Glee Episode 504 Recap: Stop Trying To Make “A Gaga or A Katy?” Happen

Hello nubile maidens and allies! Welcome to the fourth episode of the fifth season of Glee, a reality show in which Paris Hilton searches for a new BFF in the wild jungles of Disneyland, accompanied by The Snow Queen, a talking lobster, ten baby chickens and a band of rowdy youths who can’t shut their yaps. This week’s episode was a particularly probing investigation into issues including global warming, anal fisting, regular fisting, fingering, drop-waist sweatpants, tiny erasers, nectarines, ear infections and Jessie Spano. Furthermore — much like my girlfriend, this episode was so gay you could see it from space!

hey bra is this the way to fire island

hey brah is this the way to fire island

I imagine this episode was constructed in approximately two hours by a bunch of high-as-kites homosexual men who’d spent the day sipping cucumber martinis poolside at somebody’s undoubtedly palatial West Hollywood home. You know, the kind from the movies with big windows. Alternately, this episode was just a gay guy playing with his Barbies, the television equivalent of a Buzzfeed list, or a tribute concert to Autostraddle 2009.

This show has always been camp, but even camp can get banally tacky sometimes, and this episode definitely toed that line (which isn’t as exiting as toeing a vagina, I imagine). This week was my gay boyfriend Adam Lambert‘s debut on the program, which delighted the cockles of my surly soul, but despite Glambert’s cameo, the entire “Katy or Gaga?” premise of this episode was so fundamentally flawed and so clearly commercially motivated that it was hopeless from the start. But it wasn’t too bad, all in all.


We open in the Glee room, where the children are sporting unfortunate blouses and Sir William arrives bearing an envelope containing the TOP-SECRET LIST of New Directions’ competitors at the upcoming National Worldwide All-Star Champion Celebration Campership Competition of Song. When Sir William announces that they’ll be going head-to-head with “Throat Explosion,” Tina unleashes a scream of horror and despair, which is hard to hear over my own scream of horror/despair that they’re calling this team “Throat Explosion.”

toss me some junior mints, bitches!!!!

toss me some junior mints, bitches!!!!

“Their budgets for costume, makeup, hair alone are astronomical,” Blaine explains, expositing that this avant garde team of edgy supergroup outsider motherfuckers with apparent latex kinks has put in 10,000+ hours of showchoir rehearsal because of something Malcolm Gladwell said once.

hehehheheheh we just hacked the gleeonfox youtube channel to show nothing but klaine fanvids all day xoxo anonymous throat explosion

hehehheheheh we just hacked the gleeonfox youtube channel to show nothing but sharmen fanvids all day xoxo anonymous throat explosion

This news strikes fear in everybody’s tenderheart, because how on earth will New Directions’ scrappy, dollar-store performances ever compete with Throat Explosion’s big-budget blockbuster productions?

just one little pinky in the butthole and you've got yourself a prostate orgasm, kurt loves it

just one little pinky in the butthole and you’ve got yourself a prostate orgasm. kurt loves it, trust me, fellas.

As we’ve been told-but-not-shown repeatedly, the New Directions are perpetually impoverished, and thus my imagination runs wild thinking of what Throat Explosion might be able to accomplish with an actual budget. I mean, they could install rain machines in their auditorium and also Gwyneth Paltrow!

just like splash mountain, only gayer

just like splash mountain, only gayer

They could snag a $3,000 light screen for just one little run-through of Nowadays / Hot Honey Rag!


Secret Platinum Protection, ladies and gentlemen!

They could hire circus performers and pyrotechnics professionals and shoot tender young Cheerleaders out of giant cannons and manufacture bras with fire-shooting nipples!


Cirque D’SoGay

They could perform an entire song in a goddamn swimming pool with a magical catwalk!


and we double-fist our girlfriends!!

They could re-create the $7 million dollar Michael Jackson/Janet Jackson music video for “Scream”!


They could create Lady Gaga costumes inspired by the bajillion-dollar high-fashion costumes often sported by Lady Gaga!


just think about how many plush toys they had to buy for this

They could purchase a $45,000 SUV just to destroy it onstage, because it goes with the theme!


which one of you bitches is gonna wash my car already seriously

WHAT ON EARTH WILL THESE CHILDREN DO? Sell taffy? Sell their souls? Throw rock salt into the eyeballs of the lead singer of Throat Explosion? Well, Tina’s already on high panic alert.

Tina: “They’re total outsiders and misfits, which used to be our niche. We can’t compete with Throat Explosion any more at that level because we lost our biggest Gaga when Kurt graduated last year. Look around, we’re a room full of like, Katy Perrys now.”

It’s true, now that Santana and Brit-Brit have flown the coop, we’re stuck with a bunch of ladies for whom kissing a girl is only a thing they do if their boyfriend don’t mind it.

and if she gets up, we'll all get up! it'll be anarchy!

and – and! – even after the government shutdown, the GOP is still trying to find new ways to usurp obamacare?

Sir William disagrees with Tina’s assessment — he considers the children a “potent mix” of “ambi-edge” weirdos and “wholesome, innocent, romantic, All-Americans,” which I gather is supposed to be a description of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, respectively, but unfortunately is not, because Katy Perry is a sex riot and Lady Gaga is more deliberate these days than she seems. Katy just wears brighter colors.



SO, ANYHOW, WHAT WILL THEY DO TO FACE OFF AGAINST THE SUPER-RICH THROAT EXPLOSION? Ah yes, they’ll attempt to re-create songs performed by super-rich recording artists who always put on super-expensive performances!

Sir William: “This week the Katys will get their Gaga on and the Gagas will bring the Katy.”

If the children are unable to get on board with this week’s contrivance, they don’t have “a chance in hell” of winning Nationals.

who wants to demonstrate how to fist the statue of liberty

who wants to demonstrate how to fist the statue of liberty

We then wrap ourselves in duct tape, dip our heads in buckets of Fun Dip, put on some sneakers and jog all the way to New York, New York, where Rachel is inexplicably still employed at Fake Eileen’s Stardust Diner, despite the fact that she’d be pulling in at least $2,500 a week (before taxes) while in rehearsals for Funny Girl, which, by the way, would gobble up so much of her time that it’s amazing she’s even making it to school. Also, Kurt’s starting a band and wants everybody to join it!

who me? why yes i'd love to shoot fire from my nipples in your band!

who me? why yes i’d love to shoot fire from my nipples in your band!

Luckily we’re able to snag a last-minute flight on the Glee Teleporter all the way back to Lima, Ohio, home to the Learning to Care With Care School, where Sam and Nurse Petty are continuing their tedious and irrelevant romance.

you know brittany really liked it when i sorta cupped her boobs from the underside and jiggled them around like this

you know brittany really liked it when i sorta cupped her boobs from the underside and jiggled them around like this

They banter about musical darksides and tattoos and electopunk and THANK LESBIAN JESUS also True Jackson VP but also I don’t care, so.

Elsewhere in the hallowed hallways of McKinley High, Artie’s bitching about the assignment because it means he won’t be able to duet with his lady-love Fake Quinn, who says of this week’s lesson, “I’m pretty sure he makes up these rando lessons the split second before he writes them on the board.”

fuck i wish that yellow hat had come in yesterday so he could be dressed in full The Man in the Yellow hat regalia right now

fuck i wish that yellow hat had come in yesterday so he could be dressed in full “The Man in the Yellow hat” regalia right now, i love me some curious george roleplay

With a heavy hand, Artie asks, “are you still okay with dating someone so different than you?” and Fake Quinn sticks her tongue down his throat, which is Cheerio for “yes.”

We then hop back in time, borrow some mopeds from three 13-year-old boys I knew in middle school, hop back to the present tense, put on our bicycle helmets and night-vision goggles, and travel back to New York, New York, where Santana, Kurt and Dani are holding auditions for their “indie rock band,” The Gayest Band Ever.

i'm sorry but in what universe is this a large enough hoagie

i’m sorry but in what universe is this a large enough size for a meatball hoagie?

Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy a good audition montage, nobody’s leaping at the chance to audition for the esteemed spot of Vocalist #4 in what I hope is an a capella “indie rock band” because the only instrument I’ve ever seen Santana play is Brit-Brit’s clitoral hood and Kurt’s usually to busy gyrating to manhandle a glockenspiel. Furthermore, they’re unable to settle on a name — Santana votes for the Apocalipsticks, Kurt votes for waiting for him to manifest an idea, and I vote for Uh Huh Her & Her & Him.

nbd just holding out for a hero

nbd just holding out for a hero

Yet all hope is not lost! There is one person signed up to audition for The Gayest Band Ever, one lonely human named “Starchild” out there in the wilds ready to take a chance on a half-baked idea! But who is this Starchild? Will it be Alex Owens, as played by Jennifer Beals in the legendary film Flashdance?


i will kill you with my thighs!

Will it be this girl?

i'm jumping for jesus

i’m jumping for jesus!

Will it be Crazy Eyes?

take these pebbles from my hand, grasshopper

take these pebbles from my hand, grasshopper. sooner rather than later this is a hard position to maintain

Will it be Missy Pantone?

yes, i will fuck you gently with a chainsaw, thanks for asking

yes, i will fuck you gently with a chainsaw, thanks for asking

Will it be Anna Kendrick and a cup?


1 girl 1 cup

Will it be this guy?

yes, i am one of the ten lords-a-leaping

yes, i am one of the ten lords-a-leaping

Nope, it will be none other than my gay boyfriend Adam Lambert, who calls himself “Starchild” because Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars or something.

hello children, i'm here to rock your world

hello children, i’m here to rock your world

If you’re new to the site, you might be unaware that for most of 2009, all we wrote about was Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert. It was a special time, and our entertainment coverage was primarily determined by what Alex could watch on television without needing a nap.

Adam Lambert: I did design and sew this costume myself.
Kurt: It’s a little Project Runway. Season Six.

Basically he’s the Glitterbombed Monopoly Guy, but he kills it while Dani sexily plays her instrument in the background with mysterious band members nobody talks to. There’s also a moment where Dani looks at Santana like oh my g-d he’s so fucking good isn’t he and it’s so hot, as is this entire performance, especially how excited Santana is to have that talent on her team.

Santana and Dani are into it, but Kurt’s not so sure / is obviously jealous.

c'mere and let santana squeeze your little cheecks

you, my friend, are the only reason i’m not a full-time misandrist

Kurt: “Your aesthetic is striking, Starchild. But it’s a little outre for the team that I’m assembling. But if you’re willing to tone down your look, maybe I’d reconsider.”

Kurt is officially meaner than Simon Cowell.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3114 articles for us.


  1. ummm.. What about all talk of “no pressure” (read as SOOO MUCH PRESSURE) during the Marley and New Puck scene? Was I the only one who thought it was particularly painful? Sending some real mixed messages about sexual assault Glee.

    Also why do they insist of painting Artie as essentially asexual when we know him to be otherwise? He and Unique are wearing more clothes than anyone else.

    In other news, thank you for validating my sole focus during the lead up to Roar –> Tina’s incredible ass.

  2. I checked out of Glee years ago so I’m just here for our gay boyfriend Adam Lambert.

    Also Riese, obvs. <3 The captions on the pics are giving me life.

  3. Why is Lambert here. Why.

    Now I have the urge to watch this show after dropping it-

    Oh. That’s why.

    Clever, Murphs, but wait, here I have a well written piece of entertainment that provides me with both Lambert AND witty comments and imagery that doesn’t insult me to the core of my humanity, unlike Glee.

    Brava, Riese.

  4. After five seasons of recaps I still haven’t learned: do NOT read this on a train surrounded by sad and serious people. I died.

  5. oh my god I am crying with laughter I don’t even watch glee (and this recap makes me glad that I don’t but also makes me want to get high and watch some)

  6. I won’t lie, 50% of why I read this is because of all the fun little ways you come up with to travel between places. Seriously, how have you not repeated yourself yet?!

    Also, it’s official. Tina has the best legs and ass on the show. I can’t thank you enough for pointing that one out.

    Not looking forward to next week. Sigh.

    • yes by season six i think i’m going to be totally out of transporation methods but crossing my fingers that there will always be new kinds of shoes to explore!

      tina 4ever









  8. Part of me is seriously considering watching Glee again because Pamela Landsbury (?!??) or more accurately the humans in Pamela Landsbury singing together are all I’ve ever wanted out of television.

    Then I remembered that this is Glee and that the band’s existence will be forgotten within two episodes.

    Hilarious recap as always, Riese!

  9. Naya Rivera and Adam Lambert and Demi Lovato and Chris Colfer in the same scene was perfection.

    Adam looked particularly beautiful in this episode <3

  10. Is Glee/anyone going to address the fact that if she is in fact the “school” nurse, she would most definitely lose her job for dating someone going to that high school. Yet no one seems to care that they are canoodling IN SCHOOL! Just saying.

  11. Yes , yes and omg yes to the Miranda July story that I read and loved and read to my ex and she was like “shrug” and then I broke up with her.

  12. Is it just me or is Will crazy-passive-aggressive all the time now? I feel like he’s always getting angry and then trying to teach Lessons.

    Also: can someone explain to me the junior mint running joke?

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