The show starts with Will Schuester interrupting rehearsal room hijinks with the announcement of the secret list of the show choirs against whom New Directions will be competing. When he reads the name of the Fort Wayne group, Throat Explosion, the glee club flips out, declaring their rivals to be the new supergroup and describing them as “mini Lady Gagas.”
This leads the group lamenting their status as being a motley crew of half Katy Perrys and half Lady Gagas. How musically convenient, as this introduces this episode’s theme of New Direction blending their voices and styles together in a Lady Gaga versus Katy Perry showdown. According to Will, this combination will be the key to defeating Throat Explosion. All the self-proclaimed Lady Gagas are tasked with performing a Lady Gaga song and vice versa, so buckle up folks. It’s mash-up time!
In NYC, Kurt announces to his diner cohorts that he is starting a new band and wants them to join. Guest star, Demi Lovato AKA Dani is excited at the prospect. Rachel says she can’t because she’s busy with her role in Funny Girl. Santana and Dani are willing to participate but want some creative control.
Sam greets his nurse girlfriend, Penny, and she confesses to having “a musical dark side.” Sam opens his locker and Penny sees his poster featuring his princess pop star idol. They appear to have nothing in common, musically. Instead of hanging with him after school, she decides to go to a Nine Inch Nails concert with her ex. Of Penny, Sam laments, “She seems like a Katy, but secretly she’s a Gaga.” Get where they’re going with this? Sam decides to channel Gaga to win her over.
Kurt, Santana and Demi wait for candidates to audition for their band. Santana suggests the band name of “The Apocalipsticks,” which Kurt vetoes, even though I deem it awesome. Cue fabulous, sparkly guest star, Adam Lambert who introduces himself simply as Starchild, wearing a bedazzled top hot and suit. He takes to the stage and busts out with his version of “Marry the Night.” In case you weren’t sure, he is definitely a Gaga.
He gives an show-stopping performance and it probably doesn’t hurt that no one else shows up to audition. The two ladies love Starchild but Kurt isn’t totally sold, telling him, “If you’re willing to tone down your look, I’d reconsider.” Hmm.
Bree strolls into Sue Sylvester’s office wearing a bikini of caution tape, while Sue herself is decked out in a gold face mask. They both give complicated explanations for dressing like Lady Gaga but it seems inconsequential and then the bell rings. The Katys meet to brainstorm how to channel their inner Gagas. Sam is hellbent on proving how edgy he is to school nurse Penny. He bugs Becky to tell the whole school they’ll be performing.
Back at their apartment, Rachel chastises Kurt about not liking Starchild’s over-the-top persona. Kurt says he’s looking for mainstream success. Rachel urges him to reconsider Starchild, which Kurt does, but he sadly doesn’t know his real name or phone number.
Bree intercepts Jake and his girlfriend to bug him for his choreography skills. She’s up to something, but we don’t know what. He seems way too easy to seduce, which is actually an 100% accurate portrayal of a high school boy.
The delayed morning announcement is interrupted by a strange Lady Gaga “Applause” teaser video featuring Sam. It’s not cute. Nurse Penny agrees halfheartedly to stay for the performance when Sam corners her in the nurse’s office. Meanwhile, the Gagas brainstorm how to be Katy Perry. Jake bails early to go help the Cheerios with their dance moves.
Unique is convinced that Bree is trying to get Jake to cheat on Marley and tells her so. They spy on the two dancing cheek to cheek. Unique’s advice is for to unleash her inner Gaga, which is a lot tamer advice than I would be doling out in this particular situation.
This leads into the Katys performance of “Applause.” Sam looks like a Victoria’s Secret model with his exposed abs and wings. The rest of the gang is dressed in Gaga gear. Marley is the only one who resists the Gaga pull, dressed in a total Katy Perry outfit, complete with a giant lollipop. This is her version of not changing, despite the fact that she’s dating a Lady Gaga in Jake.
All the Katy turned Gagas get mad with Marley for not going full Gaga and this lands her a week-long suspension. Things are going just as rough with the Katys, who can’t agree on how to proceed. They have Jake dressed as a tiger and that’s about it. They decide instead to just keep it simple.
Starchild surprises Kurt at the diner looking unrecognizably normal out of his mascara and sparkle suit. He shares his real name, Elliot Gilbert, and Kurt is so excited to see him he takes a quick break to talk. The two have a mutual love fest and he confesses to being an NYU student. He’s in the band!
Sam asks Nurse Penny about what she thought of the performance. She admits she doesn’t actually have a musical dark side and confesses to loving Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga. They bond over their mutual love of popular music and kiss. This can’t possibly lead to someone getting arrested.
Sitting on some stools with a simple piano accompaniment, the Gagas turned Katys perform “Wide Awake” in a stripped-down performance. Afterwards, Marley looks sad at her locker in her pink wig and costume until Jake comforts her with an invite to watch Mary Poppins at his place. Things get hot and heavy until Marley puts on the brakes. Jake gets upset that Marley isn’t ready to have sex so he storms into school the next day, asking Bree for some “private” time. Sexy cheerleader betrayal!
Back in NYC, Kurt and his new bandmates brainstorm band names. Rachel turns up after her Funny Girl rehearsal. She jokingly suggests, “Pamela Lansbury” which they love. Kurt pressures her to join the band and she finally relents.
In rehearsal, everybody’s dressed like Katy and Gaga and freaking out at the tension building over their upcoming showdown with Throat Explosion. Sue Sylvester barges in to suspend everyone for a week because they’re all dressed way too provocatively. She does actually have a point. And with that, the feud is on again.
From there, the whole gang busts out with their version of Katy Perry’s “Roar.” From there, they get even more naked to perform in loincloths and cheetah print. The Pamela Lansburys pick it up from there at their first rehearsal.
Awkwardness between Marley and Bree in the audience. Get ready guys, because there’s clearly going to be something happening there.
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