Welcome back to The Circuit’s collection of Pop Culture Olympiads; The fourth olympiad is the William McKinley High Olympics, focusing on Glee! From Best Finn & Rachel Moments to Best Cover Songs, we award gold, silver and bronze medals across 23 events in the William McKinley High Olympics.
Opening Ceremonies: Here at The Circuit, we view pop culture content through an Olympic lens, using medals to convey our feelings for different categories. This is the fourth entry in our collection of Pop Culture Olympiads. We will be looking at the musical sensation that is Glee and awarding gold, silver and bronze medals in 23 show choir categories.
Now, let’s jump off the diving board head-first into the William McKinley High Olympics!
Gold- Will Schuester
He did a great job connecting with his students, he was passionate about what he did, he was the main character, and he won a lot; including the gold here (We’ll forget about his run as Spanish teacher).
Silver- Sue Sylvester
Bronze- Sheldon Beiste
Best Male Students
Gold- Finn Hudson
He was the main character as far as students were concerned (along with Rachel) until his unfortunate passing. But while he was on the show, Finn was a tremendous leader, and he cared deeply for his friends. He stood up against bullying countless times on the show, which is why he is the best.
Silver- Kurt Hummel
Bronze- Sam Evans
Best Female Students
Gold- Quinn Fabray
Forgive for not going with the obvious pick, but I don’t care for Rachel all that much. Quinn started out rough, and took a dark turn behind the bleachers that one time, but overall she shined as a great friend and grew into a strong, independent woman.
Silver- Rachel Berry
Bronze- Becky Jackson
Best Cover Songs
Gold- Don’t Stop Believing
Is this my favorite cover they sing? No. But it is far and away the most iconic song from the series, the song that is most closely associated with Glee. Because of that, it gets the gold.
Bronze- Some Nights
Best Original Songs
Gold- Loser Like Me
This song was fantastic. The entire show is about kids who get bullied for chasing their passions, so a song that calls themselves out in a way to deflate their bullies was a stroke of genius. Not to mention, the song bops.
Silver- Fondue for Two
Bronze- Light Up the World
Best Male Singers
Gold- Blaine Anderson
Blaine is the best singer on this show with a bullet. From the minute he came on the screen, he had such a better voice than everyone else, it was a shame he didn’t get more solos. Maybe The New Directions would have won more if he had.
Silver- Noah Puckerman
Bronze- Kurt Hummel
Best Female Singers
Gold- Rachel Berry
I do not like Rachel Berry. But begrudgingly, she is a great vocal talent. She certainly deserved the attention she got for her singing skills.
Silver- Mercedes Jones
Bronze- Marley Rose
Best Male Dancers
Gold- Mike Chang
Again, an obvious choice. Pretty much Mike’s only job on the show was to be a phenomenal dancer, and he nailed it.
Silver- Jake Puckerman
Bronze- Sam Evans
Best Female Dancers
Gold- Brittany Pierce
Not only was she known on the show for being the best female dancer, but she even went on Dancing With the Stars in real life! Another obvious choice.
Silver- Santana Lopez
Bronze- Kitty Wilde
Best Competition Sets
Gold- Season 3 Sectionals (ABC, Control, Man in the Mirror)
Speaking as someone who was involved in show choir in high school, this set was phenomenal. It switched gears at the exact right times, vocal performances were on point, and the outfits were fire. This was by far the best set The New Directions ever performed.
Silver- Season 3 Nationals (Edge of Glory, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, Paradise by the Dashboard Light
Bronze- Season 1 Regionals (Faithfully, Any Way You Want It, Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’, Don’t Stop Believing)
Best Rival Show Choirs
Gold- Vocal Adrenaline
I’m sorry, but they deserved to beat The New Directions. Jesse St. James was a phenom, and how good was that Bohemian Rhapsody set!?!? I wish we had gotten to see the whole thing, but the way they edited it with Quinn giving birth was fun. But they were a great show choir.
Silver- The Warblers
Bronze- The Hipsters
Best Finn & Rachel Moments
Gold- Finn kissing Rachel at nationals
Man I would have tweaked if I was on the team and they pulled that shit and cost us a national championship! But nevertheless, this moment showed us just how much these two loved each other.
Silver- Their first kiss
Bronze- Will & Emma’s wedding
Gold- Kurt & Blaine
This on again-off again relationship was handled really well. It didn’t feel overplayed, and there were lots of twists and turns to keep things fresh. They were perfect together, and we all knew it from the moment they met.
Silver- Finn & Rachel
Bronze- Quinn & Puck
Best Tear-Jerking Moments
Gold- Mr. Schue crying over Finn’s letterman jacket
We were all prepared for Finn’s death after Cory Monteith tragically passed, but we were not ready for this moment. The episode focused on who took Finn’s jacket, with each character reflecting on what he meant to them through that lens. But the surprise ending of Mr. Schue being the one who took it, and seeing him finally explode with emotions was gut-wrenching.
Silver- Sue’s sister dying
Bronze- Dave Karofsky suicide attempt
Gold- Season 1
This was an incredible season. We got some iconic performances, great plot twists, and a surprise ending where The New Directions didn’t win! The magic of that first season was never quite captured again.
Silver- Season 2
Bronze- Season 3
Gold- The Quarterback (Season 5, episode 3)
The episode where we said goodbye to Finn is probably the most memorable from the show for how emotional and well-handled it was. A fitting tribute to a great member of the show.
Silver- Nationals (Season 3, episode 21)
Bronze- Furt (Season 2, episode 8)
Best Character Arcs
Gold- Sam Evans
Sam started out as a pretty boy who didn’t like school and was obsessed with Quinn. He ended up a pretty boy who became the director of The New Directions who was obsessed with Mercedes. And along the way he was a stripper. His arc was great, and you could really buy the emotional journey he went on.
Silver- Quinn Fabray
Bronze- Kurt Hummel
Jesus was he put through the ringer? Lost his wife, son is mercilessly bullied, remarries, stepson dies, gets cancer. Wow. But through it all, he was by far the best parent the show had to offer, from growing to accept Kurt to being a dad to Finn.
Silver- Carole Hudson-Hummel
Bronze- Millie Rose
Best New Male Students
Gold- Jake Puckerman
Phenomenal singer & dancer, plus his story actually felt like it mattered by being related to Puck. He deserved a much longer run on the show, but he had enough to get the gold.
Silver- Spencer Porter
Bronze- Roderick Meeks
Best New Female Students
Gold- Marley Rose
I LOVE Marley. She was so sweet, and such a talented singer. It’s a shame she didn’t get a longer run on the show, but she was great when she was there!
Silver- Kitty Wilde
Bronze- Jane Hayward
Gold- Sue Sylvester
I mean, come on. Do I need to explain?
Silver- Jesse St. James
Bronze- Sebastian Smythe
Best Guest Appearances
Gold- John Stamos
Uncle Jessie coming to the show was great for many reasons; he’s a good singer and dancer, he’s easy on the eyes, and he provided the necessary hurdle for Will and Emma to finally get together.
Silver- Kristin Chenoweth
Bronze- Neil-Patrick Harris
Best Glee Moments
Gold- Winning Nationals
FINALLY! The New Directions, after three seasons of hard work, finally won the national championship! A great performance on the biggest stage earned the best individual moment from all of Glee.
Silver- Double Wedding
Bronze- Don’t Stop Believing (the first time)
Closing Ceremonies: With the William McKinley High Olympics in the books, we’re going to see who won the most medals. It’s important to note that we didn’t count any medals that belonged to season or episode categories for this leaderboard, as well as any character-specific categories. Only individual categories that are open to multiple characters were considered. Let’s take a look at the medal leaderboards:
Kurt Hummel- 4 Medals (1x Gold, 1x Silver, 2x Bronze)
Rachel Berry- 3 Medals (1x Gold, 2x Silver)
Sue Sylvester- 3 Medals (1x Gold, 2x Silver)
Quinn Fabray- 3 Medals (1x Gold, 1x Silver, 1x Bronze)
Sam Evans- 3 Medals (1x Gold, 2x Bronze)
Will Schuester- 2 Medals (2x Gold)
Blaine Anderson- 2 Medals (2x Gold)
Finn Hudson- 2 Medals (1x Gold, 1x Silver)
Jake Puckerman- 2 Medals (1x Gold, 1x Silver)
Marley Rose- 2 Medals (1x Gold, 1x Bronze)
Noah Puckerman- 2 Medals (1x Silver, 1x Bronze)
Kitty Wilde- 2 Medals (1x Silver, 1x Bronze)
Brittany Pierce- 1 Medal (1x Gold)
Mike Chang- 1 Medal (1x Gold)
Burt Hummel- 1 Medal (1x Gold)
John Stamos- 1 Medal (1x Gold)
Santana Lopez- 1 Medal (1x Silver)
Mercedes Jones- 1 Medal (1x Silver)
Jesse St. James- 1 Medal (1x Silver)
Carole Hudson-Hummel- 1 Medal (1x Silver)
Spencer Porter- 1 Medal (1x Silver)
Kristin Chenoweth- 1 Medal (1x Silver)
Becky Jackson- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Sheldon Beiste- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Dave Karofsky- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Sebastian Smythe- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Roderick Meeks- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Jane Hayward- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Millie Rose- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)
Neil-Patrick Harris- 1 Medal (1x Bronze)