Despite the wildly erratic writing and the producers' continuing and embarrassing feuds with high profile musicians who won't allow their songs on the show, somehow "Glee" keeps reeling us back in. Because somehow, despite all the show's other problems, the producers always seem to remember that it really just comes down to the music. So although the script for last night's show had about as much coherence as a Charlie Sheen night of stand-up or a Michele Bachmann discussion of foreign policy, the music hit it out of the ballpark.
First up was a return guest spot by Charice who nailed a version of Eric Carmen's 70's classic "All By Myself", but then she was one-upped by another returning guester, Gwyneth Paltrow, who proved her real singing ability with a high-quality rendition of Adele's plaintive "Turning Tables".
But then came the moment of the show, which not only blew us away, but left our jaws hanging at the wonder that is Mercedes (Amber Riley) as a singer. In the first season of "Glee", it was all about Rachel, (Lea Michele), who seemed to get a song on every episode, while the other cast members were relegated to back-up singing. But Riley has recently proven she's a force to be reckoned with. Her performance last night of Aretha's "Ain't No Way" was stunning in its power, and coupled with her bouncy rendition a couple of weeks back of "Hell To The No" might just get the attention of Emmy voters this fall. Whole Oscars have been given to actresses who sang their way to awards show glory, (Sissy Spacek, "Coal Miner's Daughter" and Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"), so we wouldn't be surprised if the strength of Riley's vocals win her an Emmy Award nomination this year.
Oh, and while we're on the subject of possible Emmys for "Glee", another nomination you can take to the bank will be one for Best Guest Actor for Gwyneth Paltrow for her hilarious portrayal of sex-ed teacher, Holly Holliday. Paltrow has a real gift for comedy, and she proved it again last night; that Wallis Simpson scene last night had us on the floor. But Paltrow's talent aside, last night belonged to Mercedes. Watch her performance below and enjoy.