Glee Fresh Meat

Posted on May 21, 2011


If you’re a Gleek, you’re probably just as enthused with this new Glee season as I am. Already, (spoiler alert!) Emma Pillsbury has re-confessed her attraction to Mr. Schuester, Brittany, Santana, and Quinn have quit the Cheerios, Santana has come out to Brittany, and Kurt has finally found the man of his dreams, all amidst the usual drama of Sue Sylvester’s scheming and the mind-blowing performances of the New Directions. Yet, something big has changed from last season- new characters!

From appearing in a few episodes, like the spunky Holly Holiday and the little-package-big-voice Sunshine Corazon, to essentially moving into the Glee cast for good, like the spectacular Lauren with a “big heart” and a big personality to match her curvy physique. No doubt that all of these characters are both spunky and talented, and bring a new little piece into the show. However, I’m asking the question on everybody’s mind (at least subconsciously)- where the heck did these people come from?

Charice performs "All By Myself" as Sunshine Corazon in "A Night of Neglect"

Most interested was Sunshine. The petite brunette occupies a small role as a new student who is lead by Rachel, whoops, to a crack house, and then decides to join Vocal Adrenaline instead. However, her real role in life is not so little; Sunshine Corazon is played by Charice, a Filipino popstar. Despite her small part in Glee (although it is rumored that she will play a big part in the last two episodes of the season!), she plays a BIG part in the Philippines. She has sung alongside big names like Celine Dion, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, David Archuletta, and yes, even Justin Beiber. It makes sense that Glee would try to sweep up this shining star.

Gwyneth Paltrow performing Adele's "Turning Tables" as Holly Holiday in "A Night of Neglect"

Holly Holiday- well, she’s not so much of a mystery in America. Of course, the quirky substitute teacher Ms. Holiday is portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow is best known for her acting appearances in big movies like Se7en, Shakespeare in Love, Shallow Hal, and Iron Man, and her marriage to Chris Martin, the lead vocalist of Coldplay. However, her singing career is much less well known. Most think that it began with Country Strong (2010) or that first episode of Glee; many of us don’t remember her first big hit, “Cruisin'”, with Huey Lewis. That was her? I was surprised, too. Especially considering how often I heard that song when I was 10 years old (it was my sister and her boyfriend’s “song”… needless to say, it was kind of an anthem in our household). Well, actually, she only did the more recently popular version of the song- Smokey Robinson is the owner of the original hit, but that’s beside the point. Paltrow’s singing career is actually a lot bigger than most of us think, which is probably how she landed herself a job on the biggest (only?) musical television show to date.

Lauren Zizes (Fink) tells Mercedes to demand respect from her peers in "A Night of Neglect"

That leaves us with Lauren. Where did that girl come from? No, she’s not secretly a Filipino popstar or an american actress-turned-singer like the other two; her story is quite different. According to the the Glee Wikipedia (yes, it exists!), Ashley Fink (Lauren’s portrayer) first professionally appeared in “Fat Girls”, a movie in the Tribeca Film Festival which won her many awards. Since then, she became a bit of an idol for plus-sized girls across the US, and her acting skills continued to land her roles in popular television shows, including ER, Make It or Break It, and Gilmore Girls. She also snagged a big role as Carter McMahon in ABC Family’s television series, “Huge”. Like her character, Fink rose from near insignificance to the top of the line in terms of showbiz. However, it wouldn’t be right for me to not address the small bit of controversy over Fink; apart from Mike Chang, Glee has never cast a character who clearly could not sing (and after listening to Fink’s performance of “I Know What Boys Like” you’ll see what I mean). A few Gleeks are outraged over Glee’s pick of her, claiming that Glee could have found “any other curvy girl” to do her part, so long as she knew how to sing. In my opinion, Fink is too big of an inspiration within the community to turn down, but I have to admit, they have a point.

I hope that I have been able to demystify some of Glee’s newest additions. Here’s to hoping there are many more to come. (Mostly so that I can continue to creep on innocent Glee stars).

-Creeping Corinne

Posted in: Music, Television