Glee got spicy on this week's episode! None other than the bon-bon shaker himself, Senor Ricky Martin, guest starred as muy sexy night school Spanish teacher/former tooth model David Martinez, who gives Mr. Schu and his crew a lesson in what it means to find your duende (aka soul, passion, art…that special something) and follow your own American Dream.
Schuester’s heavily stereotyped depiction of Latino culture would make even Bart Simpson scream, "ay caramaba!" He opens the show with a super #awkward "La Cucaracha" number and then ends it with an equally heinous Spanglish rendition of Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation" in a bedazzled matador outfit -- all of which does NOT translate with his students, especially Santana, who gives Schu a Hispanic smackdown:
“Why don't you dress like the Taco Bell chihuahua and bark the theme song to Dora the Explorer?!” she scolds him.
Aye dios mio! So Martinez steps in to educate the Gleeks on the "new direction" this country is heading in -- hitting them with the stat that we’ll all be speaking Spanish by 2030 – and then hip-swiveling his way through a caliente cover of LMFAO’s “Soy Sexy y Yo Sabes.” (C’mon, y’all know what THAT means.)
In the spirit of Glee’s bilingual blowout last night, we thought we’d take some Spanish lessons straight from Ricky’s Action dictionary:
Yo quiero mi ciudadanía. Translation: I want my citizenship.
Sure, we’re used to hearing this battle cry for MTV or Taco Bell, but now it gets serious. This is what undocumented American college students and military enlistees are demanding through the DREAM Act –- a piece of legislation that would create a pathway for the sons and daughters of illegal immigrants to become legitimate citizens of the only country they’ve ever called home.
Ricky isn’t afraid to share his thoughts on immigration –- so he must have enjoyed the chance to portray an Ohio-born son of paperless Chilean parents in this week’s episode. When Will offers David the chance to take over his Spanish teacher role at McKinley, he poignantly says: "My parents had to lie about their citizenship to go to high school and now I'm teaching it. That's the American dream, right?"
Guarda la musica! Translation: Save the music!
Glee has definitely put a sassy spotlight on the importance of music education in public schools -- the cause at the heart of VH1’s Save The Music campaign -- and Ricky lent some much-needed Latin flavor to the fight this week. His character believes that song and dance are the best way to learn a new language and after watching the border-bending numbers yesterday, we have to say, “Si, senor!”
Gente Por Los Ninos. Translation: People for Children
When Ricky’s not singing “La Isla Bonita” with Naya Rivera, he’s working to make the island we call Earth a more beautiful place, especially for kids. The Ricky Martin Foundation’s principal project is People for Children, an ongoing effort to combat the exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable population through campaigns like Guerreros de Luz and No a la Trata, both focused on ending human trafficking. The international singing sensation is looking for “warriors of light” to take action for the 1.2 million children that are enslaved each year because it -- contigo comienza -- starts with you! And don’t y’all think the Hispanic heartthrob should get the teen dreams of Glee involved? We totally want to see the New Directions throw a slushie at modern-day slavery!
Todo se pone mejor. Translation: It gets better.
"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am." With that blog posting in March 2010, Ricky Martin proudly came out after years of speculation -- transforming the former teen idol into an instant role model for LGBT youth all over the world. So it totally makes sense that he would partner up with Glee, a TV show that consistently promotes tolerance and compassion to millions of viewers every week through the struggles of uncloseted characters like Kurt. The Puerto Rican pop prince also reportedly has plans to marry his long-time partner – and he’s been outspoken about marriage equality in the past -- so we’re betting he was as stoked as his co-star Cory Monteith about yesterday’s Prop 8 ruling.
The “Livin’ La Vida Loca” star has certainly found his duende -- now go find yours by taking Action below!