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Glee: 20 Times Santana Was Awesome

Welcome to the Santana show, people.
PHOTO Fox TV/ETC

I can't believe the Gleek gods have granted my wish. Sort of. Almost a year ago, I said I was giving up on Glee because it had become so warped and ridiculous, I couldn't stand it anymore. I wished they would just make up their mind: New York City or Lima Heights? Well, the Gleek gods have spoken—NYC it is. After the two-part 100th episode airing in March, the show will be set exclusively in the Big Apple until the series ends next season.

With the promise of a more coherent storyline, I tuned in to the midseason return yesterday, and girls, am I glad they’re saying goodbye to Ohio. The New York scene is just way more interesting, partly because the new Ohio never really had a chance, with all the back and forth. Santana (Naya Rivera), in particular, stole the show as Rachel's (Lea Michele) new understudy in her big Broadway debut. There's nothing like two divas going at it, and their complicated history (the bully and the bullied turned friends turned roommates turned frenemies) made it all the more riveting to watch. Also, I beg to differ, Mr. Producer who demands a fake friendship for the sake of the show—controversy sells more than "puppy dogs and rainbows." But maybe that's too Smash 2.0?

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Rachel Berry will always be the heart and soul of Glee, but Santana Lopez completes the show. Here are 20 song numbers to illustrate my point. (Don't get me started on her one-liners!)

  1. "Don't Rain On My Parade" – You know it’s a good cover when you forget about Lea Michele's hard-to-top version for, like, a minute.

  2. "Valerie"– Santana's very own "Don't Rain On My Parade," if you will.

  3. "Back to Black" – Rachel Berry is to Barbra Streisand as Santana Lopez is to Amy Winehouse. In the best way possible.

  4. "Brave" – Chorus girl, Santana is not.

  5. "A Boy Like That/I Have A Love" – Even back in McKinley, Santana and Rachel were good together.

  6. "So Emotional" – I mean, they just kill it at duets.

  7. "America" – It takes a special kind of girl to pull off that accent and red dress and red lippie.

  8. "Rumour Has It/Someone Like You" – Naya Rivera and Amber Riley do justice to this incredible mash-up.

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  9. "If I Die Young" – A tear-jerking song made even better by Santana breaking down in the middle of it, unable to handle her grief over Finn’s passing. R.I.P., Cory.

  10. "Smooth Criminal" – Nice try, Sebastian, but nobody can out-sass this girl...

  11. "Here Comes the Sun" – Except maybe Dani, who sings this lovely cover with Santana. Come to think of it, where has Dani gone?

  12. "The Boy Is Mine" – Love that they reenacted even the phone conversations.

  13. "Mine" – Girl does Tay-Tay proud.

  14. "Songbird" – A moment of silence for Brittana.

  15. "Me Against the Music" – I mean, remember this? Those were the days.

  16. "Santa Baby" – I still don’t get why they cut this scene from the season three Christmas episode.

  17. "Trouty Mouth" – It's such a mean song, but it proves Santana can sing anything and make it sound legit.

  18. "La Isla Bonita" – Of course she can keep up with Ricky Martin while schooling Mr. Schue on stereotypes.

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  19. "Girl on Fire" – Yes, I concur.

  20. "Nutbush City Limits" – Hands down Santana's sassiest performance ever. Ryder's wide eyes and dropped jaw? It's all real; I remember reading an article about the cast just floored by Naya doing the number take after take after take like it was nothing.

Now don't you feel like kicking ass after watching all these videos? Lima Heights Adjacent, represent!

Glee airs Wednesdays on ETC, 4pm via satellite and 8pm primetime. 

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About the author
Dyan Zarzuela
Council of Cool 9, Managing Editor, Columnist
Stalks celebrities, watches TV, marathons movies, curls up with books, and flails at concerts for a living. Also: semi-hardcore Whovian.
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