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Posted Tue, November 16, 2010 10:38pm EDT

Spencer's Glee-cap: Gwyneth Paltrow Was More Than Just A Substitute — She Stole The Show!

The November 16 episode of ‘Glee’ gave us everything we love about the show — singing, dancing & drama!

Tonight’s episode of Glee, “The Substitute,” was all about substitutions — the things that provide comfort for us when something else isn’t available. Of course, this was also the episode featuring the fabulous Gwyneth Paltrow, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Let’s take it from the top, shall we? Power-hungry Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) took down Principal Figgins by getting one of her sick minions to sneeze on him, and shortly after did the same to Mr. Schuester. After hallucinating that the members of New Directions were small children (which is a terrifying thought), he decided maybe he could succumb to bed rest, and left the Glee club to fend for themselves.

Never one to be put in a corner, Rachel (Lea Michele) grabbed the reins and announced she’d be taking over in Mr. Schuester’s absence. It didn’t take long for her annoying, diva behavior to get to everyone — and Kurt (Chris Colfer) immediately sought out a solution. The vivacious substitute teacher holding down the fort in Mr. Schuester’s Spanish class, Holly Holliday (the incomparable Ms. Paltrow) seemed to fit the bill, especially after Kurt witnessed her doing a sexy rendition of “Conjunction Junction” in his English class.

Holly immediately agreed, and moments later, her tight turtleneck and pencil skirt were taking the Glee club’s world by storm. They were all floored by her easygoing spirit, particularly the fact that she wanted them to pick the songs they wanted to sing. After greenlighting Puck’s (Mark Salling) suggestion to do Cee-Lo‘s “Forget You,” Santana (Naya Rivera) asked, “What do you know about Cee-Lo? You’re like 40,” to which Holly quipped back, “Top 40, sweetcheeks!”

Gwyneth’s performance of “Forget You” seemed pretty lackluster when it was leaked a few days ago, but I loved it in the episode. Normally, I’m not one to go for an edited version of a song, but what can I say? She owned it. Just a quick disclaimer: I know some of you aren’t into Gwyneth, but I happen to love the broad — holier-than-thou Goop ramblings, and questionable choices (read: naming her child Apple) included.

Anyway, Holly quickly became a favorite of the group, minus of course the always disagreeable Rachel. But even she came around, after they shared the spotlight for a fabulous duet of  “Nowadays” from Chicago. Back in Sickville, Will was being nursed back to health by his psychotic estranged wife Teri (Jessalyn Gilsig). Sparks flew over Menthol Rub and snotty tissues, as they so often do, and the two had what was sure to be some bacteria-heavy, disgusting sex.

Another character who had to deal with the stressful task of substitution was Mercedes (Amber Riley), who was pretty emotionally affected by the Tater Tot ban implemented by Sue. Honestly, I feel the girl’s pain. In what kind of sick, communist world can you not get your favorite fried potato products whenever you want? She turned to her BFF Kurt for comfort, but he was caught up with his new “friendship” with Blaine (Darren Criss). Mercedes eats dinner with them, but their gay language and talk of Lupone and Lanvin go right over head, so she yet again turned to food for support. At the end of the episode, she realized that while Kurt may be slipping away, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She even worked up the courage to talk to a guy she’s had her eye on.

Sue “fired” Will, stating that the students prefer Holly, but after being faced with an actual situation that wasn’t just fun and games, Holly immediately headed for Will’s place. She confided in him that she’s incapable of settling down, and freaks out at the thought of dealing with anything real. Their bonding was interrupted by a rude intrusion from Teri, who Will told to go away — for good. Sue reinstated Will in his position, and when he noticed the club’s spirits were low, partially due to him forcing them to do Singin’ in the Rain, he brought in Holly to join them for an awesome episode-ending performance of Rihanna‘s “Umbrella.”

To sum up: I loved it. LOVED. IT. I wasn’t a huge fan of last week’s episode, even though it set Kurt up to finally get some action, so this was a welcome addition to my week. What it did most of all was get me super excited for Gwyneth’s upcoming movie Country Strong, which also features one of my other all time faves, Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester.

But what did you think HollywoodLifers?! How did this episode measure up? VOTE!

— Spencer Cain

Plus, check out Gwyneth’s performance of “Forget You” below:

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