A huge part of the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise is its iconic Lip Sync For Your Life segment, where the Bottom Two queens of the week face each other in a lip sync battle to prove that they must be given a chance to stay on the show. For the All Stars spin-off, this format was slightly adapted to Lip Sync For Your Legacy, where the Top Two queens of the week face each other for a chance to send a contestant home.
While these Drag Race lip syncs are often among the most entertaining parts of each episode, some of these faceoffs have certainly stood out from the pack (for good or bad). Read below to explore some of the most memorable lip sync performances of all time, as well as some lukewarm lip syncs that fans have forgotten over time.
10 FORGOT: HONEY MAHOGANY VS. VIVIENNE PINAY (S5)
The lip sync between Honey Mahogany and Vivienne Pinay on the fourth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 5 was so bad, so boring, and so low-energy that it prompted RuPaul to implement a new rule that had never been seen on the franchise beforehand: a double elimination.
The most baffling part about this lip sync is that Honey and Vivienne were lip syncing to Britney Spears’ “Oops!... I Did It Again!”, which is one of the most iconic lip sync songs of all time for drag queens around the world. It is fair to say that Ru made the right call to send them both contestants home that week, and fans have certainly enjoyed forgetting about that lip sync.
9 MEMORABLE: DIDA RITZ VS. THE PRINCESS (S4)
Dida Ritz had a weird journey on season 4, and it seemed safe to say from the beginning that this queen was probably not going to take the crown that season. With that said, Dida made RuPaul’s Drag Race history with her lip sync to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole on the third episode of that season.
Facing off against The Princess, Dida Ritz delivered what is regarded as one of the best lip sync performances in Drag Race history, and all without having to rely on any props or big reveals. It was Dida’s emotion and heart that carried her through that lip sync, leaving RuPaul with no choice but to send The Princess home.
8 FORGOT: SILKY NUTMEG GANACHE VS. NINA WEST (S11)
On one side, Silky Nutmeg Ganache spent the entire season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race teasing her lip sync skills. On the other side, Nina West had been famous for her jaw-dropping stage productions as a drag queen in Columbus, Ohio.
But when it came time for Silky and Nina to face off in a lip sync on the 11th episode of that season – to the tune of TLC’s “No Scrubs” –, the queens did not deliver a great performance. The lip sync was so forgettable that it even prompted RuPaul to utter the now-iconic “meh” before announcing that Silky Nutmeg Ganache would stay in the competition.
7 MEMORABLE: ROXXXY ANDREWS VS. ALYSSA EDWARDS (S5)
It is impossible to forget the first-ever wig reveal on RuPaul’s Drag Race. On the seventh episode of season 5, Roxxxy Andrews and Alyssa Edwards landed in the Bottom Two and had to lip sync to “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith.
Up until that point on Drag Race, many queens had taken their wigs off, revealing their out-of-drag hair underneath. For this “Whip My Hair” lip sync, however, Roxxxy Andrews purposefully took out her wig to reveal another wig underneath, gagging the judging panel and fans of the show. This wig reveal move was so legendary that it has since become a staple in the franchise.
6 FORGOT: DAX EXCLAMATIONPOINT VS. LAILA MCQUEEN (S8)
Double eliminations are always hard to watch, but this one was certainly well-deserved. In the second episode of season 8, Laila McQueen and Dax ExclamationPoint landed in the Bottom Two, having them lip sync to the LGBTQ anthem “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
It is safe to say that the lip sync was a mess. Both Laila and Dax had no idea what they were doing, and their weak performances became even more visible due to the fact they were lip syncing to such an important and iconic song. The result? RuPaul sent both queens home.
5 MEMORABLE: ALYSSA EDWARDS VS. TATIANNA (AS2)
RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 2 is full of great performances by many queens, but it’s hard to beat Alyssa Edwards and Tatianna lip syncing to “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna. All in all, this lip sync is most remembered by the accidental synchronicity between the performances given by Alyssa and Tatianna. At one point, both queens hit the floor at the same time.
During that episode, RuPaul had the eliminated contestants lip sync for a chance to come back to the competition. After watching the lip sync between Tatianna and Alyssa Edwards, Ru had no choice but to bring both girls back to the competition – a first for the Drag Race franchise.
4 FORGOT: MILAN VS. MADAME LAQUEER (S4)
The Milan vs. Madame LaQueer lip sync on the fourth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 4 was objectively weak. To the tune of “Trouble” by Pink, Laila McQueen pointed here and pointed there, unsure of what to do, while Milan ran back and forth on the runway trying to find any way to make an impression.
In the end, Madame LaQueer was sent home. However, don’t be fooled: Milan didn’t do that much better in the lip sync.
3 MEMORABLE: YVIE ODDLY VS. BROOKE LYNN HYTES (S11)
The “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato lip sync between Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Hytes is now regarded by many as the best lip sync for your life in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It all went down during the “Snatch Game At Sea” episode of season 11, after both Yvie and Brooke bombed with their celebrity impersonations.
Brooke Lynn Hytes (a trained ballerina) and Yvie Oddly (highly skilled in contortionism) gave out a Cirque du Soleil-level performance on the Drag Race runway, doing all sorts of splits, jumps, and headstands. Unsurprisingly, RuPaul kept both queens in the competition, and they faced each other off yet again in the finale episode’s Lip Sync For The Crown.
2 FORGOT: SERENA CHACHA VS. PENNY TRATION (S5)
During the very first episode of that season, Serena ChaCha and Penny Tration landed in the Bottom Two and faced each other on one of the most boring and forgettable lip syncs of all time. Given that the queens were lip syncing to the fun, high-energy “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, there was really no excuse for their weak performances.
All in all, Serena ChaCha stayed in the competition after that lip sync. However, she was sent home during the very next episode, proving that she did not have what it took to make it any farther during that season.
1 MEMORABLE: SASHA VELOUR VS. SHEA COULEE (S9)
It is hard not to put Sasha Velour’s performance to Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional” during the season 9 finale as the most memorable lip sync in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And it is important to note that Shea Coulee also slayed that lip sync, even if her performance did not match up to Sasha that night.
Throughout the lip sync, Sasha Velour unexpectedly revealed rose petals that were tucked inside her gloves. Then, during the most emotional beat of “So Emotional,” Sasha took off her wig and revealed rose petals falling from it, making the live audience go absolutely wild and solidifying her status as the winner of season 9.