'Glee' exclusive: The cast will perform Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' for the Super Bowl episode -- and that's not all

Gleeks, you probably thought Gwyneth Paltrow doing Cee-Lo was big news. Well, you’re gonna get down on your knees and thank Grilled Cheesus for this latest bit of news I’ve got: A Glee source confirms to EW exclusively that Glee will be tackling Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” for their post-Super Bowl episode…but with a twist. The Jackson classic will be performed as a mash-up with another song, yet to be chosen. But the supersized episode, which our source says will be the most expensive in Glee history and likely one of television’s priciest episodes ever, will also feature covers of tunes by Black Eyed Peas, Lady Antebellum, and Katy Perry. Whew. I’m already worn out, and yet there’s more… 

Although “Thriller” is featured in the episode, it will not be a Michael Jackson tribute episode. Nor will it be a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, as rumors have suggested. In fact, our source says that the only pop star truly considered for the Super Bowl episode was Sir Elton John (expect a John tribute episode as part of Glee‘s back nine episodes).

The post-Super Bowl episode will instead keep with the evening’s sports theme and focus on the local football championship and Sue Sylvester’s cheerleading regionals (the “Thriller” mash-up will be played during halftime of the onscreen pigskin game). Basically, it will be a classic episode of Glee, but just bigger and better; Gleeks can also expect appearances from season two fan favorites: Blaine (Darren Criss) and Coach Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones). Oh, and General Motors is co-sponsoring the episode, which likely means there will be limited commercial interruptions.

Are you excited, Gleeks? What do you think of this news?

Comments (214 total) Add your comment
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  • Ember

    Soooo very excited! I think the best episodes aren’t a “theme” of a single artist. I love awesome songs that weave well into a great story. (Also psyched for future Elton John songs!!!)

    • 3milytam

      i’m with you! I feel like every time it’s a ‘themed’ episode the plot is forced

    • lola

      WOW. This is why I stopped watching GLEE, after the first half of the season. After American Idol suck major balls, Fox is now ruining Glee just like they did with AI. The show has a big production number and such. While the first season had soso big numbers. Just like American Idol back in its days. Fox , just like the saying goes, if it aint broke don’t fix it, well fox likes to fix it no matter what until this consumer got worn out

      • codwekk

        Yeah I agree. Fox likes to take a hit and try to make it bigger and better and in my case turned me off. Glee was so good the first half of the 1st season. And now its like a since when do high school has a big theater set that rivals any britney spears show? Glee was realistic the first season, middle of nowehere setting, bursting into songs. Now, its like I thought we’re in an economy where the only schools with a big theatrical budget were like umm nothing. Not even NYU has a big production number that scale. Im so unimpressed with the show lately. And the new kids coming in and out. It’s like you have 15 cast members, you can’t give them a storyline where they interact with each other outside the glee club, that you have to bring in more people? And SUE IS NOT FUNNY THIS SEASON. Just like POPULAR when they try to make a mean character ( NICOLE) sympathic by giving her a background, they become human and they are not taking seriously anymore. Sue was such a force and a farce and now when she comes on Im expecting her to be awesome and she is just awesomely lame. Is Ryan Murphy still writing on this show? AND ENOUGH with the gay storyline. love what’s his face, but him getting bullied and then getting a kiss from the bully, I was like for real? I have to say these gay suicides are really pathetic, and as a gay man I feel bad but I don’t, I don’t want to watch a show that does public annoucement on it, with subliminal messages. Whoo hoo, you get beat up, name called in high school. Its called high school. A school that can produce a high scale theater production number thats a gays man wet dream located in the midwest alone, doesn’t encourage gay friendly behavior? WOW..it doesnt add up…Bye Glee, it was nice and as Gwenyth Paltrow sang, Forget you glee….Hey atleast Ryan Murphy got to work with his obession Gwenyth. Remember in POPULAR where Mary cherry and Nicole kidnapped Gwenyth’s personal stylist? HAAHA WHY CAN’T GLEE BE THAT WACKY AND FUNNY?!?!

      • Madonna

        relax, it is ENTERTAINMENT. I htink a show has to evolve a bit and I still love it. I admit I prefer the shows that have a theme beyond the music, but the britny one was fun , what else could you do with that? Until you are up there writing it, directing it, producing it, sit back and enjoy an hour of escapism.

      • SXiPPY

        codwekk, THANK YOU!! You’re comment is 100% the same way I feel! After this past episode where the Glee club suddenly multiplied 3x with back-up dancers to flesh out the final song, complete with waterworks (because let’s face it, all high schools have substitute teachers well adept to spontaneous choreography and stage show productions that rival Britney: Live In Vegas); I was disgusted. It was like my intelligence was insulted. You are absolutely right that the first half of season one was realistic in that both characters and setting were feasible to reality. Now though, if we are going the “Chicago” movie-route, it would appear that Dr. Carl is providing the school with anesthesia to vent throughout the air ducts, so that even the teachers are now succumbing to whimsical delusions. And I have to mention how disgusted I get to the point I have to physically roll eyes and sneer, when they stage their elaborately flamboyant performance. All because it is far from reality and I have to ask aloud “REALLY?” Sure, it’s entertainment, but it has become so self-indulgent that it has alienated me as well as others. F*ck this show! Hate me if you want, but that’s my opinion and I voiced it whether it it received well or not.

      • RCB

        I watch Glee because it is light and fun. I love the prod numbers. I don’t expect heavy or even consistent story lines. I just want to have fun watching it.

      • Jeri

        I enjoy Glee and don’t understand all the haters. No show is perfect every episode but there is so much to enjoy why pick it apart. It’s not supposed to be anything but what it is. Why do people feel only they know what Glee should be doing.

      • Dan

        Guys… chill. This is for the SUPERBOWL episode only. It’s SUPPOSED to be big, have GIGANTIC numbers to draw in a HUGE amount of viewers that otherwise wouldn’t normally watch (hence why the episode is sports themed). It’ll get back to normal next week. Sam/Quinn, Artie trying to keep puck on the straight and narrow, etc…

      • BlackIrish4094

        I agree, I used to love the show but they’ve driven this hetero fan away, it’s just gotten too much.

      • tigger851

        @codwekk—-go take ur essay answer and complain to the suits at fox, cuz i don’t wanna read about it

      • Gleefan

        @BlackIrish4094, “they’ve driven this hetero fan away”????? What?!??!? By “too much” should I assume you mean too gay? Clearly there are plenty of heteros watching the show, or it wouldn’t be so popular. Thankfully the show will keep going, with or without your hetero support.

  • Joseph

    This is truly amazing! Can’t wait!

  • xerxster


  • JJ

    As long as they promise to have no plot continuity and continue their indiscriminate march through every song ever recorded I’m fine!

    • tvnut014

      Sarcasm. Nice.

    • John

      Don’t forget a plot about Kurt being gay.

      • BP

        Kurt’s gay? How about a spoiler alert!?

      • Kurt’s Dad

        I LOVE MY GAY SON!!!

      • Gleek Girl

        OMG BP…I think I just wet myself!! LOL!!

  • Jean in Santa Rosa

    Just checked – not even moist. They just did a Katy Perry song. I realize I’m at the upper end of the demographic, but didn’t anybody affiliated with this show listen to alternative music? I’ve seen the 70’s, 80’s, 00’s represented (hell, even 1952 last night), where are the 90’s?!?!? Grunge, goth – some variety would be nice. (Throw me a frickin’ bone here!)

    • kbrandonbaumann

      Um the whole Brittany Episode was the 90’s

      • kbrandonbaumann

        Ok well really the end of the 90’s transitioning to the 00’s

    • Josh

      90’s songs – There was Crush, Good Vibration, Free Your Mind, One, Loser, You Can’t Touch This, just to name a few :)

    • hdawg

      Agreed. Bring on the 90’s!!

  • jake

    I hope it’s less like the britney episode and more like the Never been kissed episode — the songs should be related to the storyline and the storyline should have some depth.

    • gabby

      agreed, jake!

    • Tyler

      Glee is amazing, and I really do agree with Jake. There has to be some storyline depth with the songs that they are singing.

  • Miss Talk

    I hope the mashup will be with another Michael’s song or at least with one from Janet. Don’t mix MJ’s biggest hit with some regular song, Mr Murphy.
    And who’s gonna play (and dance) Michael The ghost? Is it Michael, like Michael (Mike) CHANG?

    • Ember

      Oh, a Michael/Janet mashup would be cool!

      • kiwigleek

        Hell yes that would be an awesome mashup . Epic much

      • Jennifer

        Yeah, that would be awesome.

    • Raye

      An epic Michael/Janet mash-up would be Thriller/Scream! That would be GREAT!!!

      • EPK

        In my dance class, we do a cool-down to a 10min MJ mash-up that includes Billie Jean, Gotta be Starting Something, Scream, and Thriller… Its my favorite part of the class. That is an EPIC mash-up, and I think Glee should go in THAT direction for this episode. Just my opinion… :)

    • MykelMtl

      Thriller mashed with Janet’s Nasty, If, or Black Cat would be awesome!

      • kjm

        YES!!! If and Thriller would be awesome together

  • chris

    I had to think of the mail man getting hit by my car multiple times while reading this.

    • Angela

      I see what you did there!

      • Meg

        HAHAHAH Hilarious

    • Brenda Barrett

      Tee hee.

    • Madonna

      Pahahahaha, best comment here!

  • Luke

    Thanks for the no guest stars news. I’m sick of all these random people popping up on Glee. Can’t wait to hear the kids sing their own songs.

    • marsha

      i second that!! tired of all the random people. we need story lines between the glee kids. they’ve lost sight of what Glee is supposed to be about. they’re losing a lot of fans/

      • Nat

        100% agree! Less Gwyneth and more unknowns showing off their talent please.

  • Rebecca

    I think you were the only one that thought Gwyneth Paltrow doing Cee-Lo was big news – it was a fine rendition but I would’ve rather had Mercedes do it. I’m much more excited that they’re doing an Elton John episode.

    • Dan

      it’s called sweeps Rebecca so you bring in a HUGE guest star for an episode. Usually they suck… but in Gwyneth’s case she knocked it out of the park.

  • Peng9803

    I was excited about Thrilled until I saw the dreaded word “mash-up”. SERIOUSLY?! Am I the only person that HATES how often they do that? Leave the songs alone, especially Thriller.

    • Peng9803

      Meant Thriller both times. Oops.

    • AK

      No, I totally agree. Please, NO MORE MASH-UPS!

      • tvnut014

        Exactly. Especially not with a Michael Jackson song. Thriller is awesome by itself!

    • Karl

      AGREE!! Mash up… AGAIN? Too soon, people, too soon!

      • Emily

        Too soon? The episode will air in February, so, there will be time to relax in between mashups.

    • Casey

      No you’re not. I pretty much wanted to bang my head against the wall repeatedly when I saw the word “mash-up”. Especially after the “Singing In the Rain/Umbrella” and “Start Me Up/Livin’ On A Prayer” funkiness. Way to make great songs sound awful and weird.

      • teacher

        My husband agreed about Singin in the rain. He was apalled about such a great song done so oddly.

      • Jack

        @ Casey Maybe the head-banging against the wall would have done you a world of good. and @teacher Thank goodness your husband wasn’t in the movie……I love mash-ups.

    • steph

      Mash-ups are like fetch. Quit trying to make them happen.

      • Jennifer


    • McFudge

      Mash-ups work for me when the songs are decent but not iconic. Singin’ in the Rain was a letdown. I’m not seeing how a Thriller mash-up won’t be, too. What’ll they pair it with? Monster Mash? Imagine what a mashed-up Bohemian Rhapsody would’ve been like for VA at regionals. Shudder.

    • Em

      Agree completely!

    • Ma shup Noway

      Yep, sick of the mashups!

    • Michelle

      Exactly! If a song is pretty decent then I guess it’s okay to have mash-ups but Thriller is a hugee iconic song. Why do u need a mash-up? But what would be cool is a Janet & Michael mash-up other than that no other mash-ups. Can’t wait for the “Thriller” episode!! (:

  • Charlie

    I’m so glad they abandoned the tribute episode. This needs to be a fantastic episode as this is Post-Superbowl :)

  • Chris

    This sounds amazing! So happy they’re not doing another tribute episode. Anyone else hoping that the Lady Antebellum song that they sing is “Need You Now,”and it’s a Rachel and Finn duet? That would be PERFECT.

    • Becca

      That would be so awesome! Favorite Lady A song ever!!

    • maggie

      thank you for NOT commenting on the MJ song and instead mentioning that the fabulousness that is Lady Antebellum!! I saw them in concert and they were so good! I would LOVE for them to do Need You Now (though I don’t know how they feel about the “drunk” lyrics. really any of their songs would be great, but their best bets would be “I Run to You” or Need You Now

    • Mgssoprano

      YAY! Lady Antebellum! Any song of theirs would be great. The only country song I recall them doing is Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name”. More country!

  • nan

    I just peed myself! Wow, what a relief that it’s not a trib episode to anyone, except maybe us Glee fans! Wow, this ep sounds BOMBASTIC!

    • christopher

      you used the word bombastic incorrectly.

  • Ellen

    I can’t remember the last time I loved a TV show so much. Thank you Glee!

    • nan

      amen sister!

    • da

      There have been many tv shows that I have loved over the years, but I am seriously obsessed with Glee right now. I am a total Gleek. So while so many other people are complaining about how many Glee articles EW.com has, and how the show is going downhill, blah blah blah, I’m just enjoying it. Its funny, its sad, it makes me feel, it makes me think. I love Glee. :)

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