With less than a week before legendary drag queen RuPaul crowns America’s next drag superstar, MNL Film Club writers took a stroll down memory lane and listed the 15 Best Lip Syncs for Your Life ever performed on RuPaul’s Drag Race, arguably the best reality-competition show on the planet.
So gag over this list, kittens, and educate yourselves on drag race her-story before we find out who will take home the crown next week! It’s Bianca Del Rio, right?
15. Alexis Mateo VS Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Song: Even Angels by Fantasia
Season: 3, Episode 10
Winner: Alexis Mateo
Before you raise your eyebrows on our first selection, you have to re-watch Alexis Mateo’s performance first. Without a doubt, she effortlessly captured the essence of the song with her lip-syncing as proven by her moving interpretation and facial expressions. Her graceful moves were just the cherry on top.
Oh, about Shangela. Uhh. Yeah, she was onstage too and got sent home. Finally.
14. Raven VS Nicole Paige Brooks
Alternate video: http://thelostbeta.tumblr.com/post/84294800721/season-2-episode-2-raven-vs-nicole-paige-brooks
Song: My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) by En Vogue
Season: 2, Episode 2
After being declared the lowest-earners in the burlesque challenge, Raven and Nicole Paige Brooks went head to head in a lip sync battle. While Nicole Paige did all that she could to stay in the competition, Raven snatched the attention of the judging panel by pointing to her fellow queens, maximizing the stage and bringing out her boob padding. The battle was a no-brainer. Raven’s hilariously sexy performance convinced RuPaul that she’s the queen to beat.
13. Latrice Royale VS Tammie Brown
Alternate video: http://allthemisfitsandlosers.tumblr.com/post/85710694135/dragracelipsync-all-stars-episode-2-latrice
Song: There’s No Business Like Show Business by Ethel Merman
Season: All Stars 1, Episode 2
Winner: Latrice Royale (Team Latrila)
This was one of the toughest battles to call. Both Latrice Royale and Tammie Brown were serving showgirl realness, albeit different kinds. Latrice was giving the ’60s big black diva while Tammie did more of an old Hollywood flapper. However, it was Latrice’s surprise spins and twirls toward the end of the song that earned Team Latrila another week’s stay on the race.
12. Latrice Royale VS DiDa Ritz
Alternate video: http://allthemisfitsandlosers.tumblr.com/post/85710840090/dragracelipsync-season-4-episode-9-latrice
Song: I’ve Got to Use My Imagination by Gladys Knight
Season: 4, Episode 9
Winner: Latrice Royale
Ever wonder how a soulful song has to be lip synced? Just watch Latrice Royale lip sync to Gladys Knight’s I’ve Got to Use My Imagination. She delivered old school sassiness and, brought the judging panel and her fellow queens to church. Her opponent, another lip sync juggernaut DiDa Ritz, was sent packing after.
11. Tyra Sanchez VS Raven
Alternate video: http://dragracelipsync.tumblr.com/post/84491641738/season-2-episode-11-finale-tyra-sanchez-vs
Song: Jealous of My Boogie by RuPaul
Season: 2, Episode 11
Winner: Tyra Sanchez
The final match of season two was between a pageant queen and a dominatrix. This fight was so close that this could have gone to either of them. Tyra was giving teen queen realness while Raven did her usual sultry gothic performance. The scales tipped in favor of Tyra when she walked right up to the judges’ table and stole the show. Sorry, Raven, maybe next time.
10. Trinity K. Bonet VS Milk
Alternate video: http://joshundulai.tumblr.com/post/85651409317/my-favourite-lip-syncs-from-rupauls-drag-race
Song: Whatta Man by Salt-n-Pepa with En Vogue
Season: 6, Episode 6
Winner: Trinity K. Bonet
When Trinity K. Bonet and Milk faced off in a battle, most of us were rooting for the latter (don’t you dare deny it!). But by the time the lip sync was over, we were all on board #TeamTrinity or #TeamTKB. That’s how great Trinity was in the lip sync. Dressed up like Cher in the ‘60s, Trinity oozed with sassiness and sensuality. In the end, Milk was asked to sashay away.
9. Detox VS Lineysha Sparx
Alternate video: http://joshundulai.tumblr.com/post/83949309155/my-favourite-lip-syncs-from-rupauls-drag-race
Song: Take Me Home by Cher
Season: 5, Episode
Lineysha and Detox had to face off after failing the arguably most important challenge in Drag Race, The Snatch Game. Lineysha wasn’t bad at all. In fact she was pretty on point but Detox vacuumed everyone’s attention with her deadpan look at Lineysha and her jellyfish dress spin. The whole deal was sealed with her signature jaw-shivering style of lip-syncing that sent Ms. Sparx home.
8. Jujubee VS Tatiana
Alternate video: http://dragracelipsync.tumblr.com/post/84491409488/season-2-episode-9-jujubee-vs-tatianna
Song: Something He Can Feel by Aretha Franklin
Season: 2, Episode 9
Lip syncing an Aretha Franklin song is utterly difficult. Tatiana had to learn this the hard way as she slipped and stumbled to Something He Can Feel by the one and only Queen of Soul. But not Jujubee, the first queen in Drag Race her-story to ever survive three lip syncs for your life. Like a pro, Jujubee embodied the song, delivered a stunning performance and danced circles around Tati, who by the way has two main challenge wins under her belt while Juju has none. Jujubee eventually moved to claim a spot in the finale while Tatianna was sent packing.
7. Raja VS Carmen Carrera
Alternate video: http://dragracelipsync.tumblr.com/post/84994818803/season-3-episode-11-raja-vs-carmen-carrera
Song: Straight Up by Paula Abdul
Season: 3, Episode 11
It’s Heather against Heather in this epic lip sync battle. Right off the bat, Raja’s move caught us off guard: she fought fire with fire by using nudity against THE body beauty Carmen Carrera. The racy battle of the two fierce queens got everyone’s hearts pumping. Fellow competitor Alexis Matteo even likened the intense lip sync into softcore porn. Unfortunately, Carmen’s last-minute attempt to strip off her clothes proved futile as she was asked to sashay away for the second time.
6. Roxxxy Andrews VS Alyssa Edwards
Alternate video: http://joshundulai.tumblr.com/post/84054487012/my-favourite-lip-syncs-from-rupauls-drag-race
Song: Whip My Hair by Willow Smith
Season: 5, Episode 7
Winner: None – it’s a non-elimination episode!
Season five is actually a great season for lip sync performances. Case in point: the evenly-matched battle between Roxxxy Andrews and Alyssa Edwards. Alyssa may have great dancing skills but it was Roxxxy who left RuPaul speechless by revealing a wig underneath a – drumroll please – wig! The battle resulted to crazy wig-whipping routines, some waterworks and a well-deserved double shantay. Best non-elimination episode so far? You bet!
5. Jinkx Monsoon VS Detox
Alternate video: http://joshundulai.tumblr.com/post/85452518227/my-favourite-lip-syncs-from-rupauls-drag-race
Song: Malambo No.1 by Yma Sumac
Season: 5, Episode 11
Winner: Jinkx Monsoon
Knowing Detox’s signature lip-syncing skills, we thought she would be a shoo-in for the final three and win this battle. Unfortunately, her train wreck of a dress (see what I did there?) was too much of a distraction because she kept slipping in it. On the other hand, Jinkx Monsoon’s failure to wear her heavy hoop skirt allowed her to be so animated especially in the gritty parts of the song. The result? America fell in love with Jinkx even more while Detox ended up sliding off the race like water off a duck’s back.
4. DiDa Ritz VS The Princess
Alternate video: http://dragracelipsync.tumblr.com/post/85191140193/season-4-episode-3-dida-ritz-vs-the-princess
Song: This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole
Season: 4, Episode 3
Winner: DiDa Ritz
Who would have thought that an unpolished queen like DiDa Ritz could really turn it out? Not us, for sure. But we were dead wrong. DiDa’s legs may be in need of some lotioning but her performance was so great, it’s like she was singing the song herself. By the end of the battle, all the members of the judging panel were waving their white handkerchiefs to DiDa who blossomed before their very eyes. The Princes just didn’t stand a chance.
3. Sharon Needles VS Phi Phi O’ Hara
Alternate video: http://allthemisfitsandlosers.tumblr.com/post/85710841305/dragracelipsync-season-4-episode-8-sharon
Song: It’s Raining Men (The Sequel) by Martha Wash and RuPaul
Season: 4, Episode 8
Winner: Both (Willam got the boot this week despite being safe in the main challenge)
This was one faceoff the viewers anticipated very much due to the built-up rivalry between eventual season four winner Sharon Needles and runner-up Phi Phi O’ Hara. The two queens ended up lip-syncing as a result of their rough chemistry in the duet challenge. Despite Phi Phi’s flashy moves, Sharon managed to take the spotlight with her creepy shtick (which played perfectly with her devil outfit). Unfortunately, neither the showgirl nor the party city queen sashayed away. Instead, Willam was called out and disqualified for violating a very important ground rule of the competition.
2. Manila Luzon VS Delta Work
Alternate video: http://dragracelipsync.tumblr.com/post/84794814118/season-3-episode-7-manila-luzon-vs-delta-work
Song: MacArthur Park by Donna Summer
Season: 3, Episode 8
Winner: Manila Luzon
After flubbing the live comedy challenge, Heather members Manila Luzon and Delta Work saw themselves going head to head against each other in a lip sync battle. While Delta did all that she could to interpret Donna Summer’s classic anthem, it was Manila who captured the very essence of the song – she was committed, theatrical and hilarious all at the same time. The battle, of course, ended with Manila sending home her fellow heather.
1. Coco Montrese VS Alyssa Edwards
Alternate video: http://joshundulai.tumblr.com/post/85153742637/my-favourite-lip-syncs-from-rupauls-drag-race
Song: Cold Hearted by Paula Abdul
Winner: Coco Montrese
Topping our list is the epic battle between frenemies Coco Montrese and Alyssa Edwards. From the drama created by the two queens’ unresolved pageant experience, to Alyssa’s flawless dance moves, to Coco’s superior lip-syncing skills – the battle had all the necessary ingredients to becoming the most-awaited climax of season five. And boy did it not disappoint! It was jaw dropping, nerve-wracking and served as the perfect way to put an end to a longstanding rift.
-X and his life partner Xx