totally not getting it by delivering with an interesting interpretation.
"Cry" – Ditch
No more cry-singing.
What did you think of last night's episode of "Glee"? Were you surprised Rachel choked? What was your favorite performance? Did the domestic violence storyline seem like it came out of nowhere? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!