In a few spectacular numbers, this all-girls phenomena has not just won my heart but wrapped it around my finger and made me beg for more. In all seriousness, I would camp out overnight like a crazed Twilight fan to buy tickets to one of their shows. I have my sleeping bag ready. I am only partially kidding.
When I first saw their” Candyman” performance, I clapped and grinned. So much fun, so much energy. And then came the epic Adele “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” mash-up. I couldn’t stop watching it and I’ll never stop loving it. So here comes the big Sectionals performance of “Survivor/I Will Survive” tonight. And I think the only way to describe it is to say “Oh, the house that was here? Yeah, it’s gone. The Troubletones brought it down.”
Oh, kittens. Second 53, Second 53.
But what is more extraordinary, what is more sensational, what makes them not just another group that sings and dances is that this is a group fronted by an amazing African-American young woman and sensational out lesbian Latina young woman and her fierce out bisexual girlfriend. And they’re proud and loud and OH MY GOD, YOU SAW THE BRITTANGO PART, RIGHT?
Also, important sidenote, the choreography they perform during “Survivor/I Will Survive” is known as “waacking,” a style that originated in gay black and Latino disco clubs in the 70s. I ignorantly called it “flail-y when I first saw it, which I apologize profusely for as I know basically nothing about dance history. Kids today are still doing the Charleston, right? I am, clearly, the last person on this Earth who should be commenting on complex choreography. If you really want to see flailing, just watch me dance.
So, in that context, having the Troubletones waacking to a mash-up of a popular gay anthem (and a kick-ass Destiny Child number) is really pretty awesome nod to both minority and gay culture for “Glee.” It’s an organic and empowering way to showcase ethnic communities many probably aren’t familiar with.
Which is why it pains me all the more that the Troubletones will probably lose. Now, stop throwing Slushees at me. I have NO IDEA whether the Troubletones will actually lose. I have no spoilers. I have seen no screeners. I know no insider information whatsoever. But, I do have a brain and eyes and a sense of history. This show is about Mr. Shue’s New Directions, not Shelby Corcoran’s Troubletones. This show is about Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry, not Mercedes Jones and Santana Lopez. So, there is really no way the Troubletones can beat New Directions that works into the narrative Ryan, Ian and Brad have created. Much to my continued chagrin, they are not the heroes of this story. We all know that.
So, again, we pretty much know the Troubletones won’t win. Or they will win, yet somehow still lose. Or there will be some sort of tie, yet somehow still lose. Bottom line, our sassy sisters of song will eventually be folded back into the New Directions. Could I be wrong? I guess anything is possible. But, I fear, tonight will be the last we see of these girl-power, minority-empowering Troubletones.
So, then, I will let them have their mighty swan songs. A look back in wonder.
The petition for a Troubletones spin-off starts here.