5 Questions Raised by Glee's Performance at the White House Easter Egg Roll


Every year, you apply for the White House Easter Egg Roll lottery, hoping that you and your child can spend the holiday rubbing elbows with the First Couple as that-year's-tween-act bops around on a South Lawn stage. How could that not be the most amazing celebration of Jesus' resurrection ever? That question was rhetorical up until this weekend's Egg Roll, when the cast of Glee clambered onstage in matching blood-red outfits and worked through one of the most disappointing "Don't Stop Believin'" performances of all time. After the jump, Movieline works through some of the questions raised during this weekend's mini-concert.

1. Why Did Producers Force Kevin McHale to Sit in His Wheelchair For the Performance?

Strangely, Kevin McHale, the able-bodied actor who plays Artie Abrams on the Fox hit, performed in his character's wheelchair for the entire concert. If producers wanted to minimize confusion among young audience members by creating the illusion the actual characters were performing, where was Quinn's baby bump?

2. Why Didn't Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison Just Sing Everyone's Parts?

If the cast did not want to lip sync, they should have let the Broadway stars perform the entire set while the rest of the cast worked their choreography.

3. Was Rupert Murdoch Using an Off-Pitch Glee Cast as His Trojan Horse?

This weekend's concert was probably the closest that the conservative-leaning News Corp. (Fox's parent company) chief will ever get to the White House, so maybe the performance (down to the McHale wheelchair controversy) was actually a carefully-designed distraction tactic with Glenn Beck stowed away in Amber Riley's suitcase.

4. Who Is To Blame?

The sound technicians for fumbling the "Don't Stop Believin'" backing tracks? The Glee kids for relying on backing tracks? Sasha and Malia, for inviting the Glee kids to perform? Oprah, for exhausting the performers during a private Chicago concert last week (that will air on her show Wednesday)? Or Jane Lynch, for not jumping onstage during "Don't Stop Believin'" and distracting the audience with salty one-liners about 'nam while the technicians worked out their kinks?

5. Should Viewers 'Stop Believin' After One Lackluster "Don't Stop Believin'" Performance?

No and yes. Thanks to auto-tune, this kind of disaster will never happen on the Fox television show, and judging by the rest of the songs (second video below), Matthew Morrison and the gang can pull their weight. But Glee live concert ticket-holders who were hoping for a truly a cappella experience might want to consider pulling the ripcord on that Rosemont, Ill., concert.


  • Lizzyb says:

    Ohhhh you are such a hater!!!
    It was clear to me that there were sound issues on DSB, why did you not see that?
    Did you listen to Amber sing ? Or Matt? Or Mark Or Jenna?
    You are an epic failure as a blogger....no facts at all
    Don't politicize the show! It's a TV show not some game of evil vs evil!
    How dare you say they are not taking the concerts seriously??? Are you at their rehearsals that they do after shooting 14 hours a day, that they do over the weekends and late into the night??? You should pay more attention to the facts! Wait until you see them on OPRAH! WEDNESDAY!
    I do agree that Kevin should not have been in the wheelchair at all but that is all you are getting..hata!

  • Alex says:

    when was dianna agron laughing? i think it's acceptable to smile whilst performing at the white house.
    i think it was great kevin was in a wheelchair. he may not be disabled but i think it's great that he shows you can do everything everyone else was doing on a wheelchair.
    the sound system at the white house clearly sucked. that's hardly their fault

  • stretch65 says:


  • kaibo says:

    Wow! You sound like such a miserable person. God forbid you take an objectionable stance. This is such a biased review and not, in any way, based on facts. If you don't like the show, don't watch it!

  • Kaylyn says:

    Are you a performer? If you had been up on that stage would you have done better? Stop trying to make an issue where there isn't one. If you couldn't tell that there were sound issues during Don't Stop Believing then you are an idiot. It's the sound guys fault not the Glee cast. How did they not take this seriously? Were you there? Do you know these people?
    Sweet Caroline, True Colors, and Home were fantastic. This was their first live performance, give them a break. The sound guys should be fired! It was clearly technical difficulties that messed up the first performance. The second time around was much better.

  • Jon says:

    I see you are one of those people waiting to bash GLEE. Ok, that's fine but admit it upfront. Admit that in all these months of watching GLEE win awards, get acclaim, gain true fans, give to the arts programs, increase the attention paid to school art programs, etc etc, you were waiting for a slip. You would never acknowledge all the good, just waiting for a mistake and wow we get a poorly written, as Lizzy said without any facts post. Facts are the cast of GLEE have handled this attention better than a cast full of veterans. I have met them a few times and they are warm to their fans, appreciative and very humble. I don't think they even get how much what they do affects people.
    I watch with my mom and dad and my little sister can sing every single song. This is the only show that we watch together! I am in 11th grade and we talk about how HS can really suck and GLEE gets that but also it gets how important it all is too
    i know you think your little blogging here is harmless and snarky but I along with lots of Gleeks find it offensive and typical. People hate to see others do well, did you have a dream you didn't get to fulfill? You sound like that kind of person, bitter and jealous, it must suck to be you!

  • Louis Virtel says:

    The word is "objective," Kaibo. I'd appreciate the next time you make a wild, stupid personal attack on a Movieline writer, you at least cover up the preteen literacy. TTYL.

  • Bryan says:

    Wow, you're an idiot. There were problems with the TECH CREW! Unbalanced volume of mics, overpowering backing track, and horrible sound quality!
    Amber, Jenna, Mark, Matt and Lea sounded great with the smaller numbers. Smile, Home, Sweet Caroline and True Colors were fantastic! You have no clue what you're saying, dumbass.

  • Shannon says:

    First: There were likely some nerves, after all have YOU ever tried performing in front of the President?
    Second: Unless you were actually there, I'm not sure you can judge the performances based on bad YouTube videos and Live Streaming problems that happened.
    Third: I think that when performing in an actual venue indoors and not at an outdoor performance, the sound will likely be completely different.
    Fourth: The cast has been flying around the country... they were just in Chicago to tape their Oprah appearance (which will air on the 7th of April) then they jetted off to D.C. for the White House Easter Egg Roll, so they were likely somewhat tired and perhaps not 100% on their game.
    Fifth: Don't judge the cast by one single appearance, keep watching them and I'm sure you'll change your own tune.

  • Richie says:

    Am I at a fucking Junior High Mixer? who are these fucking kids commenting on this site? Look at all of them making excuses like they know them.. you don't know them no matter how much you stalk their every google alert. They can take the criticism kids, because they're big boys and big girls. unlike you all.

  • bagelface says:

    Attack of the pre-teens!

  • Ben says:

    Great so you had to drag another clueless blogger over to defend you and yell, good to know there are two of you here on this blog who do not believe in facts. Also interesting that you are suddenly moderating the comments, feelings hurt or is that the truth hurting?

  • Cynthia says:

    Richie? But can you? Learn to get a clue about blogging, talking about the post is allowed, not agreeing with the blogger is allowed...attacking the others commenting and adding nothing to the discussiion is just a douche move.
    Your obnoxious over use of the F word clearly makes you more a teenager than any of the posters here.

  • Mikey says:

    Go back to texting, or sexting, or huffing paint, or whatever it is you kids do.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    Thank God Julie didn't criticize Justin Bieber in the process or the poor woman would be getting death threats by now. Does everyone understand that "Glee" is just a television show? Yes, it's fun (if horribly inconsistent), but it is a television show. Movieline - surprise, surprise - discusses television shows and often criticizes lame moves like "vocal groups" performing at the White House with backing vocals. If that offends you, perhaps you should check out other websites that aren't so critical or funny. It really is that simple.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    I think there are an awful lot of "Glee" fans who don't understand how prevalent Autotune is on the show and how rarely they're hearing the singers' actual voices.
    That said, it's worth noting the use of in-ear monitors for this performance; if these guys aren't used to performing with 'em, it's not surprising a few folks get a bit pitchy. They're completely different beasts to foldbacks etc. But it's also altogether possible that many of the "Glee" cast can't pitch to save their lives - I've never, *never* heard a single sung note on that show that wasn't Autotuned.
    Now, that's all fine'n'dandy for disposable fun, which is kinda what "Glee" is. But it means that, as the technology updates, these performances sound like... well, um, like the "Moulin Rouge" performances sound: straightened, flattened and robotically regimented, with (in "Glee"'s case) the addition of a boatload of melisma and the subtraction of any kind of soul.
    It's funny, 'cos the whole "Glee" thing is, they're the outsiders, yeah? They're the much-derided glee club, being picked on because they're not fashionably perfect. And yet they're coated in artificial tuning to remove the "imperfections". Now, on this evidence, it's unsurprising that some of them might need it, but others here sound far better with their natural tone than with the show's MIDDLE A IS 440Hz AND NOT A SKERRICK EITHER WAY mentality.

    • Autumn says:

      You do realize that is false rigt?ore than half the cast has a singing background. Jenna, Lea, Matthew and Jane have all been in musicals or done musical performances. Amber tries out for American Idol. Chris and Dianna were involved in musical theatre and Kevin was in a boy band. Definitely not auto-tuned.

      • Paul says:

        If you think auto-tune is not used at all you're oblivious. The show openly admits to it. All shows with singing use it. Its not new Autumn. I like Glee but I know they are Actors not singers. Maybe Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison can sing but the rest are actors. Just know your watching a T.V. show and not a singing contest. It's no big deal.

      • ohmy says:

        they're autotuned BEYOND LIMIT. It's incredibly audible and you could use autotune in a way that isn't this obvious. For anybody who uses pitch correctors, and knows what it sounds like, this show is pretty much a "look at us we don't even care anymore". - - - - - Even if they are good singers, you wouldn't know because it's so massively autotuned that there is no way to tell. You just don't know what autotune/melodyne/pitchcorrect really sounds like...

  • Sylene says:

    I would say that most Glee fans I talk with are quite aware of the autotuning...more so because most grew up with auto tuning being the norm. However consider also that most fans of the show like the cast enough to have heard them sing in other venues. I live in Los Angeles, I have gone to see Amber sing a few times, no auto tune. I have seen Lea in plays twice, amazing no auto tune. Mark has a band and he has played locally no auto tune, Kevin was in a boy band where they had auto tune so I have heard him sing both ways.
    And so on and so forth. I think Cory is learning and has gotten better and Jenna and Diana have both done plays. So the show chooses to use auto tune, that is the choice of FOX, I doubt those who consider themselves singers demand it. As far as the show being about imperfection, remember the show is a business for FOX first and formost. If business is helped by making perfect imperfection and it sells?
    Great! I see and hear lots of heart and soul in the show and more so today hearing the cast sing at the White House.

  • rebecca says:

    Are glee fans the new twihards? Oh lord.

  • Patty says:

    I love Glee, but I do wish they would use less auto-tune, but they still sound pretty awesome live. Mark Salling was greay on Sweet Caroline, Lea Michele and Matt Morrison sounded awesome and they're the most accustomed to this sort of thing. It's understandable for people not to sound exactly the same live especially since all this technology available now.
    Stop hating. They aren't committing a crime, leave them be.

  • Todd Donald says:

    I read the earlier post about the gLee sound system sucking and after just returning home from the gLee concert in Chicago, I have to say that the sound system was so awful I left after the 2nd song because I could not stand it. I am disappointed beyond words and it seems so stupid that a big act like gLee cannot afford a decent sound system or hire a good sound engineer... Honestly - gLee is a VOCAL performance. Their vocals is what makes them great, so why would they NOT have a good sound system?

  • Since we're discussing the 5 Questions Raised by Glee's Performance at the White House Easter Egg Roll | Movieline subject, Home inspection services can provide you with valuable information on your desired home. When buying a house, there are many details that the potential owner has to know-from its wiring and plumbing to the roof.

  • Anonymous says:

    There's a saying in theater, and that's "The show must go on." Obviously, they must have known there were sound issues on that one song but they all smiled and sang and did their song, exactly as professionals performers should.

  • I would have liked to read even more tips and tricks related to this matter; interesting facts always make people come back for more. Other than that, I got what I wanted to know, so many thanks for that!

  • anto32 says:

    I think all singers use tech sometimes.To sing in a lot of concerts during weeks is just insane.People need to let their voices rest.But is not just a issue of pop artists.Why do you think rock stars play always so loud?Because if you listen to their voices you would like to commit suicide.