Chord Overstreet as Sam on the Glee Live! In Concert! tour
|Created by||Ryan Murphy
|Portrayed by||Chord Overstreet|
|Occupation||High school student|
|Family||Dwight Evans (father)
Mary Evans (mother)
Stevie Evans (younger brother)
Stacey Evans (younger sister)
|Significant other(s)||Quinn Fabray
Sam Evans is a fictional character from the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. The character is portrayed by actor Chord Overstreet, and appeared on Glee starting with the second season premiere episode entitled "Audition", first broadcast on September 21, 2010. Sam is a transfer student to William McKinley High School who becomes a member of the football team, as well as a member of the glee club, New Directions. In his first episode, Sam performs Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" with some of the guys in the glee club, but does not show up for tryouts due to the low social status of the club's members. He later joins, nonetheless.
The character has been mostly well received by television critics. Amy Semigran of MTV commented, "Turns out their strategy, as well as Sam's crush on singing partner Quinn, worked. Despite some mixed signals and apprehension on Quinn's part, the two turned out a cute little rendition of Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's 'Lucky'." Overstreet has said that he takes pieces of himself and puts it into his character. Glee 's writers have incorporated aspects of Overstreet's personality and mannerisms into his character, such as his impersonations and Nashville background. As a member of the glee club, Sam regularly sings on the show, and has performed a number of solos and duets.
Sam first appears on Glee during the first episode of the show's second season. He is recruited for the school glee club, New Directions, by the club co-captain—and also football quarterback and team captain—Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), and performs Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" with Finn, Puck (Mark Salling), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Mike (Harry Shum, Jr.). Despite his initial enthusiasm, Sam does not show up for the formal audition after seeing Finn get kicked off the football team, and because of the low social status of the glee club members. In Grilled Cheesus, with Sam as quarterback and Finn returned to the team, Sam is injured during a play suggested by Finn, restoring Finn to quarterback. Sam officially joins the glee club in "Duets". Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) immediately shows interest in him, thinking Sam is gay; Sam is unaware of Kurt's reasons, and agrees to be Kurt's duet partner because Kurt's a good singer, holding to his word despite Finn advising against duetting with another guy. Kurt ultimately calls off their duet to save Sam's reputation. After a slushee is thrown in his face, Quinn helps him clean up, and they later become partners in the glee club's duets competition. Sam and Quinn sing "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat, and win when Finn and Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) vote for them to encourage Sam to stay in the club. Over dinner at Breadstix they form a rapport, and Quinn tells Sam that she considers the meal their first date.
In "Furt", Sam tells Quinn that he loves her and offers her a promise ring, which she initially will not accept. After another member of the football team, Dave Karofsky (Max Adler), steps up his bullying of Kurt because of Kurt's sexuality, Artie and Mike confront him, and Sam joins the fight when the two are knocked down. Later, impressed by the way Sam stood up for Kurt, Quinn begins wearing his promise ring. In "Comeback", Sam establishes a one-man tribute band to teen singer Justin Bieber, hoping to win over his girlfriend Quinn, who he suspects still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend Finn. He performs "Baby", dedicated to Quinn, and also excites the other girls in the club. Puck, Artie and Mike are impressed by the effect he has on the girls, and convince him to let them join his tribute band; the four later perform "Somebody to Love", to the delight of all the girls in the glee club, and Quinn chooses Sam over Finn. When Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) convinces Sam that Quinn cheated on him with Finn, he breaks up with her and begins dating Santana, though she later dumps him when she announces that she has fallen in love with Karofsky. Sam's father loses his job and their house is foreclosed on, forcing the family of five to live in a single motel room; he hides this from the glee club until it comes out in "Rumours". When Rachel and Mercedes Jones ask Sam to take them to the junior prom, sharing in their "prom on a budget" scheme in "Prom Queen", he agrees. In the season two finale episode "New York", Sam hugs Mercedes after the New Directions finishes performing at the Nationals competition. Back in Ohio, it is revealed that Mercedes and Sam are dating, but it is clear they are keeping it secret.
He returns in "Hold on to Sixteen", when Rachel and Finn track him down to help New Directions perform at Sectionals. They discover he works in a strip bar unknown to his family, in order to help support them. Sam gets the permission of his parents to transfer back to McKinley, and he helps New Directions defeat their McKinley rivals, the Troubletones, rejecting a paranoid Quinn"s advances on the way in lieu for his summer girlfriend. Although Mercedes has found a new boyfriend in his absence, Sam tells her boldly that he wants to win her back. In "Yes/No", Sam and Mercedes sing "Summer Nights", roleplaying as Sandy and Danny from Grease along with the other characters, referring to the summer fling they shared. Their tension in sustained through the episodes Michael, where they share a kiss and perform Human Nature as an acoustic duet, and The Spanish Teacher, where he performs a mash-up of Bamboleo and Hero to profess his love, until Heart. While Mercedes does break up with Shane in this episode, she feels horrible for what she did to him and will not go out with Sam until she is sure of her feelings.
In "Saturday Night Glee-ver" Sam films Mercedes singing "Disco Inferno" and posts it to YouTube, after she tells the class about her dad's reaction to her musical dreams, and not feeling like she will be good enough in the real world. After showing her the positive comments from the video, telling her he believes in her, and, reminding her that she 'is' the 'cream rising to the top', they kiss. They are shown sitting together again in the choir room, and go to the senior prom together in "Prom-asaurus". After Mercedes is sick just before nationals, Sam looks happy when she enters the room just before they go on, and they are dance partners during some of Paradise by the Dashboard Light. During "Goodbye" they sit together in the choir room, and are celebrating with balloons at her locker when they tell Santana together that Mercedes got a signed to an Indie Label as a backup singer and will be taking classes at UCLA thanks to Sam posting the video of her. She hugs him and says its all thanks to him. Sam is seen smiling and clapping during the graduation.
Sam is shown returning to McKinley High as a senior and, in The New Rachel, he is shown to be enjoying his newfound popularity amongst teenage girls and the school for his impressions and the Glee Club's National Championship, imitating Taylor Lautner to great fanfare and sitting with the popular kids. He is the first to extend his hand to Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist) after the Glee Club insults her mother, apologizing and connecting with her over being under poverty. Between the next two episodes, Britney 2.0 and Makeover, he forges strong friendships with Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss). He confronts and saves Brittany in 'Britney 2.0' from a downward spiral and consoles her after her election loss in Makeover, performing Hole's Celebrity Skin with her and developing suspiciously romantic feelings for her on the way, and teams up with Blaine for the Presidential Election in McKinley High, subsequently winning, and comforts him over his troubles with Kurt in Makeover and The Role You Were Born to Play. In Dynamic Duets, Sam demands that Blaine tell him what really happened, and Blaine admits that he hooked with some random guy he befriended on Facebook; Sam comforts him yet again by saying that Blaine hurting Kurt wasn't cool, but if Blaine wants Kurt to forgive him, Blaine has to at least stop antagonizing and killing himself, which leads to them performing David Bowie's "Heroes." He and Brittany then formally begin dating in Glee, Actually, following New Directions' loss at Sectionals. A month later, it is revealed that Blaine has become romantically attracted towards Sam; later, Blaine eventually confesses to Sam about his crush on him, which Sam doesn't hold against Blaine and takes normally.
Sam is portrayed by actor Chord Overstreet. Unlike much of the original cast, Glee creator Ryan Murphy did not find Overstreet on Broadway. He landed the role after auditioning with Commodores' "Easy" and Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be". He later sang "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars as a studio test, and eventually sang this in the season premiere "Audition", along with "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison. Following Overstreet's casting, media speculation suggested Sam might have been created as a boyfriend for Kurt. Overstreet later confirmed this, but stated that his storyline had been adjusted to pair Sam with Quinn, as a result of the chemistry the producers detected between himself and Agron. Chord Overstreet said of his casting process: "It was like a week long process. I did three or four auditions. I went in the casting office with Robert Ulrich and sang three or four songs. Did the studio test, network test, and I found out the next day and went right into the studio to record 'Billionaire.'"
Discussing his character in an interview with The TV Chick, Overstreet commented: "I think I put a little bit of my personality in him. I would say so. I’m such a nice, sweet guy that you don’t even have to act, it's me. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I'm not that full of myself. It's similar to my personality, I would say. I'm kind of goofy and say stupid things to girls when I’m attracted to them. And when I like them, I say stupid things without thinking like the Avatar stuff, that's very [much] something I would say." Overstreet said that the writers picked up lines from him and gave them to his character:
"Actually, yeah. I had Brad Falchuk call me. He called because he was like (sic) 'I hear you do impressions. What impressions do you do?' I was like (sic) I do George Bush, I do Matthew McConaughey, a couple of other ones. And he was like (sic) 'Alright, well thanks.' And then next thing I know, I get the next episode and they wrote it in there. I thought that was hilarious. I was just like (sic) 'YES!' I was so excited to do it, I was like (sic) 'Yesss!' Matthew McConaughey!! I wonder if he watches the show. [I wonder] if he watched the show, and saw my impression, God I hope [so]!"
Executive Producer Brad Falchuk said that the relationship between Sam and Mercedes, revealed at the end of the second season, "was born out of the prom episode", and that the characters "have their reasons" for hiding it for now. However, with Overstreet leaving the show after the second season—his option to become a main character was not picked up, and according to Falchuk he decided not to accept a ten-episode recurring role in the third season with the possibility of further episodes or of becoming a series regular after that—Mercedes finds a new boyfriend during the summer. On October 24, 2011, Murphy officially announced that Sam would be returning as a recurring character starting with the season's eighth episode, "just in time for Sectionals". Overstreet is currently a series regular in the show's fourth season.
|This article is outdated. (May 2012)|
The character has received mainly positive reviews from television critics. Amy Semigran of MTV said of the episode "Duets": "Turns out their strategy, as well as Sam's crush on singing partner Quinn, worked. Despite some mixed signals and apprehension on Quinn's part, the two turned out a cute little rendition of Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's 'Lucky'. It was so cute, in fact, Mr. Schue awarded them the winners of the challenge and sent them off on what would ultimately turn out to be their first date." The Sam-Quinn relationship has been generally well received by critics. Amy Reiter of the Los Angeles Times commented: "The is-he-gay-or-is-he-straight storyline is resolved as these two sing a button-cute, guitariffic, blonde-meets-blond rendition of Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's 'Lucky'. Is Quinn's return to abstinence in danger? Sam-I-Am might not like green eggs and ham, but he sure likes a certain flirty-eyed Cheerio. How do you say 'awww' in Na'vi?"
Anthony Benigno of Daily News commented on the relationship: "Meanwhile, Sam and Quinn are partnered, and Sam, having come from an all-boys school and devoid of social skills, takes Quinn's throwaway Avatar reference and runs with it. Yes, folks: our boy is spitting game in Na'vi. And Quinn's kind of digging it. Remember when I said this show was realistic with its sexual tension stuff? I take it back. Anyway, Quinn's kind of feeling Sam, but she'd rather keep her heart cold and shriveled so as not to risk her popularity again, so she tells him to take his hair and get lost. Problem is, she and Sam were the only team who stood a chance of knocking off Rachel and Finn, so Rachel and Finn cement their plan by singing a thoroughly offensive song (I'll get to that in a bit) and reuniting the giant-killers. And so succeeds evil machination #4. Sam and Quinn go on their free dinner on the condition that it soooo isn't a date. But Sam awkwardly praises Quinn's bravery after her fall from grace, while admitting his own terrible secret: he does, in fact, dye his hair." Benigno continues, "In any case, Quinn's heart grows four sizes and she puts away the gift certificate, because Sam, the gentleman, should pay on the first date. Sam's totally loving it, but wait till he realizes he's suddenly out 50 bucks. That's like, a month's worth of peroxide there, dude."
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- Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (director), Brad Falchuk (writer) (October 5, 2010). "Grilled Cheesus". Glee. Season 2. Episode 3. Fox.
- Eric Stoltz (director), Ian Brennan (writer) (October 12, 2010). "Duets". Glee. Season 2. Episode 4. Fox.
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