07.14.13 3:27 PM ET
Cory Monteith’s Best ‘Glee’ Performances
"I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore," REO Speedwagon
A dropout with serious drug problems, Monteith turned his life around and got his big break when he submitted a video of himself singing this emotional ballad to the creators of Glee. Cast after an equally impressive in-person audition, it only seemed fitting that Finn, his character, belt out the song in the show's pilot.
"Don't Stop Believin'," Journey
The pilot was quite the showcase for Monteith, who shared the stage with his real-life and television girlfriend-to-be, Lea Michele, in this rendition of Journey's classic. The song became a phenomenon and propelled Glee (and, incidentally, the fictitious glee club the show documented) into the spotlight.
"Just the Way You Are," Bruno Mars
Monteith played a high-school quarterback turned gleek, so it was only a matter of time before his stereotypically insensitive football buddies attacked one of his new-found friends. In Season 2, glee-clubber Kurt takes heat for his homosexuality and Finn (Monteith) doesn't defend him. Using Bruno Mars’s hit song to apologize, Finn makes up with Kurt and simultaneously teaches teens around the world that they're "amazing, just the way you are." In real life, Monteith was also a vocal proponent for gay rights.
"Man in the Mirror," Michael Jackson
Season 3 saw the expansion of the glee club's male contingent, and Finn felt threatened by some of the new members. But with a rousing performance of M.J.'s "Man in the Mirror," the boys put aside their differences and are introduced to the audience as a cohesive, dynamic force.
"We Are the Champions," Queen
The glee club's constant quest for Nationals (capital N) was a much-mocked part of the show, but that didn't make their Season 3 victory any less sweet for fans across the globe. Fittingly, the group celebrated with a song.
"Bye Bye Bye"/"I Want It That Way," N'Sync/Backstreet Boys
What would a singing show (and frankly, a 'best of' list) be without a boy-band mashup? Thankfully, Monteith's duel with Mr. Schuester provided a perfect opportunity for such a medley.
"Without You," David Guetta feat. Usher