A tribute to the man who defied the odds and became an idol to millions of people across the globe, Cory Monteith, this one’s for you buddy!
1) FOX Lounge with Darren Criss –
I remember stumbling across these ‘FOX Lounge’ sessions a few months ago. Strangely, the day before we received the devastating news of Cory’s passing, I was thinking of Cory and thought of the ‘C-Money’ bit in the video. If you didn’t know what Cory was like, how outgoing, fun and genuine he was, you’d be able to tell all that from this short video. A video that only contains footage of him in a minute or less, yet you can see how he was so easily loved by many. He had the ability to make anyone and everyone smile. I know this as a fan of his and have seen proof in numerous interviews/behind the scenes, with the cast.
The bond between Darren and Cory is so sweet. They were both pretty proud to be dorky guys which again made them so loveable. The Glee cast are such a close-knit family, that when one person struggles, for example when Cory checked in to rehab, they all pulled together to support him. Darren wearing the black ribbon to the premiere of Girl Most Likely, Matthew dedicating a song and his show to him, are all signs of a family grieving, yet making sure he’s remembered for the good he did in this world. Fans have also made fundraising attempts, lit lanterns in honour of Cory, all signs to show that Gleeks truly do unite!
Despite all the pain and upset fans are experiencing, this video is worth a watch; it’s the first thing that I’ve been able to watch with Cory in, without making me sad. It’s videos like this that make memories. Videos like this will help his legacy live on. This is Cory Monteith doing what he does best, making people smile and laugh!
2) Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Performance) –
I’m aware that prior to this performance, fans of the show were outraged at how Ryan Murphy and Co. had written Finn’s character. Outing Santana to the world was so out of character for him and hurtful to see, especially when he was the one everyone was always rooting for, the underdog.
It’s only this performance that truly saved the show from sinking for me. A slowed-down version of the Cyndi Lauper track ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’. The best way to describe it; would be that it was beautifully haunting. This was Finn’s apology, his ‘acceptance’; he knew he shouldn’t have pressured Santana by trying to force her out the closet. This was my favourite Cory/Finn cover of a song, by a mile. You could feel he meant every single word of that song, not just by looking at his body language or hearing the sincerity in his voice, but from his eyes, it came from the heart. This is why Cory was the best of the best; Finn Hudson was and always will be one of the most iconic characters in the history of TV.
The 21st Century has been all about acceptance, so the character of Finn kind of mirrors and represents society and how it’s changed over time. From the start Glee has broken down the barriers of ‘typical’ TV shows set in schools. Before Glee, we only ever saw one representation of high-school, one side of the story, the popular kids’. Glee showed us that it was alright to be different, to be an ‘outcast’. They did this by using the character of Finn Hudson, the stereotypical jock and transformed him in to one of the kindest, most thoughtful, accepting characters out there. They single-handedly changed people’s perceptions by creating such a unique, complex character.
Here is Cory Monteith’s stunning cover ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’:
3) We’ve Got Tonight (Performance/Flower Petal Scene)
Heartbreakingly, this was last Finchel duet we ever got to hear. However, out of all their songs together, I’m glad it was this one. After hooking up at the wedding reception for Will and Emma’s wedding (which didn’t go ahead), the on/off couple seemed ‘on’ again after Finn’s attempts to get back with Rachel. Knowing she was still with Rachel, Finn made one of the most beautiful speeches I’ve ever heard, talking about them being ‘endgame’ and doing the ‘she loves me, she loves me not’ with a flower he’d picked up.
This was one of my favourite scenes of theirs ever. It was just so passionate and it felt really real. It had been confirmed by then that Cory and Lea were dating in real-life, so it felt even more real.
Here’s a compilation of the Finchel moments from 4×14 ‘I Do’:
We’ve Got Tonight was one of their most intimate performances, if not the most intimate. I love their voices together; they have great vocal chemistry so obviously all their songs together were vocally flawless. This song though, was definitely my favourite duet of theirs. Cory’s untimely death is a tragedy, nobody knew it was coming. Yet out of all their songs together, this was the performance where Lea and Cory absolutely gave it their all, so much heart and loving looks (not just Finchel feelings, but Monchele ones too, because they looked at each other that way in real-life too). Obviously, despite the Glee writers knowing what would happen a few months down the line; I feel it was the perfect send-off the popular power-couple deserved. I feel so sad having to write this, but I’m glad Cory departed the show whilst their much-loved and talked about relationship, was left on a good note. It saddens me that we’ll never hear another Finchel duet ever again.
The way they look at each other breaks my heart, they were so in love. Prepare for your heart to break, the last Lea/Cory duet, We’ve Got Tonight from 4×14 ‘I Do’:
4) Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) (Unreleased Song)
It’s so hard to listen to right now, because it’s more than a song. Lyrics always mean something, but the fact that Cory is the person singing the song and the lyrics match up so neatly to situation, is what makes it that much harder.
Ryan Murphy and Co. decided not to include the song in the season three finale, however as you well know otherwise we wouldn’t be listening to it, they released it on the Graduation album. Cory and Darren (Criss) are vocally on the same level in my eyes, so this song is like literal music to my ears. From now on I won’t be able to listen to it the same, due to the connotations with Cory, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best duets on the show!
‘It’s something unpredictable, and in the end its right, I hope you had the time of your life’ – This seems like an indirect tribute to Cory.
5) Paradise By The Dashboard Light (Performance)
Cory/Finn was just brilliant on this, definitely one of his strongest performances. I’d say he outshone Lea on this one, his voice sounded so powerful and dominant. Covering the Meatloaf classic Paradise By the Dashboard Light, this brings back happy memories, because the NDs had all united, they weren’t obsessed with winning or trying too hard or even to worried about what the outcome would be, they just performed and they won. Nationals was to me was one of the best moments in Glee history. I believe this song was the reason why.
Yes I’m going to miss hearing Finn’s husky voice, but we all have to remember that whilst this is so incredibly sad, we still have all those cute scenes and mesmerizing performances to watch over and over again, there’s no limit to how much of Cory we can see online, happy and alive, enjoying his life, blessed to be where he was. I will miss seeing him trying and failing to dance (talking about Finn and Cory now) and not getting to see anything new ever again from him, we’ve seen all we can, but we have memories and they’re with us in our hearts and our mind.
He’ll be remembered by his peers for performances such as Paradise By The Dashboard Light, he set an example both on and off screen. Cory, being the humble guy he was, probably didn’t realise how many people’s lives he’d changed, undoubtedly his legacy will live on.
Here, the brilliant Paradise By The Dashboard Light:
6) Faithfully (Performance)
If you watched the pilot episode, right up to the last episode Cory was in, you’ll notice just how much he grew as a performer. His voice improved drastically, he became the male lead up to season three and proved himself to be anything but a one-hit wonder after the great success of Don’t Stop Believin’.
I loved the Finchel relationship, don’t get me wrong, but if there’s one thing I’m going miss the most, it’ll be the infamous powerhouse duets between the two, i.e. Faithfully. The pairing demonstrated why they were such a dynamic duo, both musically and in the cute scene prior to the performance. I will always hold Faithfully close to my heart…especially with that high note right at the end, Lea and Cory knew how to treat an audience.
It was a choice out of this song or Pretending and Faithfully just had the edge. One of their most iconic duets in the last episode of season one:
7) The Scientist (Performance/Break-Up Scene)
Everyone remembers the heart-wrenching episode from season four of Glee, the one where practically all the couples except Will & Emma break-up. All couples ended their relationships due to different circumstances, and were all equally painful to watch. The last scene of the episode is the Finchel break-up, followed by a cover of the ‘Coldplay’ hit The Scientist.
Possibly the most emotional I’ve ever been watching a scene/performance on Glee. The lyrics say it all really. Lea and Cory’s acting was absolutely flawless in the whole scene, so emotional and raw, they did what most actors/actresses in Hollywood could only wish to do, make it believable.
Only watching it now, the words really seem to ring true to the reality of it all. It really tugs on my heart-strings. When Rachel says ‘You were my first love, and I want more than anything for you to be my last’ I cried, and cried. Like any other human being, I bawled my eyes out so much that episode, to the point where squeaks were escaping my mouth. Then, I knew it was just a TV show and Lea/Cory and everyone else on the show was happy. Now when I watch it, it hurts even more. Like I said, you have to hand it to Lea for being so convincing. Watching the same scene now that Cory’s gone, it feels like she’s saying those words and meaning it…for real. I would go as far to say this was the best Finn/Rachel scene I’ve ever seen.
Moving on to the performance itself, they did ‘Coldplay’ justice. The lighting, editing and vocals were all top-notch, my favourite ensemble performance from season four, by far. The couples singing side-by-side accompanied by flashbacks of how they met one another, was painfully beautiful. It was the perfect way to end a perfect episode. The whole brought their A-game to this episode and showed the world just exactly what they are capable of.
The Break-Up scene:
The Scientist performance:
8) Don’t Stop Believin’ (Performance(s)/Impact)
The big one. Don’t Stop Believin’, the defining moment of Glee; the performance that changed it all.
The message of Glee always was and always will be ‘Don’t stop believing’; it’s the epitome of the show and its values. In a nutshell, the song was Glee and the show was the song. There were three renditions of the song from season one to season four. First: from the pilot episode, the original Glee club (Finn, Rachel, Kurt, Artie, Mercedes and Tina), the most famous performance. Secondly: the regionals version with all the original cast present to sing in the season one finale. Finally: Rachel’s version for her Funny Girl audition in season four. All the original Glee club members were with her in spirit as she sang her way to her call back for the part of Fanny Brice. Obviously not planned in any way, but this was Cory’s last performance. Reflecting on it, it seems fitting that it was one of Cory’s first performances and his last. That gives me a little bit of closure, that he sang ‘thee’ song as his last and not a Trouty Mouth style song (however good it was, Santana).
The band were called journey and this show was about Cory’s journey, not only as Finn, but what it meant personally for him and how it changed his life. After that performance, Glee became a global phenomenon, meaning everyone wanted a piece of the cast. Cory was more than happy to do so, because he felt so blessed to have been presented with this great opportunity, he never let us down.
I think the way the show changed people’s lives around him: family, friends and fans, was what inspired Cory to really do good with his life. His message all along was –Don’t stop believing- and just because he’s gone it doesn’t mean we have to stop. This man inspired me in so many ways: his kindness, coolness, generosity (once flying across the country on his own money to meet with a seriously ill fan), braveness (being so open about his struggles) and last and most importantly, he was always himself and people loved him for that.
Cory gave me a reason to never stop believing, his story of coming from nothing to being a role model for millions of people by putting his fame to good use and helping others.
Here, the original performance that transformed a TV show in to a global success:
9) Teen Choice Awards 2010
Back in 2010, Cory co-hosted the Teen Choice Awards with Katy Perry alongside fellow co-stars Mark Salling, Chris Colfer and Kevin McHale.
It was nice to see Cory outside of Glee, it was moments like this that made people fall in love with Cory in the first place, people loved him for him. You can tell in this mini-sketch alone, that he was so happy to be there, he was passionate and blessed to have been doing what he was. I love this video because it was Cory, being dorky Cory. His ‘announcer’s’ voice cracked me up.
I imagine, co-hosting something as big as the TCA’s would’ve been massive for him and a memory he treasured for life, he looked like he belonged on the stage. Just like his cousin said in an interview with the media after Cory’s passing, ‘his life was full of beautiful stories’.
A clip of Cory and K-Perry doing a funny sketch together on-stage at the 2010 TCA’s:
10) Cory on Ellen, December 2012 – Admits ‘Monchele’ Is On!
I remember watching this for the first time and thinking ‘aww’. There had been speculation about the two dating, but nothing was ever confirmed. Ellen says to him ‘people think you are a couple’ to which he proudly replies (with a smirk on his face) ‘we are’.
When the news of Cory’s death broke, people weren’t just devastated for themselves, they were grieving for Lea, and they knew/know how much it would affect her. They were my favourite couple, so perfect for each other, I even seen a post online where someone had described their love so beautifully saying they were soul mates, adding ‘it was like the space between their fingers was made for each other’. So heart-breaking.
So after finally admitting they were a couple and making it official to the press, Cory went on to talk about how he’d taken Lea snowboarding in Canada, blushing ‘look at her she’s so cute’. As far as we’d seen/heard they were always happy and strong and supported each other and their decisions. This interview just reflects that eternal love, he glowed when he talked about her and she was the same when she spoke about him!
Cory admits he and Lea are an item:
– A BTS look at 4×19 Sweet Dreams, a rare glimpse in to Lea and Cory’s relationship.
– From 2×22 ‘New York’ the Finchel duet at Nationals, Pretending.
– Members of the cast on a Rollercoaster together (filmed by Cory) after the filming of season one had finished – hilarious!
A personal note about the guy who inspired me, along with millions of others across the globe:
He tried. That’s all we could ask from him. What hurts so bad, is that he had so much left to give; career-wise & to Lea. His cause of death won’t define him nor change my opinion of him, he was a fighter, he was brave and he was honest. Speaking so publicly about his struggles has undoubtedly changed so many people’s lives and through that, his music and his acting, his legacy will live on. RIP Cory Monteith, you’re at peace now; you no longer have to battle your inner demons. You were and always will be a hero in my eyes! ❤
Here’s a touching tribute to the Finchel (Finn & Rachel) relationship on the show and their real-life relationship, entitled by fans as Monchele.
So very sad, yet so beautiful:
God Bless you, Cory.