With Gleeks and Hollywood alike still reeling from the all-too-sudden death of 31-year-old Cory Monteith last Saturday, it’s hard to imagine a future “Glee” devoid of one of our most beloved characters: Finn Hudson.
To celebrate the life and talents of Cory Monteith, we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 All-Time Favorite Finn Performances, and here they are:
1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” – This Journey cover from "Glee"’s pilot episode is perhaps one of the most definitive moments from the show’s first four seasons. With Monteith as its star, this number also served as the first bud to the ever-blossoming romance between characters Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry: a chemistry that would translate into an enduring real-life relationship between Monteith and songstress Lea Michele.
2. “We’ve Got Tonight” – “We’ve got tonight / Who needs tomorrow?” asks this now-apropos Finn and Rachel duet from a February 2013 episode of Glee. Warning: the Bob Seger cover by the couple, better known to “Glee” fans as “Finchel,” is sure to induce goosebumps, if not tears.
3. “Man in the Mirror” – While covering a song by the King of Pop himself sounds like a pretty daunting task, Monteith, along with co-stars Kevin Michael McHale (Artie), Mark Salling (Puck), Darren Criss (Blaine) and Chord Overstreet (Sam), make this Season 3 performance look all too fun and easy.
4. “Jessie’s Girl” – One of the many performances that chronicle the ups and downs of the “Finchel” love story is this Rick Springfield original, which Finn performed as a means to woo Rachel from her then-boyfriend, rival choir singer Jesse St. James, during Season 1.
5. “You’re the One That I Want” – In another great moment from the pilot, Finn and Rachel’s chemistry was played for laughs in this “Grease” cover while still managing to preview what would be one of the greatest musical couples since Sandy and Danny Zuko.
6. “Losing My Religion” – This R.E.M. classic was a bit outside-the-box for Finn, who was typically assigned ballads and classic rock tracks. Nevertheless, Monteith seemed to master the alt-sound in this Season 2 episode, and turn the song into something all his own.
7. “I’ll Stand By You” – Finn sings this Pretenders track while he’s still convinced that he is the father of his cheerleader girlfriend Quinn Fabray’s baby. Not only does it show off the actor’s emotional range, but it also teases the friendship between future brothers Finn and Kurt, who ended up being one of the show’s most dynamic duos.
8. “Stop In the Name of Love” / “Free Your Mind” Mash-Up – This season 2-era performance comes from a classic boys-against-the-girls episode, with Finn and the guys taking on the mash-up after offending Coach Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones). Though Finn could sometimes act without thinking, this apologetic performance proved that he always had heart.
9. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – This wonderful cover of the iconic Elton John & Kiki Dee single couldn’t get much more adorable. Once again, the show proved that it knew what it was doing by pairing up Finn and Rachel. Though Finn begins the song on the drums, a flirty Rachel succeeds in getting him to drop the drum sticks and duet with her.
10. “Can’t Fight This Feeling” – This was the song that started it all for Finn Hudson, when Glee coach Mr. Schue caught the then-football star singing this REO Speedwagon hit in the shower and subsequently blackmailed him to join the “New Directions” crew.
What was your favorite Cory Monteith performance on "Glee"? Let us know if we missed any of the best Finn Hudson moments in the comments!