Carmen Tibideaux is a recurring character on Glee, who made her debut appearance in Choke, the eighteenth episode of Season Three. She is the Dean of Vocal Performance and Song Interpretation at NYADA.
She is portrayed by actress Whoopi Goldberg.
Carmen makes her appearance being escorted into the hall by Will Schuester to oversee the auditions of Kurt and Rachel. Backstage, both Rachel and Kurt show extreme anxiety over the knowledge of their NYADA educator as she is revealed to be one of NYADA's most infamous alumni, a profound Broadway and opera performer and the recently appointed Dean of Vocal Performance and Song Interpretation, travelling around the country to handpick the students for her own inaugural class. She calls Kurt to the stage first and appears to be dismayed by his original song choice of The Music of the Night, stating that it is, alongside The Impossible Dream from La Mancha and Being Alive from Company, the most commonly heard audition song to her. However, she is intrigued and impressed by his then-impromtu performance of Not the Boy Next Door, stating that Hugh Jackman himself would have been very proud of what Kurt had done with the song and congratulating him for taking a bold risk. Later, she calls Rachel to the stage and listens to her choke twice on Don't Rain on My Parade before stopping her by informing her that she was supposed to be given eight bars and she had already given her sixteen. Sternly enough, she states that if the lines are forgotten on Broadway, the role goes to the actor's understudy. She then says "I'm very sorry, but this audition is over" and takes her leave, leaving a horror-struck, crying Rachel desperately pleading for a third chance but thoroughly ignoring her. This later leads to Rachel performing Cry alone in the auditorium. (Choke)
She gets called by Rachel towards the beginning of where it is revealed that she had received numerous calls and gifts from Rachel, and an invitation to see Rachel perform at Nationals, in the hope that Carmen will take her rejection from NYADA back. It is revealed that she teaches master-classes in singing and theatre. She later-on receives a visit from Tina and Rachel while at another audition, who want to persuade Carmen to give Rachel another chance to get into NYADA. She is annoyed to see Rachel, because Rachel takes time away from other young adults who have the same dreams as her. She doesn't change her opinion when Tina and Rachel state how much talent and passion Rachel has and asks them to leave. But when Rachel says that she will try out the following years and reminds Carmen that she tried out four times for Juilliard, she becomes meditative. (Props)
Carmen takes up Rachel's offer to come see her sing at Nationals in Chicago. During It's All Coming Back to Me Now she arrives and notices how much the crowd admire her solo. She looks impressed during Paradise By The Dashboard Light as well, giving a standing ovation and whistling. Jesse stops Carmen in the lobby, reminding her that when he auditioned for her a few years ago, she told him he showed promise. She acknowledges that she probably did say that, but adds that she auditions hundreds each year and attempts to blow off what she thinks is going to be a professional appeal. Jesse insists she listen: he wants to tell her that Rachel is the most talented person he knows, she'll definitely be a star one day, and she'd be an excellent addition to NYADA. Tibideaux responds by recalling Jesse's audition with Giants in the Sky, a flawed but passionate and admirable attempt at what may be Steven Sondheim's most challenging song. She wishes him good luck and leaves. It is revealed in Goodbye that Rachel had an impact on her and that she has been accepted to the school thanks to Carmen. (Nationals)
At NYADA, Carmen welcomes the returning students into "The Round Room." She makes aware to the students that they will get an opportunity to sing. First to sing is Beatrice McClaine. She begins to sing Ave Maria, but is stopped by Carmen. She insists that she practice more and criticizes her for not practicing enough, also telling her to leave and re-apply later, leaving Rachel worried for when she must perform. Rachel is then called up to sing by Carmen. She tells Rachel to "impress me." Rachel sings New York State of Mind (which is sung as a tag-team duet with Marley, who is singing it in Ohio, auditioning for the New Directions). Once the song is finished, Miss Tibideaux is impressed and applauds her. (The New Rachel)
Carmen returns near the start of the episode, when she is seen writing and sealing a Winter Showcase invitational, which she subsequently delivers to Rachel. This invitation is extremely hard to get and Rachel is thrilled when she receives it. Meanwhile, Kurt returns to follow up on his re-audition for NYADA and visits Carmen in her office. While she tells him she finds him talented, she chides him for lacking emotional depth and dismisses him. Later, she introduces the acts for the winter showcase in The Round Room. After praising Rachel's performances of Being Good Isn't Good Enough and O Holy Night, she blindsides Kurt by announcing that he would be performing his re-audition on the spot following the intermission. When he finishes singing Being Alive (a song she expressed personal disdain for previously in Choke), she stands and applauds him, noting that he heeded her advice. Later, in Kurt and Rachel's apartment, it is revealed he impressed her enough for her to finally accept him into NYADA, pleasing Kurt immensely. (Swan Song)
Carmen is briefly mentioned by Rachel at NYADA, when she tells Kurt that she volunteered for the 'Annual NYADA Piano Tuning' that Carmen required help for. (Tina in the Sky with Diamonds)
She is again mentioned by Kurt, while preparing Blaine for his audition in NYADA. It is later revealed that Blaine did a great audition there (his audition wasn't shown). (Movin' Out)
Blaine and Rachel perform Broadway Baby as a duet for their Mid-Winter Critique. Carmen appears not too pleased and sits with her arms crossed during the performance. After Blaine and Rachel have finished, Carmen explains that they have not followed the direction of the assignment, which was supposed to be an individual performance. Carmen accuses Blaine and Rachel of acting as if they are above their classmates, but offers both of them to re-do their assignment according to original directions. When Rachel visits Carmen in her office, Rachel requests her Mid-Winter Critique be held off until after the opening night of Funny Girl. Carmen declines the request and tells Rachel that while she is talented and driven, she lacks a foundation and doesn't listen which is why Rachel needs NYADA. Rachel is angry by Carmen's assessment and makes the decision to drop out of NYADA, claiming she doesn't need the school anymore, since her dream of starring on Broadway has come true. Carmen urges Rachel to take time to think about the decision, but Rachel says her mind is made up. Later, Blaine performs Not While I'm Around for Carmen as a solo. After Kurt is released from the hospital, he performs I'm Still Here for his Mid-Winter Critique. Carmen appears to be pleased with Kurt's performance. (Bash)
Carmen is the Dean of Vocal Performance and Song Interpretation at NYADA and is an extremely accomplished performer and singer. She is generally considered to be admonishing and strict, but kind enough and very open to new students and ideas.
- Carmen is the first person known to stop a Broadway performance because someone interrupted. Kurt says in Choke that "Once, La Tibideaux stopped a performance of Medea at the Met because someone glanced at their watch while she was doing one of her 'I'm killing my babies' arias. She destroyed him."
- It is said by Kurt that she doesn't like showy colours during auditions. (Movin' Out)
- She applied to Juilliard 4 times. (Props)