Top 20 Worst Lip Syncs on RuPaul's Drag Race
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Isabelle Brown & Owen Maxwell
Not even Auto-Tune could save these "Drag Race" lip syncs. For this list, we'll be looking at the messiest, most boring, and saddest lip syncing battles from RuPaul's original series that severely missed the mark. Our countdown includes Pearl vs. Miss Fame, Trinity the Tuck vs. Charlie Hides, Valentina vs. Nina Bo'nina Brown, and more!
Top 20 Worst Lip Syncs on RuPaul's Drag Race
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Worst Lip Syncs on “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the messiest, most boring, and saddest lip syncing battles from RuPaul’s original series that severely missed the mark. We’re not exclusively limiting our picks to performances where both queens underperformed – anything that’s subpar overall qualifies. Since eliminations will be discussed, a spoiler alert is now in effect.
Which one of these performances had you cringing? Let us know in the comments below!
#20: Delta Work vs. Mariah Paris Balenciaga
“The Snatch Game”
A good lip sync has flair, emotion, and lips that actually sync up with the lyrics. Unfortunately for her, Mariah failed to deliver on that last one. In her stand off with Delta, the queen served attitude and glamor, but her knowledge of the music fell short. She tried to fake it until she made it by pulling out one of the oldest tricks in the book. However, her colorful vocabulary fooled no one. Without the right words, Mariah’s performance didn’t go over well. In the end, her mistakes got her asked to sashay away.
#19: Farrah Moan vs. Cynthia Lee Fontaine
"Reality Stars: The Musical"
These two queens tried, and that’s the best we can say about this performance. Some might argue that the song choice didn’t give the competitors a lot to work with, but still. Cynthia resorted to stripping, which had potential in theory, but didn’t really work. Farrah’s showing wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good. In the end, neither girl quite womaned up on stage, even with singer Meghan Trainor present as a guest judge. Ultimately though, an injury sent another queen, Eureka O’Hara, home. Therefore, both members of the bottom two were permitted to stay.
#18: Pearl vs. Miss Fame
Tensions were already high between Pearl and Miss Fame, so their bottom-two face-off seemed like it would be a fierce showdown. But with an oversized dress covering her body, Miss Fame's moves looked stilted in comparison to Pearl's. Though Pearl wasn't high-energy per se, Fame's slow moves were disheartening to watch. Even with the funny middle fingers and some wild arm dancing, this lip sync felt boring next to 'Drag Race's usually ecstatic performances. While Miss Fame's parting words had a star-level of humor, her lackluster showing here just wasn't up to par for the late stage of the competition.
#17: Milan vs. Madame LaQueer
"Queens Behind Bars"
Trouble was what Madame LaQueer was in for when she performed a lip sync with unimaginative choreography. Her opponent Milan pulled out all the stops, undressing and whipping around the stage. Meanwhile, the queen donning lime green relied a little too heavily on a single move. Both contestants were swinging their hair around by the end of the song. The value of wigs coming off during a drag show is up for debate, but we can all agree that Madame’s moves fell short. Maybe she needed someone to point her in the right direction.
#16: Shangela vs. Venus D-Lite
"The Queen Who Mopped Xmas"
As 'The Right Stuff' played behind them, Shangela and Venus D-Lite kicked off a fun and bouncy lip sync. Venus delivered exciting dancing on and off the stage, but her words about fighting for the crown got frighteningly real. Her shoves and improvised chokers created an unbelievably violent atmosphere on the stage, which also kept her from truly performing. After all the drastic fighting, Venus's wig throw was borderline comedic too. Though Shangela tried to maintain some composure, her own wacky costume changes only worked as a way to mock Ms. D-Lite. This lack of conduct and respect for personal boundaries showed audiences that Venus definitely had the wrong stuff.
#15: Willam Belli vs. Jiggly Caliente
This pick is interesting because you can tell both contestants gave a decent effort. However, the performance itself just didn’t work. "Mi Vida Loca" by Pam Tillis probably wasn’t the easiest song choice. Jiggly for sure wasn’t a fan, and you could tell, because her dance moves felt stiff and unnatural. Meanwhile, Willam did a fine job, but it was nothing spectacular. Together, the queens underwhelmed us on the whole With it being her third time on the chopping block, it’s not surprising that Jiggly was sent home. When it came down to it, she just wasn’t able to save herself by lip syncing for her life.
#14: Naomi Smalls vs. Acid Betty
"Supermodel Snatch Game"
You would think a performance that has one contestant stripping down to her underwear and another simulating birth would be interesting. However, this last chance lip sync was kind of boring. Naomi’s performance wasn’t bad, but she relied too much on her outfit, or lack thereof. Meanwhile, Acid Betty’s natal display was anticlimactic. Instead of kooky and campy, she was awkward and clunky. She may have given life to an imaginary baby, but she didn’t give any to us. In the end, it was the trippy queen who was asked to sashay away.
#13: Tammie Brown vs. Akashia
"Girl Group Challenge"
Tammie was the first queen to find out what happens when you don’t move your lips during a lip sync. Without opening her mouth, she awkwardly danced around her side of the stage, flailing her arms about. Meanwhile, her opponent Akashia’s performance matched the energy, not to mention the lyrics, of the song. The first season often feels different from newer ones. But one thing has been the same from the start - keeping your mouth shut when you’re told to lip sync is a quick way to get sent home.
#12: Kenya Michaels vs. Latrice Royale
"DILFs: Dads I'd Like to Frock"
Sometimes a comedic take on a song works, and other times it's more embarrassing than anything. Strapped with a fake pregnant stomach, Kenya looked wild leaping and twirling around the stage. She didn’t help herself when she removed her wig. The flouncy routine came off more desperate than impressive, especially compared to Latrice’s calm confidence. Bearing a faux baby bump of her own, the latter queen’s passionate tribute to her imaginary child was a great interpretation of Aretha Franklin’s "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". Kenya never really had a chance, but we did get some giggles out of her performance.
#11: Naysha Lopez vs. Laila McQueen
"Keeping It 100!"
Not all lip sync showings are created equal. On one hand, Laila did a pretty good job with this performance. Her dance moves were confident and exciting, and she incorporated plenty of floor work. Dressed in a post-apocalyptic outfit with dark makeup, her look was also perfect considering the song was Lady Gaga’s “Applause”. On the other hand, Naysha’s arm-heavy choreography didn’t translate. Instead of being interesting, her routine was disjointed. It’s obvious the glamorous queen was going for something inspired by Mother Monster – however, her dancing was a bit too tame. Naysha looked beautiful, but in this competition, that’s not enough.
#10: Kimora Blac vs. Jaymes Mansfield
"She Done Already Done Brought It On"
This performance ended up looking like a poorly rehearsed tribute to The B-52's. Even with the musicians present, the contestants failed to bring their A-games while lip syncing for their lives to “Love Shack”. Overall, the energy was sorely lacking and the choreography was uninspired. The only thing impressive about the showing is how well the queens happened to coordinate with each other. Both dressed in white, they poorly executed drops to the floor one after another. It’s a coin toss determining who was worse. Jaymes was ultimately asked to leave, but it could have gone either way.
#9: Plastique Tiara vs. Ra’Jah O'Hara vs. Shuga Cain vs. A’keria C. Davenport vs. Honey Davenport vs. Scarlet Envy
Rather than narrowing things down to a bottom two in Season 11, RuPaul shockingly put all six of the bottom queens against each other. As so many queens tried to grab attention, their routines were chaotic but exciting. Though Honey Davenport stood still for so long that she looked lazy and boring. Honey's stage leap was also awkward enough to leave Ru with a scowl, and her crawls looked even more desperate. While there were poor wig reveals in the mix too, it was Honey's flailing choreography that deservedly got her eliminated that night.
#8: Vivienne Pinay vs. Honey Mahogany
"Black Swan: Why It Gotta Be Black?"
Despite their poor offerings in a ballet challenge, both Honey Mahogany and Vivienne Pinay boasted about their abilities going into the bottom two. It was hard not to cringe at this confidence however, as both contestants stumbled their way through their lip sync like zombies. With their lethargic movements, it was more entertaining to watch the judges' bored faces during the routine. And this was to 'Oops I Did It Again,' so there was no excuse for them to be so bland. Honey's last-minute burst of emotions only looked worse as a result. After this lazy face-off, it wasn't even that jarring that RuPaul eliminated both queens for the first time ever.
#7: Dax ExclamationPoint vs. Laila McQueen
The trash talk was fierce going into Dax and Laila's bottom two duel, so you'd expect them to throw themselves into the music. Despite their dramatic openings, the rest of their lip sync to 'I Will Survive' was reserved and unenthusiastic. Heck, even guest judge Jamal Sims looked more excited about the song than either queen on stage. Power moves like splits were notably sloppy and outfit removals were anticlimactic to say the least. The mix of smug attitude and underwhelming energy was frustrating to watch, and got both queens eliminated. And given how well the judges explained the song's importance, this kind of reservation was a huge misstep.
#6: Trinity the Tuck vs. Charlie Hides
"Good Morning Bitches"
After their talk show skits disappointed the judges, Trinity the Tuck and Charlie Hides had one of the most lop-sided lip syncs in 'Drag Race' herstory. Trinity went all out from the start, and she flipped enough to have the judges screaming and laughing endlessly. Charlie on the other hand, planted herself to the extent that her fellow queens were screaming at her to move. Her 'I give up' attitude was disrespectful to Trinity's efforts and the competition as a whole. And with such a top-notch lip sync from Trinity, Charlie's excuses only added to how shameful her lip sync came off to audiences.
#5: Penny Tration vs. Serena ChaCha
"RuPaullywood or Bust"
Both contestants pulled classic drag queen tricks during this lip sync for your life. While Serena’s worked in her favor, Penny’s were more transparent. Like many before her, the queen wearing green sank into the splits and wowed her fellow contestants. Meanwhile, her competitor continued to turn away from the judges in an attempt to hide the fact that she hadn’t mastered the words to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” Penny tried her best, but it's hard to come back from not knowing the correct lyrics. The fatal mistake caused her to be the first girl sent home in season five.
#4: Valentina vs. Nina Bo'nina Brown
"Your Pilot's on Fire"
Valentina was one of the dominating queens on season 9 of 'Drag Race,' so it was surprising to see her cover her face in a lip sync. Despite her otherwise solid dancing against Nina Bo'nina Brown, Valentina's mask caused the judges to unexpectedly reset the battle. Her lack of actual lip syncing dragged the performance down, as Nina strutted circles around her. While it was unprofessional for Valentina to forget her words, it was more upsetting to watch considering how talented she'd been on the show. And by messing up such an essential part of 'Drag Race,' Valentina's mistake was a standout.
#3: Kameron Michaels vs. Asia O'Hara
The finals of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' are supposed to showcase the best of the best, but things don't go as planned for Asia O'Hara's props. Kameron Michaels turns it out in her kimono-like top to Janet Jackson's 'Nasty', strutting all over the stage. Meanwhile, Asia sadly stays in place with her butterfly-adorned top, just to reveal some living insects too. Though flying creatures could be a stunning visual, the butterflies lack of energy completely deflate Asia's performance. With Kameron's ecstatic costume reveals, O'Hara looks gimmicky and lazy by comparison. And given how derivative Asia's reveals are of Sasha Velour's petal dance, nasty feels like the best way to describe this lip sync.
#2: Mimi Imfurst vs. India Ferrah
Despite the memo from RuPaul about brawling on stage only episodes prior, Mimi Imfurst treated her lip sync with India like a wrestling match. Mimi's theatrical antics went from entertaining to rude as she pushed in front of her opponent like a needy child. While India kept a suave face on, her step off the stage reflected just how outlandish she had to be to deal with Mimi. But when Mimi actually lifted India, she turned the showdown into an uncomfortable altercation filled with unnerving screams. This rash behavior torpedoed Mimi's already cringe-worthy dance, but at least it inspired some hilarious commentary from Ru.
#1: Silky Nutmeg Ganache vs. Nina West
"Bring Back My Queens!"
By episode eleven of any season of 'Drag Race,' the lip syncs should be jaw-dropping. So it's embarrassing to watch as Nina West and Silky Nutmeg Ganache groove like they have two left feet. Nina's choreography is full of weird shimmies and she barely moves anywhere. Though Silky creatively uses the back of the stage, she hilariously struggles over her own outfit. Silky's wig reveal feels clumsy, and all her power moves come off like she is trying them for the first time. Ru is visibly off-put throughout the whole song, so his unenthused notes are comically satisfying. This lip sync is so laughably bad however, due to the constant mistakes and minimal effort of both queens.