Top 10 Songs We're Glad Glee Wasn't Around For
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Top 10 Songs We're Glad Glee Wasn't Around For

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Val Namaki
We're so glad these songs weren't around for "Glee." For this list, we'll be looking at the most notable tracks that got big after the show ended its run that we're thankful the characters didn't get a chance to perform. Our countdown includes "Bad Guy," "Good 4 U," "WAP," and more!
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Top 10 Songs Were Glad Glee Wasn't Around For


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs We’re Glad “Glee” Wasn’t Around For.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most notable tracks that got big after the show ended its run that we're thankful the characters didn't get a chance to perform.

What song are you happiest “Glee” never got the opportunity to touch? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: “Bad Guy” (2019)
Billie Eilish


There are two major ways a “Glee” cover of this self-aware alternative track could’ve gone, and neither are particularly appealing. Rachel and Kurt would’ve infused it with the musical theater energy they love so much. And hey, show tunes are great. But Rachel over-enunciating each lyric as she and Kurt belt their hearts out is the opposite of what “bad guy” demands. After all, Eilish is known for her quiet power. But we’re also pretty spooked just thinking about what a rebellious pink-haired Quinn may have done with the song during her infamous goth phase. It’s safe to say it would’ve been a lot. Luckily, we didn’t have to see either of these scenarios play out.

#9: “Watermelon Sugar” (2019)
Harry Styles


The characters didn’t shy away from covering One Direction songs during the show’s run. So they definitely would’ve jumped at the chance to put their own unique – and embarrassing – spin on Harry Styles’ solo work. There’s a lot of material they could cover, but “Watermelon Sugar,” with its heavy innuendos, would’ve wielded the most disturbing results. After all, the Glee club – also known as the New Directions – wasn’t exactly known for its subtlety. So they would’ve made extra sure we understood that Styles isn’t really singing about fruit. Kurt, Blaine, and the other boys might’ve even banded together and performed as a unit. Their over-the-top choreography would’ve definitely played up the track’s suggestive double-entendres. We don’t even want to picture what that would’ve looked like.

#8: “Good 4 U” (2021)
Olivia Rodrigo


Olivia Rodrigo gave us the breakup album of 2021 with “Sour,” and this track stands out as one of her most pop-punk numbers. There’s no way the members of the Glee club would’ve let it slip through their fingers. There was certainly no shortage of messy relationships for them to sing about. Now, much of the song’s music video takes place in a school, with Rodrigo leading a group of cheerleaders. So the Unholy Trinity of Quinn, Santana, and Brittany would’ve surely taken the lead in their Cheerios uniforms. Or worse still, the club would’ve created a “good 4 u”/”drivers license” mashup, despite the two songs’ distinct melodies. It sounds like the stuff of angsty nightmares.

#7: “Look What You Made Me Do” (2017)
Taylor Swift


This song is widely regarded as Taylor Swift’s powerful response to the way her reputation had been tarnished, with the music video further driving the message home. It’s an extremely layered work, but all of that would’ve undoubtedly been lost in a “Glee” cover. Can’t you just see it? Rachel would’ve gotten called out for sabotaging whoever she felt was threatening her shot at being the New Directions’ leading lady that week. Missing the point, she would’ve used “Look What You Made Me Do” as her angry, rage-filled reply. And it definitely would’ve taken her way too long to realize she was in the wrong. We’re just glad the show ended before we were all subjected to that narrative!

#6: “Old Town Road” (2019)
Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus


If you thought the “Glee” version of “Red Solo Cup” was bad, just think of what they would’ve done to “Old Town Road.” The Lil Nas X track, particularly the version featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, was everywhere for a while. And it’s easy to see why: it’s fun, catchy, and blends country and rap together seamlessly. Something tells us that the New Directions version would’ve been corny and clichéd, at best. We could just imagine watching as Sam mangled Cyrus’ parts while Artie struggled to nail Lil Nas X’s sections. And considering how much Mr. Schue loved to rap – despite being awfully bad at it – he surely would’ve joined in, too. Add in some cowboy hats, and the result would’ve been disastrous.

#5: “Despacito” (2017)
Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee


If you’ve ever watched “Glee,” then you likely know that Mr. Schuester, who had no Latin heritage, started out as a Spanish teacher on the show. Thankfully, he ultimately switched gears. And by the time the latin pop hit “Despacito” came into our lives, “Glee” itself was nothing more than a memory. But what if we lived in a timeline where the song’s release occurred during the show’s early years, while Mr. Schue was still teaching Spanish? He would’ve certainly tried – and failed – to show off his language and dance skills by trying to emulate Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. He’d possibly even turn it into some weird class assignment. We shudder at the idea.

#4: Formation (2016)
Beyoncé


Beyoncé’s a powerhouse performer, often in a league of her own. But that never seemed to discourage the “Glee” characters from singing her songs. So if her “Lemonade” album had been released while the show was airing, you can bet “Formation” would’ve been poorly covered. Kevin McHale, who played Artie, once tweeted that a Kurt and Rachel take on the track would’ve been "blasphemous." We couldn’t agree more. Look, Mercedes had the chops to slay the vocals. But even with her taking the lead, the rest of the club wouldn’t have known what to do with themselves. There were already enough Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child “Glee” covers, so we definitely didn’t need another one.

#3: The "Hamilton" Soundtrack (2015)
Original Broadway Cast of “Hamilton”


Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hugely successful musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton officially opened on Broadway in August 2015. Luckily, “Glee” ended just a few months before, in March 2015. In an alternate world, we could’ve gotten a “Hamilton” episode of the show. And the New Directions would’ve gotten all dressed up to perform the opening number. But it wouldn’t have ended there. Mr. Schue and Sue could’ve fought through the “Cabinet Battle” numbers. The loser would’ve inevitably given us a melodramatic rendition of “The Room Where It Happens.” Rachel would’ve done the most with “Satisfied” as she complained about being underappreciated. And if we take it back to season one, Finn could’ve serenaded Quinn’s ultrasound by singing “Dear Theodosia.” Need we say more?!

#2: “WAP” (2020)
Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion


The New Directions once performed Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” in an effort to recruit more members. And as deeply unsettling as that was, their version of “WAP” would’ve assuredly been a million times worse. Everyone knows what the song’s title stands for. And let’s just say there’s no universe in which we would want to see the Glee club’s take on that. It could’ve easily been a big group number, with everyone from Artie to Rachel to Brittany making us cringe in equal amounts. To make matters worse, Mr. Schuester would’ve probably participated in the performance, making it super creepy. Granted, they likely would’ve covered the clean version, but that wouldn’t have made it any better. We’re uncomfortable just thinking about it.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Thank U, Next” (2018), Ariana Grande
We’re All Better off Without a “Glee” Version of This Self-Love Anthem

“We Don't Talk About Bruno” (2021), Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz, & Cast of “Encanto”
This Performance Would’ve Needed to Be Hidden in Casita’s Walls

#1: “Dynamite” (2020)
BTS


BTS has played a big part in boosting K-pop’s popularity in North America, with their captivating music and perfectly synchronized dance moves. Their English-language hit “Dynamite” consistently stands out as one of their biggest and most well-known numbers. In other words, the Glee club would’ve found a way to butcher it. There’s no way Sam, Kurt, or the others would’ve been able to pull off the choreography – or any other part of the number, for that matter. Plus, you know they would’ve made Tina explain the origins of K-pop, which could’ve been problematic, to say the least. They wouldn’t have stopped after just one BTS song, either. Thankfully the stars aligned, the timing worked out, and we never had to sit through any of this.
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