4YE Look Back At Our Favourite Kurt Performances For Chris Colfer’s 29th Birthday

With Glee’s 10th anniversary having recently rolled round, we here at 4YE have been feeling a bit nostalgic and had a bit of a deep dive back into all things Glee and for us, a big part of that is the absolutely fabulous Kurt Hummel. In honour of Chris Colfer’s 29th birthday today, we thought we would take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of our favourite and some of the overlooked Kurt solos and duets over the six years of Glee.

SOLOS

Clare: “Rose’s Turn”

I’m fairly certain this was mentioned in my Kurt tribute for the 100th episode celebrations but this is one of my favourite Kurt solos. I love the theatricality of it, I love the power in his voice and the emotional journey Chris takes us on throughout this song. This is also a great tune to belt out to get rid of your frustrations.

Clare: “Not the Boy Next Door”

Does anything really need to be said about this solo, except sit back and enjoy the performance above? We knew Chris had a great voice for songs like this, we knew he was flexible and could move, we just didn’t know the full effect all of these combined with THE perfect song for both Chris and Kurt could have on us all. The fact that everyone still talks about this performance and the anger fans felt at Kurt’s NYADA rejection says it all.

Kirsty: I totally agree with Clare with this, I mean what’s not to love about this performance. We get to see a different side to Chris and has passion, energy and a whole barrel load of sexiness.

Clare: “Bring Him Home”

Les Miserables is one of my favourite musicals of all time so I was interested in seeing how Chris would perform this classic. Chris’ version blew me away. Though performed as duet of sorts on Glee – like “Defying Gravity” – it really needs to be treated as two solos. In a similar vein to “Rose’s Turn”, the emotion and vulnerability Chris brings forth in this song was heart wrenching. It got chills and also teared up the first time I heard it. A powerful version of the song and certainly one of Chris’ best solos.

Kirsty: Just like Clare, Les Miserables is one of my favourite musicals and “Bring Him Home” is my favourite song from the show. This version is one of my most played songs and I really enjoyed the fact that Chris was given one of the most famous musical theatre songs and that is one performed by a man. This was definitely a departure given that Chris frequently sang female songs due to his vocal range.

Clare: “I Have Nothing”

I have to admit, I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of this version when I first heard it, but now I just love it. I think later seeing it in the context of the episode made it for me. It really is simple, raw, and stripped back. You really just get Chris and that is one of the things that I love about it. This is another that I listen to quite frequently.

Clare: “I’m The Greatest Star”

Not particularly one of my favourite performances of Chris’ vocally, I love this song for the whole production… which is amazing. It showcases Chris’ athleticism, flexibility, and showmanship. This song always takes me by surprise. It’s not necessarily one I go looking to watch, but whenever I do come across it, I just cannot take my eyes off Chris.

Kirsty: “Being Alive” 

Company is another of my favourite musicals, and “Being Alive” is my favourite song from the Sondheim classic. Chris’ performance was out of this world and the power and strength Kurt shows when fighting to be admitted to NYADA makes this one of my top performances from Chris. The song is a definite “this is me” from Kurt and shows us that yet again Kurt will not be broken down and will always survive.

Clare: I agree with Kirsty. I love Chris’ no holds barred version of this classic. Do I think the performance is as good as “Not The Boy Next Door”? Well no, he definitely should have gotten into NYADA with that song, but as a second audition, this was perfect and gave him that well-deserved spot at NYADA.

Kirsty: “Blackbird”

For many fans, we will always say that Chris did not receive enough solo songs through the six seasons of Glee, however when he did there was never a time where anyone could have thought “hmm that could have been better”. For me, “Blackbird” is a true example of this and for Klaine fans it was a definite moment. The emotion Chris puts into this song gives me the chills every time I listen to it, and watching it reminds me that Chris didn’t need props and extravagant costumes to get the most out of an opportunity to showcase his talents.

Clare: Couldn’t have said it better. I agree 1000% with Kirsty.

Kirsty: “I’m Still Here”

Another season 5 powerhouse performance from Chris, with another Sondheim classic this time from Follies. This comes at the end of “Bash” where Kurt has recovered from being attacked and the song could really be Kurt’s anthem given the trials and tribulations he had to overcome over the years and there was no one else that could have sung this song. Plus we get a bonus Burt Hummel being a proud Papa moment which is always welcome.

DUETS

Clare: “4 Minutes” with Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley)

I was more of a casual fan when the first season originally aired. It was only going back and rewatching this season after season 2 that I understood what people had been going on about. This duet was a real highlight for me in season 1 and a great showcase for Chris to really show us another side to the Broadway-loving diva. And that lower registry… Chris kills it.

Clare: “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” with Elliott Gilbert (Adam Lambert)

I’m a big fan of the song and a big fan of Adam Lambert as well. I was so looking forward to seeing what they’d do with this duet when I heard about it and it didn’t disappoint. Fun, sexy, rock n roll. Another great song to showcase Chris’ diverse vocal talents.

Kirsty: I love this song and I love the partnership of Chris and Adam and it definitely shows off Chris’ more fun side, complete with the twirling drumstick and swinging round a stripper pole. Vocally it is brilliant and I loved how it showed people there is more to Chris than ballads and show tunes.

Clare: “Love Is A Battlefield” with Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss)

Again I love this song and I always love hearing Chris and Darren sing together… they complement each other so well. What really makes this song for me is the choreography. We know Chris has a love of martial arts and incorporating the stage combat class into this song was pure genius. I can watch this video over and over… for so many different reasons.

Kirsty: I mean what else can I say about this song, other than there is no time that I won’t listen to this or watch the video given the chance (for many reasons). This is one of the songs that whilst I like the original version, I can only really listen to this version.

Clare: “Somebody Loves You” with Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss)

Yes another Klaine song – that’s really unavoidable with me – but I’m trying to get away from the “classics” and showcase some of my other favourites. Again I love how Chris and Darren sound together on this song, but what I really love is the fun, flirty quality that they bring to it, which is perfect for the scene and their situation in the season. This never fails to make me smile.

Clare: “For Good” with Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)

Wicked is another of my all-time favourite musicals and this duet is so well done. It perfectly captures Kurt and Rachel’s friendship and both Chris and Lea have a lot of fun with this performance. Both have stated it is one of their favourite memories of Glee and I couldn’t agree more.

Kirsty: “Rockstar” with Elliott Gilbert (Adam Lambert)

Another duet that is definitely on my most played because who doesn’t love Chris and Adam together! Adam’s inclusion in the show during season 5 definitely allowed Chris to show his more rock side which was brilliant for us and I just wish we had been given more Chris and Adam together.

Clare: Oh I wish we could have seen more of Kurt and Elliott or Kurt, Elliott and Dani and One Three Hill. I loved the edgier, more mature side that we got of Kurt during their numbers and this is just another example. Plus it looks like they love performing together and that just shines right through.

Kirsty: “American Boy” with Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss)

There are so many Klaine duets to choose from, but this season 5 duet is one of my favourites because it shows off Chris and his more playful side. The chemistry between Chris and Darren was always one of the best things about the show for me (this news will shock no one who knows me) and this fun number always makes me smile.

Clare: It killed me not to include this duet in my choices for exactly the reasons Kirsty lists here so I was stoked when I saw her list. This duet quite a few plays on my playlist. It’s a wonderful example of the give and take that Chris and Darren have together when performing and I can’t get enough of it.

“The Happening” with Elliott Gilbert (Adam Lambert) and Dani (Demi Lovato)

I know this isn’t really a duet, but given I love this song and the performance I couldn’t help myself. I love the energy between the threesome and it just looks like they had such a good time filming and recording this. And let’s be honest, I just love Adam and Chris singing together, and Demi Lovato is an added bonus.

“Let’s Have a Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time” with Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Isabelle Wright (Sarah Jessica Parker)

Chris, The Scissor Sisters and Shangela! This song has everything in it. The song which was featured in season 4 is a great number and the staging and choreography is epic, and Chris sounds brilliant on it. The cameos in this number are also really fun, fans of the show will be able to spot Brooke Lipton, who was one of the choreographers on the show, and a post Drag Race and pre A Star is Born appearance from Shangela. I must admit that I do prefer the album version without “Turkey Lurkey Time” but any song that features Chris’ lower range will always be a winner in my book.

Clare: I’m so glad they released a version without “Turkey Lurkey Time” as “Let’s Have A Kiki” is just marvellous and I just cringe anytime “Turkey Lurkey Time” starts up. I also loved the relationship of Kurt and Isabelle and wish we could have seen more of it.

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Clare Sidoti

Clare Sidoti is 4 Your Excitement's Editor-at-Large. Clare has a BA (Theatre and Film Studies) from the University of New South Wales, Australia and an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex, UK. She currently works for an NGO that runs human rights training in the Asia Pacific region. You can find her on twitter with her eclectic musings on the arts, entertainment and human rights. Some of her favourite topics to cover include Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Glee and Star Wars.
Clare Sidoti
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