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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/16/2011

'Glee' hearts Justin Bieber: We watch so you don't have to [Updated]

By Lisa de Moraes

The guys in glee club try to channel pop sensation Justin Bieber with The Justin Bieber Experience. (Adam Rose/Fox)


[Update]: Bieber Fever fizzled on Fox. The network's "Glee" episode, billed as a tribute to Justin Bieber and his tunes, scored the high school musical's second smallest audience of this season -- and the second smallest crowd among 18-49 year olds who are the bread and butter of broadcast TV.

In fairness, the "Glee" episode did okay with teens, beating five other episodes of the 13 that have aired so far this season.

WaPo TeamTV's Emily Yahr blogs:

[This post has been updated.]

Tuesday night's "Glee" was allegedly about comebacks: Glee club coach cum Spanish teacher Will Schuester is trying to forget about his botched love life. Rachel is back trying to claw her way up the social ladder. Quinn's new boyfriend Sam is attempting to win Quinn away from Finn for good. Even Sue Sylvester is looking to take down the glee club once more.

How does that all go? Not so well.

And then, there's Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber tunes and hair litter this week's episode because it's the first episode after the Grammys and Biebs was going to clean up at the trophy show.

Oh, and anthems -- this week's glee club assignment.

Sam

Poor Sam - all he wants is the love and adoration of his girlfriend, Quinn, but she's just interested in making out with Finn. Sam tries to convince himself that Quinn is telling the truth when she said contracted mono from Finn by giving him CPR. Do they really make them that dumb in high school these days? Anyway, Sam decides to sing an anthem made popular by the guy no high school cheerleader can resist - the one and only Justin Bieber.

Sadly, the real Biebs didn't have such a great week. Those two Grammy noms - best new artist and best pop vocal album? Both came up scratch. But on "Glee," the Biebs is still godlike. Sam combs his hair a la Bieber, throws on a hoodie, and performs Bieber hit "Baby" for glee club. Quinn is smitten. Ditto the other Glee club gals. Naturally, the other glee club guys want some of that - their own love lives have hit a dry spell since Valentine's Day -- and they ask to join Sam's one-man The Justin Bieber Experience.


Sam plays an ode to Justin Bieber. (Adam Rose/Fox)

The guys mimic some sweet Bieber dance moves while singing "Somebody to Love," Quinn's mind is made up: no thanks, hunky football player Finn, move out of the way for adorable football player/Justin Bieber tribute band member, Sam.

Just as everything is looking up for Sam, his world comes crashing down when Santana informs him that Quinn did not, in fact, contract mono from giving Finn mouth-to-mouth as he choked on a gumball. They had been making out, a lot. Shocking.

Faster than you can say, "'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy broke up Quinn and Sam because he's bored?" Quinn and Sam are, indeed, broken up. And Sam is now with Santana.

It's "Glee," people.

Rachel

Rachel Berry has given up the silly business of love to focus on her career comeback. But first, she needs buzz and she enlists the help of Brittany -- the girl who never learned how to tell seasons. She pays Brittany to dress just like her and tell everyone that Rachel is a style icon -- "Sexy schoolgirl librarian chic" to be exact.The plan falls flat when Brittany starts trends all her own.

Rachel remains a fashion loser and Brittany gets interviewed by Teen Vogue.

Will

Will Schuester has been missing in action, storyline-wise, for some time. But he opens the episode with a strong, confident monologue about making a comeback, now that he's raised money for glee club and has completely forgotten about his sorry love life - until his soulmate, Emma (still married to John Stamos BTW), walks in the door.


Will and Sue try to work together on "Glee." (Adam Rose/Fox)

And that's pretty much the end of Will's comeback. But it leads to..

Sue

Sue is still depressed after losing that cheerleading competition and all her funding, fakes a suicide attempt. Emma continues her streak as the worst school guidance teacher ever, bringing out one of her signature pamphlets to convince Sue that music will cheer her up and she should join glee club for a week.

Naturally, Sue tries to have a little bit of fun, pitting Rachel and Mercedes against each other in a fierce "diva-off." But she's thwarted when the two belt out their anthem "Take Me or Leave Me" from "Rent" and collapse in laughter and hugs at the end. "Where's the hate?" she asks.

Concerned about Sue's spirits, Will brings her to the only place he can think to cheer her up - a pediatric cancer ward. Hoping it will teach her that others have real problems, the two of them sit in a circle with some adorable children and sing "This Little Light of Mine" with Will on the ukulele. This teaches Sue - nothing.

She does at least get the glee club to sing My Chemical Romance's "Sing" while wearing lots of plaid flannel for reasons that are never explained except maybe the show went way over its wardrobe budget with that post-Super Bowl episode. Anyway, she enjoys the experience so much she decides to become head of the competing glee club Aural Intensity -- the rival club that beat the glee club at Regionals last year. Check and mate, Will Schuester.

Set list:

"Baby" Justin Bieber
"Somebody to Love" Justin Bieber
"Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent
"I Know What Boys Like" The Waitresses
"Sing" My Chemical Romance

See for yourself:

"Baby"


"Somebody to Love"


"Take Me or Leave Me"


"I Know What Boys Like"


"Sing"


By Lisa de Moraes  | February 16, 2011; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Glee  
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Next: [Update] Michael Vick pulls plug on Oprah interview

Comments

"Do they really make them that dumb in high school these days?"

Yes, apparently they do. Case in point: Emily Yahr. She is too "dumb" to know that Puck, not Finn, is the father of Quinn's baby.

But why bother with facts when you can just deliver boatloads of snarky instead?

Posted by: pfallsgirl | February 16, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

More Sue Sylvester is always a good thing.

Posted by: kbockl | February 16, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Loved all the songs in Glee last night! Sam sang the "Baby" song waaaaaaaaaaay better than Bieber! Next episode looks interesting.

Posted by: MILWI | February 16, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The reason viewership was low is that "Glee" viewers are the same ones who elected to watch the live broadcast of the Westminster Dog Show. Duh.

Posted by: lydandy | February 16, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I must be showing my age. This was the lamest episode yet. Even Sue's performance was uninspired.

Cut Emily some slack on forgetting who the father of the baby is. I forget Quinn had a baby since it hasn't been mentioned once all season.

Posted by: Iceman_63 | February 16, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

What about Lauren's rendition of "I Know What Boys Like"? Her voice was terrible, IMO. I really like her character, so I was hoping for better.

Posted by: conchfc | February 17, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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