In New York, Santana shows the video to Rachel, who confronts Kurt about his selfishness. “If I was afraid of sharing the limelight with someone, I would do a solo show at the Duplex about my obsession with Broadway divas,” says Kurt, referencing an actual Off Broadway show about exactly this. Kurt tells Rachel that he doesn’t like Starchild’s look because it reminds him of the “weirdo, quirky” thing he used to do, and if Kurt ever wants to find success, he has to be accepted by a mass audience. It’s actually a gigantic realization for Kurt, even if it feels very sudden. Rachel assures Kurt that he is a true talent -- and Starchild is as well.
Meanwhile, the Gaga group is struggling with their Katy ideas since they’re only coming up with Gaga ones (“Let’s re-enact a baby’s birth on stage!” shouts Unique). Frustrated Horny Jake ditches the brainstorm to go help Bree and the Cheerios, but Kitty calls him out. Unique pulls Marley aside and warns her that Jake may be on the verge of cheating, quoting her Aunt Felicia: “A tiger can’t change his stripes, especially when the tiger’s a man slut.” Then Unique calls Bree a penis flytrap and suggests that Marley go full Gaga to surprise him.
Cut to the second number of the night, “Applause,” which was suitably hilarious on all counts. Ryder is in a cage. Sam is wearing skeletal angel wings and no shirt. Blaine bursts out of a vat-thing wearing a blonde wig and a blazer from Cruella de Vil’s crocodile collection. Artie is doing Gaga’s album cover, with some sort of inflatable mattress behind him. As ridiculous as the performance is, I love every single second. But suddenly, here comes Marley. She’s eschewed Unique’s advice and enters the stage with giant lollipop in hand, wearing an outfit that’s clearly Katy Perry circa “California Gurls.”
After the performance ends, the guys turn on Marley. “What happened to the seashell bikini!?” Sam cries. Marley stands up for herself, saying she didn’t feel comfortable in it, and suddenly I’m always and forever on Team Marley because of what happens next. Mr. Schue actually scolds her for putting her “personal agenda” before the team, and SUSPENDS HER FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK. Because she didn’t wear a seashell bikini TO SCHOOL. Like...I don’t even know how to react to this. Neither does the rest of the club, except Becky, who turns to the camera with an “Oh snap!” because Becky just gets me that way.
NEXT: The Gagas can't get their ARTPOP together