Top 10 Cory Monteith ‘Glee’ performances, ranked

A photo of the ‘Glee’ cast in a dodgeball scenario
Image via FOX

Cory Monteith, who played Glee‘s leading man, Finn Hudson, passed away unexpectedly back in 2013. He was beloved by fans and cast mates and everyone who knew him had only positive things to say, even when he was battling drug addiction. His character in Glee was very similar, and the cast called him their own quarterback, who led them to victory both on and off-screen. Not only was Monteith kind, though, he was also talented, and now we’re going to do a countdown of his best performances as Finn Hudson.

10. “Loser Like Me”

You can’t talk about Glee without talking about their original songs stint during Season two. ‘Loser Like Me’ was an anthem for people everywhere who felt outcast and Cory’s vocals were a huge part of how powerful it was. You could tell he really felt the words he was singing and that makes a performance more enticing and entertaining for an audience. Cory’s performance as Finn was heartwarming, and it had us feeling like we were back in high school as a loser, just waiting until we could make it to the big leagues and prove all of the haters wrong.

9. “It’s My Life/Confessions Part II”

Most fans of the series will remember this mash-up as the “Vitamin D” performance because all of the characters took way too much Vitamin D and it basically made the Glee club hyperactive. As most group performances, Cory took the lead on this one and knocked it out of the park. It was the first mash-up of the series and really raised the bar. Both Cory’s vocals and stage presence, along with everyone else’s, really made this a stellar performance overall.

8. “Don’t Stop Believin'”

The classic Glee cover of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ was the first song that really made it big from the series. Along with other Journey songs, it will be forever tied to the show. Cory, again, took the male lead on this song with Lea Michele as his duet partner and the rest of the cast backing them up. It was the first time we fully got to see Cory’s character in action as a member of the club and it was just incredible watching him open up the way he did.

7. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”

When The New Directions won nationals in Season Three, everyone was ecstatic. And while Lea Michele’s rendition of ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ was stellar, people don’t give Cory enough props for his performance in ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light.’ Near the end of the song, with the lyrics “But God only knows what I can do right now,” we hear the audience go crazy and see Finn get that moment to shine. You can hear how far he’s come vocally and it’s impressive and important to showcase that.

6. “Can’t Fight This Feeling”

The song that started it all; ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling.’ Mr. Shue heard Finn singing this song in the locker room and knew that he was the male lead the Glee Club needed to become successful. You can hear the raspiness in Cory’s voice in the short time he’s singing and while we never got a full cover, this short performance is still one of his best. It shows off his range, his passion and just how talented he truly is.

5. “Jessie’s Girl”

‘Jessie’s Girl’ was like a cultural reset. It was still early on for Finn’s feelings for Rachel, but he knew he wanted her all to himself. Not to mention, there really was a character named Jesse that was in his way of getting to her. It worked out perfectly and gave us one of the best covers of this song to exist. This is another instance where you can hear Cory’s raspiness and it really works for ‘Jessie’s Girl.’ The song and performance is just fantastic and the way it weaves into the plot is even better.

4. “The Scientist”

Probably one of Glee’s saddest performances is ‘The Scientist’, when we see many fan-favorite couples break up and go their separate ways for the time being. One of those couples is Finn and Rachel, otherwise known as Finchel. Cory’s voice, alongside everyone else’s, just blends so beautifully and his acting performance is so heartbreaking, you’d think him and Lea broke up in real life too. It’s both sad and beautiful at the same time.

3. “I’ve Gotta Be Me”

One of the running gags on the show was how bad Finn was at dancing and Cory surely made it believable. Regardless of if Cory was acting or not though, one of his best performances was alongside Harry Shum Jr., who played Mike Chang in their cover of ‘I’ve Gotta Be Me.’ It had Cory sing while Harry danced alongside him, both of them showcasing their strengths and weaknesses alongside the other. It was fun to watch and a catchy song.

2. “Just The Way You Are”

In Season One, Finn went too far and used a slur with Kurt, however in Season Two, when their parents got married, he did his best to atone. With Cory’s performance of Bruno Mars’, ‘Just the Way You Are,’ we see him and Chris Colfer (Kurt) slow dancing to the song as Finn basically serenades him as an apology and a promise to be a good step-brother. It was a touching moment and showed how much Finn had grown as a character.

1. “Losing My Religion”

Finally, at number one, we have ‘Losing My Religion.’ Now, while this song was sung about a grilled cheese sandwich that looked like Jesus Christ, it was still Cory’s best performance by far. From the raspy tone to the angst, to him angrily walking down the hallway, it truly was a production. Even though it’s funny when you think of the context, the song is still great and Cory really made it his own.