During episode 3 of the third season of Glee, club member Mike Chang receives an A- or "Asian F" and is pushed by his father to stop dancing and singing. Meanwhile a battle royal erupts between Rachel and Mercedes for the role of Maria in the school's production of West Side Story. The show returns to including contemporary pop songs among the older covers and Broadway show tunes.
The character of Mercedes Jones sings the song "Spotlight" in response to the scrutiny of her boyfriend. Like the song was for Jennifer Hudson, it is an opportunity for Mercedes to have a song on the show that is not a huge diva production but more a straightforward R&B song. Jennifer Hudson hit #1 on the R&B chart and reached the top 25 on the pop singles chart with "Spotlight" in 2008. The song received two Grammy Award nominations and established Jennifer Hudson as a mainstream R&B artist.
Brittany Pierce is running for class president and one of her main reasons for the campaign is the fact that the school has had six straight years of male class presidents. She performs "Run the World (Girls)" as a female empowerment anthem pulling in any female around to join in the production. "Run the World (Girls)" was released as the lead single for Beyonce's album 4. It failed to ignite interest among pop fans and peaked at #29. However, the song went all the way to #1 on the dance chart and was ultimately certified gold for sales.
Mercedes Jones has conflict with the rest of the glee club and Mr. Schuester over the required "booty camp" dance lessons. Simmering frustration erupts in the song "It's All Over." The song originated in the musical Dreamgirls. It is performed near the end of the first act just before the showstopping song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." In the song the character Effie, enacted by Mercedes on Glee, reveals personal conflicts with nearly everyone else.
Mike Chang is experiencing a minor lapse in perfection in his grades, which, for Asian students, is considered an "F." His father insists that he drop some extracurricular activities, glee club in particular, to concentrate on studying. However, Mike Chang realizes that dancing and performing is what truly makes him feel happy and alive. "Cool" is one of the showstopping songs from West Side Story. It is performed by the character Riff leading his gang the Jets. This performance is Mike Chang's audition for the role of Riff in the school's production of the musical on Glee.
Mercedes Jones and Rachel Berry are rivals for the role of Maria in the school's production of West Side Story. It is decided they will both be called back for a further audition for the part. Instead of performing songs from West Side Story, they are required to each deliver versions of "Out Here On My Own" from the musical Fame. The song is performed as a duet on the show. "Out Here On My Own" originated in the 1980 film of Fame. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song From a Motion Picture. Irene Cara went to the top 20 on pop and adult contemporary charts with the song.
6. "Fix You"
Mr. Schuester meets the parents of his girlfriend Emma and discovers many potential reasons for her obsessive compulsive difficulties. His response is the song "Fix You" which carries additional meaning for a number of the conflicts during this episode of Glee. "Fix You" was first released as a single from Coldplay's album X and Y. It was a top 5 pop hit single in the UK and reached the top 20 on the modern rock chart in the US. "Fix You" has since become a favorite Coldplay song among fans.