Given how many musical numbers there were in Riverdale‘s “Carrie: The Musical” episode, you’d think they didn’t cut anything out. But you’d be wrong. Terribly, horribly wrong. Not only was there an unused Choni duet between Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), the exact same song was originally supposed to be a Barchie duet (a.k.a. Betty and Archie).
The number, “You Shine,” still appeared in “Chapter Thirty-One: A Night To Remember“. And in fact it’s supposed to be sung between Tommy and Sue, the characters that Archie (KJ Apa) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) are playing in the musical within the episode. Instead, it got repurposed into a way for Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Betty to repair their friendship.
You can actually listen to the song here, including some of the KJ Apa verses that got trimmed for time:
But it’s not just a bonus track: Riverdale actually filmed the Barchie version of the duet, according to an interview ET did with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa:
It’s funny, we shot the full number [onstage between Archie and Betty], and we recorded the full song, but weirdly that song was always going to be about Veronica and Betty and about their friendship. That’s actually why we wanted to include that song. We wanted the Betty and Archie song to lead into it and to give a little bit of context for the song, but the idea was always to take a song that was in the original “Carrie” musical for the boyfriend and girlfriend, Tommy and Sue. When we listened to the lyrics, it felt very appropriate for friends to bolster each other and, like in musicals, we wanted the songs to actually change the characters or deliver us to a new place. So we started with [Betty and Veronica] being fractured and ended with them in a good place.
There’s plenty more good stuff to check out in that interview, but of course fans are freaking out about what could have been. Particularly since the show has pushed the Bughead (Betty + Jughead) and Varchie (Veronica + Archie) relationships so hard, any hint of the comic-canonical Barchie relationship sends them into a frenzy.
At least we know there’s footage shot of this, which means it’ll probably come to the home release for Season 2 in the form of a bonus video. As for the Choni duet? We’ll just have to listen to it over and over again.
Update: Because Riverdale fans are the most tenacious fans, they’ve started a petition for Warner Brothers to release the Barchie duet. As of publish time, it’s garnered almost 200 signatures, and if you’d like to add your name you can head over here!
Be sure to check our our Riverdale podcast, Riverdale After Dark, which updates right after every episode airs!