Lip syncs are a staple in the realm of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Whether the queens are lip-syncing for their lives, their legacy, or the crown, it always leaves room for iconic performances. While season 12 is currently airing, we’re seven episodes in without a single lip sync performance that has made fans gasp and cheer 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 pick and choose from, there were plenty of performances that made herstory. And while we wait for something a little bit more exciting to come out of season 12, let’s look back at the most iconic lip syncs from the show.
Updated on July 29th, 2022 by Jom Elauria: The Drag Race franchise is continually expanding around the world as more countries get their own version of the show. But the original iteration of Drag Race, as well as its All Stars version, is still widely loved by fans. Now that All Stars 7 has recently crowned its Queen of All Queens, there are plenty of new lip syncs that have wowed and stunned the viewers of the show.
Raja vs Carmen Carrera (Season 3)
The earlier seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race gave us performances that were less about acrobatics and more about emulating the feeling and message of the song the queens were lip-syncing to. And boy, did this one deliver!
When Raja and Carmen Carrera found themselves in the bottom, they had to perform to the sound of Paul Abdul’s “Straight Up” which resulted in one of the steamiest and most sensual bottom-two moments we’ve ever seen.
Ben De La Creme vs Aja (All Stars 3)
The All Stars format changes rules up quite a bit and pits the top two queens against each other in a lip sync for their legacies – and the chance to win a cash tip of $10,000. 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 to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, and while Aja did a fantastic job being the awesome queen she is Ben’s comedic route had the judges and the audience in tears – of 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 found herself in the bottom for the first time, audiences already knew Trinity K. Bonet was quite the lip-sync artist. But fan-favorite queen Adore didn’t let that stop her, and she showed exactly what she was made of.
The two delivered a fiery performance of Paula Abdul’s “Vibeology” that ended up being as close of a call as one 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 lackluster 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.
Performing to Katy Perry’s “Roar” both queens offered their fair share of acrobatics and impressive dance moves, with Kennedy eventually jumping off the stage into a split and leaving the judges gagged. Many believe it should’ve 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 began almost as instantly as the season’s first episode and was present in many moments of season 4 and Untucked alike. Seeing Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara lip-sync against each other was only a matter of time.
And when the moment came, it was to the sound of “It’s Raining Men: The Sequel”. The only thing more impressive than this high-energy performance featuring Phi Phi’s wig coming off was Willam’s elimination, which ultimately saved both queens.
Dida Ritz vs The Princess (Season 4)
The Princess was a great 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 both queens had to perform to, in front of Cole herself.
What made this lip-sync so great was the complete lack of acrobatics, splits, and jumps on Dida’s part. She just danced and performed with levels of energy that could power a small country for a decade, showcasing exactly what high drag is all about.
Alyssa Edwards vs Coco Montrese (Season 5)
The only rivalry that could top the one between Sharon and Phi Phi was the one between Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese. The two had fallen out prior to finding out they would be competing against each other in season 5.
Once again, seeing these two lip-sync against each other was only a matter of time. They did so to the sound of Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted”, and what a performance it was! Coco’s lips and sleeves paired with Alyssa’s moves made for one of the most unforgettable moments on the show.
Sasha Velour vs Shea Couleé (Season 9 Finale)
By the time Sasha Velour had to lip-sync for the crown in the season 9 finale, no one knew what to expect. Sasha was the only queen from the bunch who never landed in the bottom, so her talents in that department were a bit of a mystery.
And one thing is for sure – not a single soul saw that coming. Performing against Shea Coulée to the sound of “So Emotional” Sasha blew the audience 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 be featured on this list includes half of the top four of season 11. Brooke Lynn and Yvie landed in the bottom after bombing the Snatch Game, one of the most important challenges in the show.
Clearly, they were both hungry for the crown, because that performance, 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 topping this list is the forever iconic “Shut up And Ride” lip-sync between Alyssa Edwards and Tatiana back on All Stars 2. The two queens were competing for the chance to come back into the competition and eliminate one of the bottom queens.
What can be said about this lip-sync aside from the fact that Alyssa and Tatiana’s chemistry on-stage is worthy of an award? The outfits, the energy, the lips – everything was on point. And in case there are any doubts, refer back to Carston’s facial expression.
Denali vs Kahmora Hall (Season 13)
Denali and Kahmora Hall, unfortunately, found themselves in the bottom during the fourth episode of season 13. However, this became a chance for the two queens to show off their lip sync skills. While fans would agree that Kahmora tried her best to dance in her dress with a heavy train, the spotlight stayed on Denali during the whole lip sync.
Dancing to “100 Percent Pure Love”, Denali showed the judges that she’s a fierce performer on stage. Her performance was considered by many fans as the best lip sync during season 13, and even RuPaul commended the queen for her skills.
Jasmine Kennedie vs Jorgeous (Season 14)
Arguably, fans were waiting for Jasmine Kennedie and Jorgeous to face off during a lip sync battle as both were known for their phenomenal dancing skills. During the night episode of season 12, fans were treated to a performance featuring the two as they lip-synced to Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”.
Some viewers expressed discontent as they expected the dancing divas to perform a high-energy number. However, both Jasmine and Jorgeous proved that they can slay any song, so much so that neither of them got eliminated during the episode.
Ginger Minj vs Mayhem Miller (All Stars 6)
Aside from being full of dramatic moments, the sixth season of All Stars 6 also served some of the best lip syncs for your legacy. Coming back for the crown for the third time, Ginger Minj battled Mayhem Miller in a lip sync to Lizzo’s “Phone”.
Both queens decided to go the campy route for their performances. Despite not doing well during the seasons she was on, Mayhem did show the viewers that she has what it takes to be called a lip sync assassin. However, Ginger’s comedy was liked better 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 quickly adapt to the show’s twists and turns. For All Stars 6, viewers were delighted to see two season 6 alums dance it off on the main stage of the show.
Laganja Estranja, who is known for her stunt-filled performances, came back as a lip sync assassin. She faced her season 6 sister Trinity K Bonet, who has been a part of some of the best lip syncs to come out of the show. Laganja proved to be a better performer though, as she did splits, kicks, and twirls to the song “Physical” by Dua Lipa.
Shea Couleé vs Monét X Change (All Stars 7)
Shea Couleé and Monét X Change battled each other for the second time during the show’s all-winners season. After a long wait, both queens found themselves on the top again after doing well in the variety show challenge.
Performing to Kylie Minogue’s “Supernova”, both contestants had some synchronized moments on stage that surely wowed viewers of the show. While both showed their incredible dance moves during the lip sync, Shea was crowned the winner for her impeccable performance.