So we’re at the diner, and Rachel is working because despite being the lead in a Broadway musical, she has time to be in a band and work in a diner. (In a similar fashion, Cinderella’s Laura Osnes currently housekeeps on the Upper West Side.) While Rachel and Santana “work,” Kurt is prepping Blaine for his NYADA audition, insisting that he’ll ace it, even though Blaine says he needs to look at some safety schools. Kurt drags Blaine up to the piano for an impromptu trial run performance. “Seriously? You all need to be stopped. That’s enough,” says Santana, as if she doesn’t work at a singing diner and has never spontaneously broken out into song.
Blaine does “Piano Man” and Sam’s got him backed on the harmonica. Meanwhile, the waiters dance with lit candles like a Macaroni Grill fever dream. It’s not bad. “That was incredible!” says Kurt, one-ing me up. “There’s no way you’re not getting into NYADA! Then our dreams will come true!” And I wonder, is Glee capable of foreshadowing? Or is that just not something that this show has any interest in? We’ll see. Grade: Solid A- because, well, it’s “Piano Man.”
We cut to Sam’s interview at Hunter College, and in the spectrum of college interviews, this one is decidedly not going well because Sam is an idiot. He can’t explain why he wants to go to Hunter, but he does get across that he’s “super jazzed to be going to school in New York City” because of the diversity. This prompts the most awkward line of the night, between Sam and his interviewer: “So you’re black. That must be interesting. Do you know -- this is a shot in the dark -- do you know Mercedes Jones?” Oh, Sam. You beautiful, beautiful fool.
Later in the loft, Sam tells Rachel that he doesn’t even want to go to college. Instead, he wants to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a male model. He wants his junk as big as a car. What happens next: Rachel says she’ll help Sam by staging a photo shoot and giving him tips. Her first tip? Handing him a plate of cheesy pasta and meatballs. Good start, boo.
Rachel hires a Broadway photographer for Sam's photo shoot. We get to see all his looks: Nerd, Suit Guy, Cowboy, Underwear Enthusiast. Rachel rubs oil on him, and then -- THEN -- maybe I’m crazy, but I swear they have a moment of intense eye contact, and I have to wonder if Glee would ever pursue a relationship between Sam and Rachel in New York (Ram?).
Meanwhile, Kurt is helping Blaine pick out an outfit for his audition, but Blaine confesses that he doesn’t event want to go to NYADA. After all, he might want to be a teacher or a doctor. Well, this speech of perfect sensibility will not do for Kurt, who tells Blaine that he’s just scared of the audition, but he’ll do great. “Thanks for knowing me,” says Blaine, hugging Kurt and abandoning his dreams of medical school in favor of being a dance major.
Sam takes his photos to a modeling agency, the House of Bichette. “So how is your name pronounced again?” he asks the lady in charge, “because I heard it was ‘bi-shay’ but now that I see it spelled out it looks like it should be ‘bitch-ette,’ like a little mini-bitch.” The lady in charge, as it is, is none other than MISS TYRA BANKS, Queen of the Smize and Lindsay Lohan’s last great co-star. “I’m used to dealing with boys far prettier and considerably stupider than you,” says Tyra. But she likes Sam. “Your Midwestern eyes have the vacant stare of a cow. I don’t have any of those on my roster.” Bichette likes Sam’s look but tells him he needs better model shots, and that he needs to lose 10 pounds. “You are in the big time now, cowboy. The camera likes starvation.” See you soon, Tyty!!!
In the loft, Blaine has bought a PIANO as a thank-you gift TO HIS OWN FIANCÉ for letting him stay there for the weekend. Santana, who is now the most realistic voice of reason on the show, says there’s not enough room for the piano (which there's not) and complains that Kurt and his Hag Berry (HA!) will now sing Rent showtunes all day in the loft. (As if they didn’t already do that without a piano? Girl please, ain't nobody needs a piano to sing "I'll Cover You (Reprise).") Sam is depressed because he’s on a Mentos and flavored air diet. The kids try to talk him out of it, and Blaine suggests that the argument would be best made in a song. But Santana says no! The next two lines sum up this entire show:
Blaine: “You don’t have to sing, Santana.”
Kurt: “But I dare you not to!”
And sure enough, Santana (with hairbrush-mic in hand) joins in for a group rendition of “Just The Way You Are” which they sing to Sam, who has had body insecurity issues for a whopping two hours but suddenly deserves a pick-me-up song. Grade: A- because I love it and it’s campy and fun and self-aware and I enjoy having these five on screen together and have you seen the exposed brick in that loft?
NEXT: Ryder actually does something