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Quinn Fabray, portrayed by Dianna Agron, had the biggest transformation throughout the show. She began as a villain, making sure no one – Rachel Berry – took away her boyfriend, and tried to disband the Glee club. Fabray became pregnant, gave up her baby and became more sympathetic.
Fabray began the show as a cheerleader, but by the end of her time in high school she was a permanent glee club member. Her personal struggles showed in her choices, when she was kicked off the cheerleading squad because of her pregnancy and began to become nicer to everyone. She finally felt what it was like to not be popular. The next year she was right back where she started, getting Santana bumped from the Cheerio’s captain spot to the bottom of the pyramid.
McKinley High’s guidance counselor, and long time Glee club fan Emma Pillsbury is portrayed by Jayma Mays. Throughout the years Pillsbury has had a long-standing crush on Will Schuester, director of the Glee club, which was seen into fruition by the beginning of the third season.
During the first season, while he was married, Pillsbury became engaged to the football coach, Ken Tanaka, but on their wedding day he broke it off. In season two she spontaneously marries her boyfriend Carl Howell, but due to certain complications it does not work. Finally by season three Pillsbury is living with Schuester and the two become engaged halfway through the year.
Brittany S. Pierce, portrayed by Heather Morris, is a student and cheerleader repeating her final year at McKinley High. Pierce is a very ditzy blonde, earning a 0.0 GPA during her senior year, despite this, Pierce was named senior class president for the 2011-2012 year. Although she is not the brightest crayon in the box, she is very kind and is close friends with all the members of the Glee club.
In season one Pierce becomes one of the Cheerio spies, along with best friends Quinn Fabray and Santana Lopez. By the end of the season, after some – unknown to her – sabotaging, she is happy to perform with the Glee club, and gets along well with the other members.
Santana Lopez, portrayed by Naya Rivera, went from a minor background singer to a full fledged soloist. Lopez began the show as a villain, working with Sue Sylvester to take down the glee club from the inside. She has a strong attitude and uses her words to keep people from getting too close. By the third season, Lopez reveals she is a lesbian and becomes involved in a serious relationship with her best friend Brittany Pierce.
During the first season Lopez spends most of her time sabotaging people and being promiscuous – specifically with bad boy Puck. She continues to work with Sue to subtly tear Rachel away from New Directions, using Rachel’s crush Finn. By the end of the season she admits she hated everyone in the glee club but is now a committed member, and gets her first solo.
Kurt Hummel, played by Chris Colfer, is the first openly gay boy at McKinley High. Before graduating Hummel was a member of the New Directions, briefly played on the McKinley Titans and had a stint on the Cheerios. Hummel lived with his father Burt after the death of his mother when he was eight. Burt struggled with his son’s sexuality at first but he became his most ardent supporter.
Hummel began the series as a closeted homosexual, although his flair for fashion and personality showed most people knew his secret. Hummel and his best friend Mercedes Jones join the Cheerios when they feel their solo talents are being overlooked. While the glee club was not enthralled with their new allegiance, they accepted the fact that they wanted to branch out.
Chang began the show a shy stutterer, later admitting the stutter was put on to keep people at bay. Chang stayed mostly in the background, having only a few solos throughout her three years at McKinley High. Her main storyline featuring longtime boyfriend Mike Chang – who she fell in love with at Asian Camp the summer after first season. Though Chang is going back for her final year, Mike has graduated and their relationship is currently uncertain.
Mercedes Jones, portrayed by Amber Riley, is a force to be reckoned with. Her loud, vivacious personality matches her powerful voice. While Jones is not always recognized for her talent, she never stops trying. Even if it means battling powerhouse – and eventual friend – Rachel Berry.
Jones was the first to audition for New Directions, and was hardly recognized for her talent. While she was given some solos – mainly in the middle of the song to showcase a powerful voice – she was never the star.
Instead of sitting back and taking it, Jones made sure everyone knew she was more than just a backup singer, taking solos with the Cheerios and eventually jumping to The Troubletones. Jones’ strong voice is recognized in the end when viewers found out she received a recording contract at an indie label in Los Angeles.