The Most Underrated Lip-syncs in RuPaul’s Drag Race Herstory

We’ve all heard of Tatianna vs Alyssa, Sasha Velour vs Shea Coulee, and Joslyn Fox vs Laganja Estranja. Some lip syncs are so gag worthy and sickening that even the newest fan can tell you all about them. With over 109 syncs over 11 seasons (9 regular and 2 All Stars), though, it’s easy to forget some of the lesser known masterpieces. With All Stars 3 in swing and drag race becoming more and more mainstream, it’s time to educate these drag race kids and give them a proper herstory lesson!

Source: Giphy

WARNING: Partial nudity, swearing, and obviously, spoilers for seasons 1-9 and All Stars 1.

Season 1: Bebe Zahara Benet vs Ongina

"Stronger" by Britney Spears

Best moment: 0:51

Going all the way back to the lost season, two of the original sweethearts dueled it out with an emotional "Stronger." Watching this season, you’ll learn about Ongina’s relationship with wigs and her fascinators, so watching her rip hers off at 0:51 is an incredibly emotional moment. These queens absolutely want it, and hold nothing back. This is also the first and only time RuPaul has walked off set to make a decision. Sadly, this was before the time of double shantays, so Ru had to choose between two equally powerful performers.

Season 2: Raven vs Nicole Paige Brooks

"My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)" by En Vogue

Best moment: 0:58

Honestly, episode two of season two is just a great time all around, from the challenges to this sexy lip sync. Raven absolutely exudes sex and camps it up just enough for some effective comedy, and Nicole Paige Brooks (from Atlanta) plays it up in a softer but equally incredible way. I’m a sucker for using the whole stage, and Raven absolutely stomped it down. The best moment? A chicken cutlet/fake boob at 0:58 used as a powder puff, and Nicole Paige Brooks’ (from Atlanta) look when she realized she got out-camped by her fellow queen.

Season 2: Morgan McMichael vs Sonique

"Two of Hearts" by Stacey Q

Best moment: 0:35

Another season two gem, this lip sync was described by Ru herself as one of the tightest she’s ever seen, completed with the judges’ amazed reactions. Both queens used very entertaining but incredibly different styles: Sonique stripping down slowly and wearing that stage out with her acrobatics, and Morgan focusing more on small dance moves with facial expressions that give me life! Her twirl at 0:35 will always get me cheering, and she really goes to prove that you don’t always have to run around to do an incredible performance. Mostly, though, I love her huge smile at the end. She was having so much fun, and it really shows.

Season 3: Alexis Mateo vs Stacy Layne Matthews

"Knock on Wood" by Amii Stewart

Best moment: 0:40

The queens of catch phrases, Henny vs Bam (otherwise known as Stacy Layne Matthews and Alexis Mateo), give both soul and energy to this classic tune. Alexis always knows how to turn out a lip sync with her infectious energy and smile, and that jump at 0:40 is a stunner! Stacy takes it slow but adds so much depth to the song. With different takes on this song, it’s sure to make anyone dance along.

Season 4: Milan vs Madame LaQueer

"Trouble" by P!nk

Best moment: 1:04

Season 4 is generally known as the gateway for many fans: more polished than prior seasons but somehow more dramatic, with the addition of Michelle Visage, and the more recognizable queens such as Sharon Needles, Willam, Latrice Royale, Phi Phi O’Hara, Chad Michaels, and Jiggly Caliente. What many don’t remember is this killer lip sync. Milan literally swiffered Madame LaQueer down for an energetic win. There are far too many memorable moments, but let’s try to break this down: Milan is able to somehow lip sync this wild song while putting on black lipstick perfectly, we get to cringe over the colour green (Michelle’s least favourite, which we hear every single time she sees green), Milan strips down to her panties and bra, both rip off their wigs, Jiggly delivers the line about pointer sisters and Willam delivers the classic line about Milan’s taint, and then there’s the fact that Milan has wiped herself basically across the entire stage, especially at 1:04. It’s chaos. It’s a hot mess, but somehow, it works? It’s an awesome show! Call it crazy or art, this is an unforgettably fun lip sync.

All Stars 1: Rujubee (Raven and Jujubee) vs Yarlexis (Yara Sofia and Alexis Mateo)

"Don’t Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls

Best moment: 0:57

Raven’s back, showing once again that sex sells! This lip sync graces us with three drag powerhouses, and the only time in All Stars when the buzzer was hit. We get to see how much Yara loves performing in this song, but sadly cannot best Raven’s sultry looks and moves, all the way down to the floor at 0:57. Unlike many performances, her stripping down actually made sense (I’m looking at you, Laila McQueen). It’s a definite change from the typical high energy pop songs, but proves to be just as sickening!

Season 5: Coco Montrese vs Jade Jolie

"I’m So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters

Best moment: 1:11

If people weren’t introduced in season 4, they were certainly introduced in season 5 to Rolaskatox (Roxxxy Andrews, Alaska Thunderf*ck 5000, and Detox), Jinkx Monsoon, Coco Montrese and Alyssa Edwards. This amazing classic by the guest judges Pointer Sisters was truly werked, henny! We get to watch two high energy and equally incredible performances. We really get to see how much Jade and Coco love performing, something that can easily be masked by the pressure. While both outfits have been mocked endlessly, they both somehow work really well with the song. Coco’s wig and Jade’s… costume hair (?) look great with the jumps and spins. Coco’s jumps at 1:11 may seem understated, but they go remarkably well with the song’s beats. Both queens knew how to wear this song out, and it shows!

Season 5: Monica Beverly Hillz vs Serena ChaCha

"Only Girl (In The World)" by Rihanna

Best moment: 1:13

This lip sync needs some back story to understand the sheer power of it. Shortly before, Monica revealed to her fellow queens the she is “not just a drag queen, but a transgender woman." That secret obviously pressed her deeply, and by revealing her identity, she was able to turn out a truly domineering lip sync. She owned every second of the song, from her dance moves to her matching outfit, and truly reclaimed her true identity. In this lip sync, she truly is the only girl in the world, and we all know it. There are very few performances where it looks like the queens are actually singing it, and Monica slayed it to the ground. By 1:13, she was truly out of her shell and everyone was living for it!

Season 6: Trinity K. Bonet vs Milk

"Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Pepa

Best moment: 0:45

Slower songs can be harder to perform to queens used to rocking out, but Trinity and Milk prove that slow is sexy. Milk serves up her "legendairy" weirdness to bounce it out, while Trinity, like Monica, looks like she’s actually singing live. She looks fishy as a trout, and her outfit perfectly matches her flow. She can pop and lock it and serve the kids, hands down. Her sultry dances and drops to the floor take the song to a whole new level. By 0:45, she stepped her kitty game up hard!

Season 7: Kandy Ho vs Tempest DuJour

"Geronimo" by RuPaul

Best moment: 1:03

There’s an unspoken rule among drag queens: if you do a RuPaul song, you step your game up and do not let Mama down! Luckily, both Tempest and Kandy did exactly that. Another example of both queens working a stage, they absolutely demolish this song. It’s so energetic, full of great dance moves, and each squiggle/twerk fits right into the beat. By 1:03, Kandy shows she is not messing around and kicks it up several notches. The hilarious commentary from Brian, Ginger Minj, and Jaidynn Diore Fierce, coupled with the nude suits the queens must wear, makes for an amazing lip sync that should never be forgotten.

Season 7: Kandy Ho vs Mrs. Kasha Davis

"Lovergirl" by Teena Marie

Best moment: 1:24

With floor length gowns, there is no way this song could have been easy to perform, and yet Kandy and Kasha somehow make it look effortless. As Kasha immediately hikes up her skirt to work the stage, Kandy uses her gradual increase in energy to draw in all the eyes to her. By 1:24, jaws drop as Kandy hits the floor as she “belts out” a power ballad. Another example of both queens owning the lip sync, a double shantay would have been perfect, but sadly, Ru decided only one could stay.

Season 8: Naomi Smalls vs Acid Betty

"Causing Commotion" by Madonna

Best moment: 1:57

Here is an underrated example of camp vs glamour. Naomi does her shtick of being the sexy supermodel, stripping down and making various poses, while Acid Betty (or Berry, if you’re Cynthia Lee Fontaine) adds some comedy and humour to this Madonna dance-along. 1:57 had me in absolute stitches. Acid Betty may have had the villain edit in her season, but she’s clearly a very talented queen, and her pregnant-with-birds take on Madonna is full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

Season 9: Aja vs Kimora Blac

"Holding Out For a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler

Best moment: 0:52

This is a lip sync that is so incredible and top quality that it’s very, very difficult to find without copyright claims. This performance might actually be one of the very best, ranking right up there with Alyssa vs Tatianna, or any involving Alaska. It’s an absolute tragedy that all the new kids don’t know this one word by word. In a nutshell: Aja slays the everloving life out of this song. As Bebe would say, where are the paramedics, because I was not ready. What’s truly remarkable is the fact that both Aja and Kimora play a different role: Kimora really does need a hero. She’s rolling over the ground and playing the damsel in distress. Aja, however, is an independent queen who is her own hero. She stomps that entire runway and has all of the fellow queens and viewers cheering her on, with 0:52 being one of the most perfectly executed spin-jump-splits ever, maybe even beating Alyssa Edwards at her own game. Aja literally works this song so hard her boob falls out and her wig goes wild. If someone could only see one lip sync, this would be it. It has everything you’d ever want: jumps, splits, kicks, high energy, death drops (even a double death drop!!) all while serving face. I’ll forever shriek and gag and snap my fingers at this performance, and so should you.

Honourable mention: every queen who lip syncs in the background.

Look at the others in any lip sync and you’ll find at least one rocking along, maybe even beating the bottom two. They’re harder to find, but are incredibly fun! Some of the confirmed queens include: Yara Sofia, Raja, Alaska Thunderf*ck 5000, and Sasha Velour, among others.

The (Jessica) Wildest of the Bunch

With unforgettable and underrated lip syncs, there’s two kinds. They’ll both make your jaw drop and holler at the screen, but one is because it’s incredibly sickening, and the other because it’s so crazy and wild. It’d be a travesty to let these fade into obscurity!

Due to the fact that they’re ridiculously chaotic from start to finish, the whole lip sync is the best moment.

Season 1: Akashia vs Tammie Brown

"Break the Dawn" by Michelle Williams

The original mean queen Akashia vs the original crazy queen Tammie Brown have gifted us with this hilariously bizarre piece. Akashia actually did a great job for her season, causing Michelle Williams to cry with happiness, and being told she “broke the motherf*cking dawn” by RuPaul. Tammie, though, refused to sing along and did the most hilariously white girl dance ever. She just wiggles her way through almost two minutes and had every viewer questioning her choices while in stitches. Tammie actually did so bad at lip syncing that none of the judges even addressed her, but her dance moves were completely on the funniest point. If this was on almost any other season, this would be at the top of every lip sync list.

Season 2: Sahara Davenport vs Shangela Laquifa Wadley

"Cover Girl (Put the Bass in Your Walk)" by RuPaul

The late, great, and first queen to do a jump split off a stage, Sahara Davenport and Shangela, the queen in a box, turned this lip sync into an absolute dance battle. Just like Aja vs Kimora Blac, this performance has got it all, but in a much messier, chaotic version. It’s got the weird curtain dresses, stripping down to underwear, and ripping off shoes to do a running jump split across the runway. There’s cartwheels, high kicks, and for whatever reason, pirouettes. At one point, a wig ends up on the floor. Death drops, voguing, you name it, they did it. As Sonique said, “it looked like Mortal Kombat”. There’s honestly less lip syncing than there is stunts and dances. Either way, this is a hot mess in the absolute funniest and best way possible.

Season 3: Shangela Laquifa Wadley vs Venus D-Lite

"The Right Stuff" by Vanessa Williams

Just like in real life, halleloo, Shangie’s back! After the first wild lip sync, she wound up in an equally free-for-all “battle” with Venus D-Lite. Just like season 2, it’s got everything, but this time, much more violent. Venus says that she is willing to fight to stay, and she does. Literally. Wigs get thrown, barely missing the other queens. At one point, she shoves poor Shangela, then uses her skirt to grab her. Shoes go flying into orbit (probably the best moment at 1:06) as the rest of the queens awkwardly stare and quip about it. An extra hilarious moment is how absolutely angry and unimpressed Ru looks throughout, especially at 0:52. Remember, drag is not a contact sport!

Season 7: Ginger Minj and Sasha Belle vs Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Tempest DuJour

"I Think We’re Alone Now" by Tiffany

Immediately, this is a kookier lip sync as the queens are conjoined with other competitors. Watching both pairs awkwardly shuffle as fast as they can is absolutely hilarious. While it’s not technically the best lip sync, it wins points for originality and for Ginger and Sasha’s “mastectomy” so they can perform easier. As for Jaidynn and Tempest, Brian sums it up perfectly by saying they’re in a permanent sex position.

Season 8: Chi Chi DeVayne vs Naysha Lopez

"Call Me" by Blondie

Another lip sync that’s got it all and is a wonderfully hot mess, both queens take out all the stops and give every flip, cartwheel, and acrobatic move they got, all while hitting every word in the song. Robbie Turner summed it up perfectly when she said that Chi Chi truly went in for the kill. What really adds to the beautiful chaos is Naysha taking off her fallen wig, whipping it around while skipping around the stage, almost getting a heel to the head at 1:41, then hucking it across the stage like a bowling ball. Wigs and edges were quite literally snatched and flips were done. Combined with a perfectly matching high energy, this made for a truly wild time.

Yes, Ru girls know how to turn things up, but sometimes, even the best gems are hidden. With All Stars 3 playing and season 10 coming up, there’s no excuse not to see these kicking and sickening lip syncs!