The Britney Spears ‘Glee’ Episode Upstaged By Paramore’s ‘The Only Exception’

With all the hype surrounding Tuesday night’s (September 28th) Britney Spears-centric episode of “Glee,” who would have thought that all of the Britney songs would ultimately be upstaged by a Paramore track? Though the episode featured some of Spears’ biggest hits (including “…Baby One More Time,” “Stronger,” “Toxic” and “Me Against the Music”), costumes (the red bodysuit from the “Oops! I Did It Again” video, the snake-charmer get-up from her performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards) and dances (and even Spears herself), the episode closed with a run through Paramore’s “The Only Exception,” a beautiful, poignant song from the band’s 2009 album Brand New Eyes.

Perhaps it was all about context. The Spears songs were mostly integrated into fantasy and dream sequences (most of the characters are under the influence of dental-related anesthesia), “The Only Exception” showed up as a key plot point. In the show, Finn (Cory Monteith) wants to go back to playing football, which complicates his relationship with Rachel (Lea Michele). To complicate matters, Finn’s ex-girlfriend Quinn (Dianna Agron) attempts to seduce him, though she is ultimately unsuccessful. When Rachel realizes that Finn has held true, she sings “The Only Exception” to him as an apology for letting her jealousy get the best of her.

Clearly, singer Hayley Williams was happy with the results. “Seriously on cloud 9 after hearing our song on ‘Glee,;” she tweeted. “Pick up their version of ‘The Only Exception’ on iTunes! So humbled by all of this.”

The greatness of “The Only Exception” has been discussed repeatedly in this space, but it is worth mentioning again. It’s a stunning little piece of rock balladry that not only gets across its delicate melody but also shows that Paramore can do more than just teenage bluster. It’s the song that represents their evolution as a band, and it has the same sort of envelope-pushing video to go along with it.

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What did you think of the performance of “The Only Exception” on “Glee”? Let us know in the comments!