Lip syncs are a staple in RuPaul’s drag race. Whether the queens lip-sync for their lives, their legacy or the crown, there’s always room for iconic performances. While Season 12 is currently airing, we’re on seven episodes without a single lip sync performance leaving fans gasping and cheering with joy and excitement.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always been that way. On the contrary, with 11 seasons of the show and 4 seasons of All stars to choose from, there were plenty of performances that made herstory. And while we wait for something more exciting to come out of Season 12, we take a look back at the show’s most iconic lip syncs.
Updated July 29, 2022 by Yom Elauria: The Drag Race franchise is constantly expanding around the world as more countries get their own version of the show. But the original version of Drag Race, as well as the All Stars version, is still widely loved by fans. With All Stars 7 recently crowned its Queen of All Queens, there are plenty of new lip syncs that have surprised and stunned the show’s viewers.
Raja vs Carmen Carrera (Season 3)
The previous seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race gave us performances that were less about acrobatics and more about mimicking the feel and message of the song the queens were lip syncing to. And boy, did this one deliver!
When Raja and Carmen Carrera found themselves at the bottom, they got to perform to the sound of Paul Abdul’s “Straight Up”, resulting in one of the most exciting and most sensual bottom two moments we’ve ever seen.
Ben De La Creme vs Aja (All Stars 3)
The All stars format changes dominate quite a bit, putting the top two queens against each other in a lip sync for their legacies — and the chance to win a $10,000 cash tip. And the first lip sync of All stars 3 was quite the way to start a show!
Returning queens Aja and Ben De La Creme performed in Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, and while Aja did a fantastic job as the amazing queen, she’s Ben’s comedic route had the judges and audience in tears – with laughter. It was a bold move on her part, but it worked.
Adore Delano vs. Trinity K. Bonet (Season 6)
By the time Adore Delano first hit the bottom, the public already knew that Trinity K. Bonet was quite the lip-sync artist. But the fan-favorite Queen Adore didn’t let that stop her, showing exactly what she was made of.
The two delivered a fiery performance of Paula Abdul’s “Vibeology” that ended up being as close to conversation as you can imagine. In the end, Trinity went home, but the memory of this performance lives on!
Katya vs Kennedy Davenport (Season 7)
Season 7 is widely regarded as a mediocre season by fans of the show, but it still introduced us to some incredible queens. Both Katya and Kennedy eventually came back in different seasons of all stars, but no one will ever forget this moment.
While performing on Katy Perry’s “Roar,” both queens offered their fair share of acrobatics and impressive dance moves, with Kennedy eventually jumping off the stage in a split, leaving the judges gagged. Many believe it should have been a double shantay, but we got to see more of Katya and her insightful self later on.
Sharon Needles vs Phi Phi O’Hara (Season 4)
The rivalry between these two started almost as directly as the first episode of the season and was present at many moments of season 4 and not tucked in equal. Seeing Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara lip-sync to each other was only a matter of time.
And when the moment came, it was with the sound of “It’s Raining Men: The Sequel”. The only thing more impressive than this energetic performance that saw Phi Phi’s wig take off was the elimination of Willam, who ultimately saved both queens.
Dida Ritz vs The Princess (Season 4)
The princess was an amazing performer, but she had absolutely nothing on Dida Ritz during this lip sync. “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole was the tune that both queens had to perform, for Cole herself.
What made this lip sync so great was the complete lack of acrobatics, splits and jumps on Dida’s part. She danced and performed with an energy that could power a small country for a decade, showing exactly what it’s all about.
Alyssa Edwards vs Coco Montrese (Season 5)
The only rivalry that could top that between Sharon and Phi Phi was that between Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese. The two had broken up before finding out that they would be competing against each other in Season 5.
Again, it was only a matter of time to see these two lip-sync against each other. They did it to the sound of Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted”, and what a performance it was! Coco’s lips and sleeves combined with Alyssa’s moves made for one of the most unforgettable moments on the show.
Sasha Velor vs Shea Couleé (Season 9 Final)
By the time Sasha Velor had to lip sync for the crown in the Season 9 finale, no one knew what to expect. Sasha was the only queen of the bunch who never bottomed out, so her talents in that department were a bit of a mystery.
And one thing is certain – no soul saw that coming. Performing against Shea Coulée to the sound of “So Emotional,” Sasha blew the crowd away with the most iconic wig reveal of all time. Plus, her facial expressions and movements? No wonder RuPaul crowned her the winner!
Brooke Lynn Hytes vs Yvie Oddly (Season 11)
The most recent lip-sync to see on this list covers half of the top four from Season 11. Brooke Lynn and Yvie landed at the bottom after bombing the Snatch Game, one of the show’s main challenges.
It was clear that they were both hungry for the crown, because that performance, set against the backdrop of Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” was nothing short of a masterpiece. Shuga Cain said it best: “Come on, Cirque du Soleil!”.
Alyssa Edwards vs Tatiana (All Stars 2)
And at the top of this list is the ever-iconic “Shut up And Ride” lip-sync between Alyssa Edwards and Tatiana. All stars 2. The two queens competed for the chance to get back into the competition and knock out one of the bottom women.
Apart from the fact that Alyssa and Tatiana’s chemistry on stage is worth a price, what’s to be said about this lip sync? The outfits, the energy, the lips – everything was right. And when in doubt, refer back to Carston’s facial expression.
Denali vs Kahmora Hall (Season 13)
Denali and Kahmora Hall unfortunately found themselves at the bottom during the fourth episode of Season 13. However, this became a chance for the two queens to show off their lip syncing skills. While fans would agree that Kahmora tried her best to dance with a heavy train in her dress, the spotlight remained on Denali throughout the lip sync.
Dancing to “100 Percent Pure Love,” Denali showed the judges that she is a fierce performer on stage. Her performance was considered by many fans to be the best lip-syncing during Season 13, and even RuPaul praised the Queen for her skills.
Jasmine Kennedy vs Jorgeous (Season 14)
No doubt fans were waiting for Jasmine Kennedie and Jorgeous to go head-to-head in a lip sync fight, as both were known for their phenomenal dancing skills. During the Season 12 nighttime episode, fans were treated to a performance with the two as they lip-synched to Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”.
Some viewers were displeased as they expected the dancing divas to perform a high-energy number. However, both Jasmine and Jorgeous proved that they can beat any number, so much so that neither of them were eliminated during the episode.
Ginger Minj vs Mayhem Miller (All Stars 6)
Besides being full of dramatic moments, the sixth season of All stars 6 also served some of the best lip syncs for your legacy. Ginger Minj came back for the crown for the third time, battling Mayhem Miller in a lip sync with Lizzo’s “Phone”.
Both queens decided to go the campy route for their performances. Despite not doing well during the seasons she starred in, Mayhem showed viewers that she has what it takes to be called a lip sync killer. However, Ginger’s comedy was better appreciated by RuPaul.
Trinity K Bonet vs Laganja Estranja (All Stars 6)
The rules for All stars have changed over the years, but the queens manage to stay fierce and adapt quickly to the twists and turns of the show. For All Stars 6, viewers were thrilled to see two season 6 alums dance on the show’s main stage.
Known for her stunt-packed performances, Laganja Estranja came back as a lip sync killer. She faced her sister Trinity K Bonet from season 6, who was part of some of the best lip syncs to come out of the show. However, Laganja turned out to be a better performer as she did splits, kicks and spins on Dua Lipa’s song “Physical”.
Shea Couleé vs Monet X Change (All Stars 7)
Shea Couleé and Monét X Change competed against each other for the second time during the season with all of the show’s winners. After a long wait, both queens were back on top after performing well in the Variety Challenge.
Both contestants played on Kylie Minogue’s “Supernova” and had some synchronized moments onstage that certainly wowed viewers of the show. While both showed off their incredible dance moves during the lip sync, Shea was crowned the winner for her flawless performance.
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