He's already proven that time away from Glee can be time well spent, but it's understandable for those who saw Darren Criss perform in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying to feel a little unsatisfied by the lack of soulful belting. (Given the circumstances, J. Pierrepont really can't risk unloading his musical gift on the World Wide Wicket Company until the second act.) Always game to surprise, Darren Criss unveiled another impressive cover in his repertoire at L.A.'s Hotel Cafe Saturday night, during the set of friend Theo Katzman. Drink in hand, singing Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me," Criss unleashed aggressive clapping, diva hands and no-frills dancing, sporting the same drunk eyes we first witnessed in last year's "Blame It on the Alcohol" episode. A few drinks can usually impede one's performance—unless you're David Wells—but left Darren with the ability to deliver a full-bodied and powerful rendition, matching the volume and brashness of the accompanying trumpets. It's the most complex cover we've heard from him yet, leaving us wishing Glee would consider a Sam Cooke tribute episode featuring nothing but this on loop.
Glee returns tomorrow. We understand the importance of catering to the Top 40—it's mutually beneficial—but let's hope this performance convinces Ryan Murphy to throw in a last-minute cover before season's end, or push for Blaine to forgo senior year and join a soul cover band that's hot on the Lima wedding circuit.