Glee kicks off season 4 with battles for who will be the new star, the new Rachel. Meanwhile, Rachel has her own struggles in New York.
It's a new season for Glee and New Directions are national champions. The group's star Rachel Berry has graduated and moved on to NYADA in New York. That leaves a void and Blaine, Brittany, Tina, and Unique all want to fill it. They decide to have a sing off performing the song of the summer "Call Me Maybe." The original version by Carly Rae Jepsen was a pop smash and spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Rachel is targeted by her dance instructor Cassandra July because she has seen the possibility for real talent. Cassandra decides to perform to demonstrate to the class she still has her dancing skills intact. The music chosen is a medley of Lady Gaga's "Americano" and Jennifer Lopez' recent hit "Dance Again." "Americano" is a track on the Born This Way album. The song was written in response to both the plight of Mexican immigrants in California and the approval of Proposition 8 which outlawed same sex marriages in California.
During auditions for new positions in the national champion glee club New Directions, we are introduced to Jake. He performs The Fray's "Never Say Never," but he is interrupted before he can finish it leading to an angry outburst. The song was releaed as the second single from the group's self-titled second album in 2009. It only reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 but was a top 10 adult pop radio hit and ultimately certified platinum for sales. "Never Say Never" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance By a Duo Or Group With Vocals.
Rachel Berry gets her opportunity to sing a song in front of fellow NYADA students. Just before she sings, a fellow freshman is cut from the school for a poor performance. The choice of song is Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind" which is sung as a duet with new glee club member Marley Rose. "New York State Of Mind" was first recorded by Billy Joel for his 1976 album Turnstiles. The album only reached #122 on the album chart and "New York State Of Mind" was not released as a single. However, it has become a favorite among Billy Joel fans. It has been covered by a wide range of artists from Barbra Streisand to Tony Bennett.
5. "It's Time"
Artie annoints Blaine as the "new Rachel," the new star of the glee club. However, he is concerned that his boyfriend Kurt continues to hang around the school despite having graduated. After encouraging Kurt to head to New York, he sings the song "It's Time," an alternative songs hit by the group Imagine Dragons. It is performed as a production number with the rest of the Glee cast. "It's Time" has reached #4 on the alternative songs chart and #6 on the rock songs chart while just breaking into the top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.
To close out the first episode of season 4 of Glee, the cast sings Adele's first hit song "Chasing Pavements." It reached #2 on the UK pop singles chart. In the US it was nominated for three Grammy Awards including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It won only Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Following the Grammy Awards, "Chasing Pavements" rose to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 giving Adele her first top 40 hit single.