Jennifer Clasen/Fox
Tim Stack
May 09, 2013 AT 08:52 PM EDT

Tonight is Glee‘s season 4 finale which finds New Directions heading to Regionals and attempting to come back from their disastrous Sectionals performance. It also marks the end of star Jacob Artist’s first year on Glee. The actor, who plays Puck’s half-brother Jake talked to EW about the big finale, what’s in store for next year, and his ultimate musical number.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So last week, Mercedes and Mike encouraged Jake to be channel his inner star. Will we see that in the finale?

JACOB ARTIST: I think, yeah. Mike and Mercedes will be there to cheer us on and he definitely takes that advice.

And New Directions are up against American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez?

Yeah we have the incredibly talented Jessica Sanchez who’s playing Frida Romero. She’s the rival vocal superstar and she’s incredible.

It looks like Ryder’s Catfish storyline comes to a head, too?

Yes that will be revealed.

Jake and Ryder are on screen pals—do you and Blake Jenner have an off-screen bromance?

Yeah he’s my dude. Blake’s awesome. He’s one of my closest friends on the show for sure.

Glee is now greenlit for two more seasons and Jake is only a sophomore right?

He is. This is the first year we’re not ending the season with graduation so I think next season is going to kind of pick up where we left off.

Do you know how long after the finale season 5 will pick up?We actually don’t know where specifically it will, like if it’s the next day after Regionals. We’re all anxious to see.

Is there one thing you’d like to see Jake do next season

I would love to have him have like an epic Justin Timberlake dance number on the stage. Growing up as a dancer, the stage is really where I love to be performance wise. Like some “Cry Me a River” maybe? I wouldn’t hate that.

What’s this year been like for you being on Glee?

It’s been insane. I think fan wise they’ve been so great to all of us newbies.

Have you had like a craziest fan encounter?

Actually just Saturday when I flew here. I wake up from like a two hour nap. The flight attendant was like walking by with a food tray or something. I was gonna order food or something. She was like, “Yeah what do you want, Puckerman?!” I was like, “Oh hi. Can I get a sandwich or something?” And she was like, “Yeah maybe if you give me that hat you’re wearing?” So then her twin brother who was also a flight attendant is like, “My sister is a huge fan of the show. Can she take a picture?” I was like, “Yeah sure.” So right before we landed I went back to take a picture. And she legitimately wanted my hat. I was like, “Oh I’m really sorry. This is my favorite hat. I can’t give it to you.” It was one of those awkward moments. I think that’s at the top of my list.

Have the Glee newbies bonded?

Absolutely. I think one of the great parts about it was obviously coming on the show would have been crazy as is and we got to do it all together and experience it all from beginning to end as a group. So that has made it much more fun and we’re really close.

Have you had a favorite episode or scene?

I think just dynamically when we shot “Shooting Star” it was something totally different than we’d done before. Obviously it was a much heavier subject matter. But from an acting perspective, all of us collectively really enjoyed doing that. I think it really turned out to be a special episode.

Read more: 

‘Glee’: Kate Hudson and Lea Michele perform Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright)’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

‘Glee’: Listen to three songs from this week’s Stevie Wonder tribute — EXCLUSIVE

‘Glee’: Madonna! Stevie Wonder! The top ten tribute episodes — ranked! VIDEO

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack

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