2020 has been a difficult year, and it’s safe to say we’re all seeking some positivity and things to be happy about in the new year, and I think 2021 will deliver. The first gift 2021 will bring us is a brand new season of Rupaul’s Drag Race. Starting this Friday, New Years Day, 2021 will deliver joy and fun and drag queens on day one! If you follow me on social media or read this blog you know how big of a drag race fan I am – I proudly consider myself to be a super fan! Though I love the show, I’ve been told I do not make a pretty girl when I dress in drag myself, AT ALL. Maybe I should just stick to reviewing drag queens and not try to be one? Lol.
In honor of Friday’s season 13 premiere I present to you, for your reading and viewing pleasure, my favorite lip syncs for your life from Rupaul’s Drag Race, Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars and Canada’s Drag Race. Before you read the list and start writing nasty comments on how I could leave off so and so, I am basing this list on entertainment value. Specifically, would I rewatch these lip syncs over and over on YouTube? (And trust me, after a few White Claws or Truly lemonades during quarantine I rewatch many of these battles).
So, while you won’t see Latrice Royale’s “Natural Woman,” or Jujubee’s “Black Velvet” on this list, many consider these two of the best performances during a lip sync in the show’s herstory. This writer agrees but for some unknown reason I don’t gravitate towards a rewatch.
This list is presented in no particular order. SPOILERS AHEAD!
*MONET XCHANGE vs. DUSTY RAY BOTTOMS “Pound the Alarm” – Season 10
Two powerhouse performances with Rupaul even proclaiming, “For the ladies in the back that is what we call a lip sync for your life.” Miss Congeniality winner Monet stumbled in her looks, but her personality and comedic chops shined through. Her fake out death drop was EPIC! (look for Monet again on this list a little later on)
*BOB THE DRAG QUEEN vs. DERRICK BARRY “Mighty Real” – Season 9
The judges saw something in Derrick Barry that I did not, keeping her until the Final Five. Her All Stars stint was much shorter as she was eliminated first. No shocker here. Derrick’s showgirl shtick did not fit with the tone and feel of the song. She was “dead queen walking” against powerhouse, and one of my favorite queens, eventual season winner Bob the Drag Queen. When RuPaul takes out his fan for you, you know you are shantaying.
*PRIYANKA vs. KIARA “I Drove all Night” – Canada’s Drag Race season 1
Another lip sync with powerhouse performances from both queens. Two Canadian queens performing to a Celine Dion song, on the first season of Canada’s Drag Race – the pressure was on. And both girls delivered and then some. If I was a judge, I would have saved them both. Eventual season winner Priyanka edged out Kiara to advance in the competition.
*YVIE ODDLY vs. BROOKE LYNN HYTES “Sorry not Sorry” – Season 11
After disastrous Snatch Game performances, season stand-outs Yvie and Brooke Lynn found themselves in the bottom two early on. Once the song started, each tore up the main stage. Wig reveals, flips, cartwheels, you name it they did it. Both fought for their spot in the competition and both deservedly stayed. Weeks later they would be the final two standing and would lip sync for the crowd, with Yvie Oddly winning the title.
*ALYSSA EDWARDS vs. COCO MONTRESE “Cold Hearted Snake” – Season 5
I don’t love Alyssa Edwards as much as the rest of the Drag Race community seems to, even though she appears on this list THREE times. Hmmm maybe I do like her. Lol. Bitter rivals Alyssa and Coco each wanted to send the other home, with Coco prevailing. As she said, she was “lip syncing every word as if I was Paula Abdul herself.”
*ALYSSA EDWARDS vs. ROXXXY ANDREWS “Whip my Hair” – Season 5
Alyssa’s final appearance on this list was good enough to earn the first ever double save from RuPaul. But for me, this lip sync belongs to Roxxxy Andrews. Roxxxy will never win Miss Congeniality, but gurl is a performer! She started the trend – ON DRAG RACE DON’T COME FOR ME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION – of the wig reveal.
The quickest kiss of death in a lip sync for your life is for a wig to fall off or be taken off purposely. “Do not take your wig off…unless you have another wig underneath!”
*SASHA VELOUR vs. SHEA COULEE “I Get so Emotional” – Season 9 Grand Finale
Speaking of wig reveals, Sasha Velour cemented her place as Drag Race royalty with this performance. Not only did she eliminate front runner Shea Coulee but she advanced to lip sync for the crown (which she won!). Her wig reveal and rose petal shower is nothing short of legendary.
*RITA BAGA vs. LEMON “You Oughta Know” – Canada’s Drag Race season 1
Canada’s Drag Race came out swinging in its first season. Lemon and Rita Baga were my two favorite girls throughout the season. But truth be told, Lemon was my ride or die. That being said, she missed the mark with this performance to this Alanis iconic anthem of revenge. Her background in dance and gymnastics worked against her here. Rita Baga blew the roof off the joint, channelling Morrissette.
*MONET XCHANGE v. TRINITY THE TUCK “Fighter” – All Stars 4 Grand Finale
A perfect combination of song choice and performance. From both queens. The performances were so stellar both queens won the title and the crown – a drag race first. Favorite moment – Monet revealing her pussycat wig to reveal – wait for it – another pussycat wig. COME THROUGH MONET!
*PEPPERMINT vs. TRINITY THE TUCK “Stronger” – Season 9 Grand Finale
Saving my personal favorite performance for last, another case of a queen with loads of charm and personality but maybe stumbling in the lewk department. Peppermint – the lip sync assassin of the season – took out Alexis Michele to advance to the Final Four. With this performance she eliminated Trinity to lip sync for the crown. Trinity’s fate was sealed when Peppermint executed a double reveal: removing her wig and turning her mini skirt into a dress. YASSSSSS PEPPER!
*Darienne Lake: another shady queen who can lip sync the house down.
*Shangela: any of her All Stars 3 lip syncs.
*Roxxxy Andrews: “One Last Time” – representing for the thick and juicy girls.
*Alyssa Edwards v. Tatiana “Shut Up and Drive” – All Stars 2.
*Manila Luzon – “MacArthur Park” – Season 3.
Thanks readers, see you Friday night for Season 13. BRING BACK MY GIRLS!
(This column was edited by Noah Cohen.)