Stories · July 16, 2020

16 Santana Lopez Performances From “Glee” That Are Actually Timeless

Naya's voice was, quite literally, music to our ears.

After a near week-long search, Naya Rivera’s body was found and she was pronounced dead on July 8.

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just the two of us

A post shared by Naya Rivera (@nayarivera) on

Sending thoughts and prayers to Naya’s family and loved ones.

As fans of Naya’s, what better way to commemorate her life than looking back at some of her best performances in the role that made us fall in love with her?

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So, here’s a list of some of Naya Rivera’s most iconic performances as the illustrious Santana Lopez (in no particular order because they’re all magnificent in their own way):

1. “Valerie” by Mark Ronson, ft. Amy Winehouse:

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This was one of Santana’s first performances at the forefront of the New Directions. All I can say is: it was about damn time! Her voice was too beautiful to be in the background.

You can watch the full performance here.

2. “Survivor/I Will Survive” by Destiny’s Child/Gloria Gaynor:

Fox

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it until the end of time: This is the best mashup in Glee’s repertoire. The fact that Santana and Mercedes had to leave New Directions to have their voices be heard is BONKERS. But, then again, we got this fabulous song due to that, so I can’t be that mad.

You can watch the full performance here.

3. “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson:

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Let the record show that Santana won this battle. Even though I’m not Annie, I know that I was not okay after this performance.

You can watch the full performance here.

4. “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” by Stockard Channing from Grease:

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Santana Lopez was BORN to play Rizzo.

You can watch the full performance here.

5. “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Barbra Streisand from Funny Girl:

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Santana’s arrangement was fresh, it was spunky, it had ‘tude, and…dare I say… it was better than Rachel’s?

You can watch the full performance here.

6. “Me Against the Music” by Britney Spears and Madonna:

Fox

The only duo that’s more iconic than Britney and Madonna is Brittany and Santana.

You can watch the full performance here.

7. “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” by Adele:

Fox

Santana breaking apart from the pack and belting “‘Don’t forget me,’ I beg” gave me chills back then…and still gives me chills now.

You can watch the full performance here.

8. “Science Fiction Double Feature” from Rocky Horror Picture Show:

Fox

When “Rocky Horror Glee Show” opened with this number from Santana, I knew we were in store for a bomb dot com episode.

You can listen to the full song here.

9. “Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez:

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No tea, no shade, but are we sure that Selena’s version is the real song and not a cover of Santana’s?

You can watch the full performance here.

10. “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill:

Fox

So glad when glee club turned into…what did Rachel call it? Ah yes, crunk club.

You can watch the full performance here.

11. “Shake It Out” by Florence and the Machine:

Fox

This performance…and what it meant to Coach Beiste. So. Fucking. Powerful.

You can watch the full performance here.

12. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac:

Fox

You could FEEL the love between Santana and Brittany in this song.

You can watch the full performance here.

13. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse:

Fox

I love Jonathan Groff, but FUCK Jesse St. James for not giving this performance the acclaim it was due. There were no flaws.

You can watch the full performance here.

14. “Mine” by Taylor Swift:

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Fox

How do you improve a Taylor Swift song? By having Santana cover it.

You can watch the full performance here.

15. “Thriller/Heads Will Roll” by Michael Jackson/The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Fox

No Super Bowl halftime show will EVER top this performance. And that’s on period.

You can watch the full performance here.

16. Finally, “Trouty Mouth” by Santana Lopez:

Fox

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the most romantic love song in the zeitgeist. I dare you to challenge me.

You can watch the full performance here.

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