When Mercedes comes down with a bad case of food poisoning, Will drafts Tina and Quinn to sub for her.
- Open in Chicago at Nationals with Mercedes (Amber Riley) sick with food poisoning. Sue (Jane Lynch) tells Will (Matthew Morrison) she wants the win for the kids even more than for herself. Will picks Quinn (Dianna Agron) to fill-in for Mercedes while Sue plans to help her bounce back.
Will tells Emma (Jayma Mays) he's worried - New Directions never seem to win. She assures him they're ready.
Downstairs, some of the kids are fighting. The pressure seems to be getting to all of them. Will thinks the passion is a great thing. They don't want to break, since they have the first (and worst) performance slot of Nationals.
Rachel (Lea Michele) sees Jesse (Jonathan Groff) outside Nationals. He knows about her attempts to lure Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) to Nationals. He's under tons of pressure not to lose for a second straight year. Finn (Cory Monteith) walks by. Jesse congratulates him on the wedding and wishes him good luck.
We learn Finn bet the $500 he and Rachel set aside for their honeymoon with the hockey players that New Directions would win.
Finn tells Will they want to win for him. A Teacher of Year award is coming up, but Finn says they don't need to wait on that -- Will is their "Teacher of a Lifetime." Mercedes shows up last minute, seeming fairly healthy. She still wants Quinn and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) to join her for the Trouble Tones song.
Before the performances the judges are introduced: Lindsay Lohan, Perez Hilton and an alderman named Martin.
New Directions starts their performance with "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga. Backstage, Rachel notices Tibideaux isn't there. She takes the stage and absolutely nails "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Céline Dion. Halfway through, Tibideaux arrives and takes a seat. Afterwards, Tibideaux stands and cheers. The kids then sing "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf. Tibideaux seems impressed.
Afterwards, Mercedes and Kurt (Chris Colfer) go to see Unique. She tells them the pressure is getting to her and she can't conjure Unique. Mercedes and Kurt assure him he can do it.
Vocal Adrenaline take the stage. They begin with Unique singing "Starships" by Nicki Minaj. Watching in the audience, the New Directions kids look stunned. This transitions into "Pinball Wizard" from Tommy (1975). Afterwards, the Glee kids stand and cheer, but look concerned.
In the judging room, Martin tells the other two he's a show choir junkie. Lohan liked a team called the Scale Blazers from Oregon. Martin really liked the New Directions' energy. Lohan thought New Directions were likeable. Perez thought New Directions were terrible and really loved Vocal Adrenaline and Unique.
Jesse takes Tibideaux aside and tells her Rachel is the most talented person he's ever met. He says she'd make a great addition to NYADA.
To Rachel's dismay, Unique is awarded the MVP award. The top three is then announced: In third place is the Scale Blazers, leaving Vocal Adrenaline and New Directions contending for the top spot. In the end, New Directions is named national champion.
New Directions returns to McKinley to a hero's welcome. With Grouplove's "Tongue Tied" being sung in the background, girls kiss them and a newspaper is flashed showing them on the front page. The hockey players pay off their bet to Finn. Sue gets the check and keeps her job with the Cheerios. The kids party it up with sparkling grape juice. The team places the enormous trophy into the school's trophy case.
Figgins (Iqbal Theba) calls Finn and Rachel to his office. He tells them as co-captains of the team he gives them bumper stickers and pom-poms, and then gives them a wedding gift. He wants New Directions to perform at a special event the following day. They ask what it is and he says "Can you keep a secret?"
Will thanks Emma for the whole year: "It's been incredible." Sue walks in and tells them the awards ceremony is about to start. She tell them her source tells her she's going to win Teacher of the Year.
Figgins has Finn and Rachel announce the winner of Teacher of the Year: Will. They both say kind words about Will before he comes up to accept, then the curtain pulls back. The kids sing "We Are the Champions" by Queen. During the song, they pull Will up onto the stage.