As the incomparable Mercedes Jones, Amber Riley brings her locomotive of a voice to our living rooms each week. Instantly sassy, irresistibly brassy, her Mercedes is a talent who refuses to play second fiddle, even when that’s all-too frequently the role thrust upon her. She said it herself: “I’m Beyonce. I ain’t no Kelly Rowland.” What Riley brings to Mercedes, besides those ridiculously perfect pipes, is a refreshing burst of confidence. On “Glee,” her presence speaks volumes without even using her voice. On a stage filled almost exclusively with slim starlets and six-packing studs, Riley is more of an everyteen (though in real life she is the crush-appropriate age of 24).
Her size became a subplot for a millisecond last season, but it does not define her. Instead Riley’s Mercedes is known for her confidence, strength, loyalty and – of course – that voice. I know this will be sacrilege to some, but I really loved her rendition of “Sweet Transvestite” in this week’s “Rocky Horror Glee Show” episode. Yes, it was silly they changed “transsexual Transylvania” to “sensational Transylvania.” No, she isn’t Tim Curry. But, lord, who is? Instead she gave it her own sexy stamp. Bonus points for using Brittany and Santana as backup dancers. I don’t know about you, but watching all three of them dance together is definitely good for relieving my tension. Happy weekend and Halloween, all.