FLASH SPECIAL: A Goodbye To GLEE's Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith - GLEE's very own Finn Hudson, once star quarterback of McKinley High - passed away this weekend at the age of 31. Today, in his memory, we say goodbye and look back on his glory days.
Don't Dream It's Over
Whenever a young performer is snatched from the spotlight before their time and removed from the physical sphere, we mourn, but when an individual has played such a central role in as iconic a property as FOX's hit musical dramedy series Glee as Cory Monteith did, it is a loss with reverberations. While the circumstances may still be unknown at this time, what is clear is that Monteith passed away at a hotel room this weekend and the world of TV and Glee has lost a true star.
Born in Calgary, raised in Victoria, died in Vancouver, Monteith began his career with a series of roles in TV series such as STARGATE: ATLANTIS, SUPERNATURAL and YOUNG BLADES in the mid-00s, eventually graduating to featured parts in horror films and indies such as BLOODY MARY and FINAL DESTINATION 3 before landing a recurring gig on the supernaturally-themed series KYLE XY in 2006 and 2007, while concurrently scoring a significant single-series run on KAYA, as well. In 2009, Monteith auditioned for Glee - along with such stiff competition as Broadway's own Aaron Tveit for the very same role - and landed the central part of Finn Hudson after several callbacks. While the darker tone and adult-centric plotline of the first season of the lightning-in-a-bottle lynchpin series created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan turned out not to be wholly indicative of the way the series would eventually play out - though it was not wildly different than the show as it is now, all things considered; albeit it had an admittedly darker and more cynical edge - the sheer naive sweetness offered by the open smile and cuddly features provided by Monteith acted as an ideal foil - and his wholesome, oft-befuddled character a perfect introducer for us all into this outré, outlandish world of McKinley High and Glee as it was, is, and, we assume, shall remain.
Effortlessly assuming the goofy, good-hearted affectations of the character in the drama of the show, Monteith's limitations as a performer usually only added to his charm as a performer in the musical sequences - no small feat when paired with such titanically talented triple-threats as Lea Michele, Darren Criss, Naya Rivera, Chord Overstreet and some of the others. His somewhat limited range afforded him the opportunity to shine with the classic rock-based material on the series, in particular - and, of course, his final performance seems rightly befitting; a duet with Mark Salling, another former football teammate, on the Beastie Boys anthem "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)".
Over the course of his time spent on GLEE, Monteith scored many hits on iTunes along with the New Directions and touched the hearts of many gleeks - from the pilot episode's legendary "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey) through to REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling" to Queen's "Somebody To Love" to his solo renditions of The Pretenders's "I'll Stand By You", "Losing My Religion" (R.E.M.) and "I've Gotta Be Me" (Sammy Davis Jr.) to duets of "No Air" (Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown), "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (Elton John/Kiki Dee) and "Last Christmas" (George Michael) with Lea Michele (among more than a dozen duets), "A House Is Not A Home" (Burt Bacharach/Hal David) and "Just The Way You Are" (Bruno Mars) with Chris Colfer, as well as an unforgettable trio "Good Vibrations" via The Beach Boys and an unbelievable quartet of Jim Steinman's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" - to say nothing of the exciting Nationals-winning "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" extravaganza.
And, who on Glee does or ever did The Boss better? "Glory Days" was a true gem and that's a credit to Monteith's way with a true red, white and blue classic rocker (even if he may have been Canadian). Plus, who could have been a better Brad Majors in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW than Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson, damn it?!
Additionally, in his last season on GLEE, Monteith got to show off his considerably improved dance skills, too - along with even more assured vocals; his best on the series to date - joining the New Directions boys for the ultimate Backstreet Boys/N Sync match-up and partaking in a spirited "Greased Lightning" in the GREASE/GLEASE tribute, while also giving into a dynamic duet on "Juke Box Hero" (Foreigner) with Jacob Artist, as well as offering up sensational vocal sections of group renditions of Coldplay's "The Scientist" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound", among many others.
Of note, BroadwayWorld hosted one of Monteith's most memorable final musical performances late last year in the form of the SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive of Monteith and the New Directions covering the elegiac Crowded House ballad "Don't Dream It's Over" and that song seems an inspired coda to our remembrance and celebration of him today. View the original article here.
So, now, let's look at some of Cory Monteith's finest moments on Glee and enjoy the many musical memories he leaves us now in his passing.
Kicking it all off, here is the very first moment we heard football hero Finn Hudson sing - giving new meaning to making singing in the shower matter! And, what a meta-moment given the song's theme!
And, of course, the Epic final song in the pilot - Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" - made magic by Monteith, Michele and McKinley High's New Directions.
Evoking Freddie Mercury's falsetto - and more - here is Monteith, Michele and the New Directions with Queen's "Somebody To Love".
One of the most memorable musical sequences in the first season undoubtedly was the group reworking of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" fueled by the love trio of Finn/Rachel/Jessie (the latter played by guest star Jonathan Groff).
Next, enjoy Monteith's R.E.M. cover, "Losing My Religion" from the Finn-centric "Grilled Cheesus" episode.
Monteith imbues "I'll Stand By You" by The Pretenders with palpable passion in an assuredly series highlight performance.
Continually showing his skill with classic rock, Monteith duets with Dianna Agron on Fleetwood Mac's earworm "I Don't Want To Know" from the excellent RUMOURS tribute episode.
Cory Monteith and Lea Michele make the perfect Brad and Janet in "Damn it, Janet" byway of THE ROCKY HORROR Glee SHOW.
Showing off his strongest side, at the finish of the third season, Monteith excels in this exciting rendition of the Meat Loaf karaoke staple "Paradise By The Dashboard Light".
Monteith channels Sammy Davis Jr. with the jazzy "I've Gotta Be Me".
Coldplay's "The Scientist" is given a group airing, led by Monteith along with the New Directions, old and new.
Finn and Kurt (Chis Colfer)'s two duets expertly explore the brotherly bonds between heterosexuals and homosexuals - in this case, with the two actually eventually becoming brothers! First, here is "A House Is Not A Home", made famous by Dionne Warwick.
Here is Monteith and New Directions's "Just The Way You Are" (Bruno Mars).
Monteith joins with the boys of New Directions for the ultimate boy band mash Up with "Bye Bye Bye" (N Sync) and "I Want It That Way" (Backstreet Boys).
"Glory Days" is Monteith on Glee at his very best - The Boss would approve.
Lastly, here is "Don't Dream It's Over" (Crowded House), originally world premiered on this very site.
A heartfelt goodbye to one of 21st century TV's most iconic characters and the impossibly perfectly cast actor who played him so very well. We will always remember the music, the good times and the GLEE.
Photo Credits: FOX, TeenVogue