Viewers of Rupaul’s Drag Race are nearing the end of what’s seemed like an eternal 13th season. One upside is that with more episodes, there have been even more opportunities for some amazing “lip sync for your lives.”
There have been some changes to the LSFYL’s over the years through new twists such as the double shantay and Lip Sync for the Crown. Of course, there’s no doubt that there will more iconic lip sync moments in future seasons. But for now, here are the best lip syncs in Drag Race seasons 1-14.
Updated on July 6th, 2022 by Jom Elauria: The current and seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars continue to hook fans of the franchise week after week. Drag Race is also now a global phenomenon thanks to its international versions in countries like France, Canada, The UK, and The Philippines. In each episode, the bottom queens who are up for elimination must lip sync for their lives and outperform each other — in each season, there will always be a stand-out LSFYL.
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Season 1: BeBe Zahara Benet vs. Ongina
BeBe versus Ongina was iconic because of the way it shifted the outcome of season 1. Until that lip sync, Ongina had been a front-runner with two challenge wins under her belt. It was easy for viewers to assume that BeBe’s days on the show might be numbered.
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But then she not only turned out the lip sync to Britney Spear’s Stronger, she outperformed Ongina. RuPaul had to leave the judge’s panel before making her final decision. As hard as it was to send Ongina packing, the decision paid off as BeBe went on to win the season 1 crown and gain new fans when she returned for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3.
Season 2: Morgan McMichaels vs. Sonique
Morgan and Sonique’s lip sync battle set the tone for lip syncs in later seasons. Both queens stood out for completely different reasons: Morgan for the artistry and precision of her lip sync, and Sonique for her athletically driven performance, complete with some of the show’s smoothest gymnastics to date.
However, Sonique’s gymnastics did not match the energetic rhythm of Stacey Q’s Two of Hearts. Morgan’s decision to focus on matching the song to her movements earned her the win. In later seasons, more queens turned out these lip sync techniques. But it will always be Morgan and Sonique who first brought such distinct variety to a LSFYL.
Season 3: Raja vs. Carmen Carrera
Raja and Carmen’s steamy LSFYL to Paula Abdul’s Straight Up was iconic for how well each queen performed, and how the two interacted with each other. Determined to outdo Raja’s disrobing to the song, Carmen removed the bottom part of her outfit shocking the judges, viewers, and Raja.
The queens gave a sensual lip sync that fellow queen Alexis Mateo described as “hot.” Ultimately, Raja proved that she’s not just a look queen and won the lip sync with her kiss of death, but with the chemistry of that lip sync, viewers felt like they had won too.
Season 4: Sharon Needles vs. Phi Phi O’Hara
The show’s LSFYLs ensure things stay competitive in case the season becomes “RuPaul’s Best Friends Race.” Sure, there’s drama between the queens in Untucked and when two friendly queens are forced into a showdown, but it’s more entertaining to watch two queens with beef fight to stay in the competition. Sharon Needles and Phi Phi O’Hara had beef in spades.
Viewers were on the edge of their seats when weeks of bickering culminated in a lip sync showdown to It’s Raining Men. Fueled by their hatred of one another, Phi Phi and Sharon gave it their all during the lip sync. But neither Sharon nor Phi Phi ended up sashaying away because fellow queen, Willam, was disqualified instead.
Season 5: Coco Montrese vs. Alyssa Edwards
Fans won the lip sync lottery when Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese were placed in the bottom two. Throughout the fifth season, they had entertained audiences with their premium pageant-related beef from outside the show. It was the third lip sync for each queen so a double shantay was out of the question.
Both queens gave an incredible lip sync to Paul Abdul’s Cold Hearted, and Coco barely beat Alyssa by mouthing the words to the song “as if she were Paula Abdul herself.” The lip sync seemed to be cathartic for the queens as they were on good terms by the time they returned for All Stars 2.
Season 6: Adore vs. Trinity K. Bonet
When Adore Delano ended up in the bottom, it looked like she had met her match in the polished pageant queen Trinity K. Bonet. Until that point, Bonet had been the season’s lip sync assassin and was prepared to fight for her place in the competition.
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But when the lights dimmed and Paula Abdul’s Vibeology started to play, Adore stepped up and proved that she was a lip sync assassin in her own right. Both queens delivered a fun and sensual lip sync, even playing off one another throughout the song. Trinity sashayed away and fans have been eagerly awaiting her All Stars return ever since.
Season 7: Kennedy Davenport vs Katya
The LSFYL between Kennedy Davenport and Katya was a polarizing one. The song was Roar by Katy Perry. Katya’s technique was more restrained, and Kennedy’s more passionate. Both approaches to the lip sync were phenomenal and had a satisfying mix of acrobatics and camp.
The Dancing Diva of Texas managed to beat out Katya for a place in the final four. But some viewers didn’t take the decision well as Katya had become a huge fan favorite. Luckily, both queens have had the chance to prove their talents with Katya making it to the final of All Stars 2 and Kennedy nearly winning All Stars 3.
Season 8: ChiChi DeVayne vs Thorgy Thor
Season 8 of Drag Race had some good lip syncs, but there were none where both bottom queens were great. The one contestant who stood out as a lip sync assassin was Chi Chi DeVayne. DeVayne came on to the show as an underdog who almost made it to the final three. The two times she was in the bottom, she slayed the competition.
Her tear-inducing performance to the Dreamgirls song And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going sent Thorgy Thor, another fan favorite, packing. Chi Chi competed one more time in All Stars 3 before sadly passing away of complications from scleroderma in 2020.
Season 9: Sasha Velour vs Shea Coulée
After 2 seasons of mostly lackluster lip syncs, Rupaul introduced the Lip Sync For The Crown format to spice things up. This had the final four queens lip-syncing for their lives tournament style, ending in a showdown between the final two. It was a smart move that breathed new life into the franchise.
Sasha Velour was pitted against frontrunner Shea Coulée and it felt like Shea’s lip sync to lose. But in an unexpected twist, Sasha’s rose reveal won her the lip sync, and she then went on to win the crown. The rose reveal was so iconic that it became a mainstream pop culture moment, being spoofed by SNL.
Season 10: Kameron Michaels vs Eureka O’Hara
Typically, a lip sync assassin is revealed early in the competition before sashaying away after two or three lip syncs. When Kameron Michaels and powerhouse Eureka O’Hara were in the bottom two, no one expected the quiet Kameron Michaels to put up a huge fight.
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But Kameron Michaels proved herself as a performer, keeping up with the energetic Eureka to Patti LaBelle’s New Attitude, with their double split resulting in a double shantay. Eureka kept her spot as a frontrunner, and Kameron established herself as a threat late in the game.
Season 11: Yvie Oddly vs Brooke Lynn Heights
Before bombing Snatch Game, Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Heights were considered front runners of the season. It was nerve-wracking to think that one of these queens might go home at the halfway point. The lip sync that followed was not only the best of Season 11 but possibly one of the best of the franchise.
Brooke Lynn is a trained ballerina and Yvie, despite being one of the queens that fans think belongs more on Dragula, is incredibly flexible because of their Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The queens played to their strengths, performing an unforgettable lip sync to Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry. The queens rightfully earned a double shantay and went on to lip sync again for the crown, with Yvie winning it all.
Season 12: Gigi vs. Widow
Season 12 introduced “lip-syncing for the win” in its premiere episode. Because the twist celebrated the top 2 queens of the first challenge, there was no urgency to survive the lip sync. This allowed Widow Von Du and Gigi Goode, the first queens to lip sync to this format, a chance to have fun with it.
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Gigi proved herself to be more than just a fashion queen with her comedic performance to Nicki Minaj’s Starships. But Widow performed at 110%, throwing in dance moves and some double-jointed tricks. Widow won the lip sync, starting the season off on a high note.
Season 13: Denali vs. Kahmora
The 13th season of Drag Race had some of the most gorgeous fashion girls and funniest comedy queens. Aside from that, the season also gave fans a memorable lip sync performance between Denali and Kahmora Hall.
Being a skilled figure skater, Denali had full control over her body and knew how to dance on beat. The bottom two lip synced to Crystal Waters’ 100% Pure Love. Unfortunately, Kahmora wasn’t able to dance her way out of the bottom, since she was wearing a beautiful dress. Despite that, Denali didn’t waste the moment and showed the judges how skillful of a lip syncer she is.
Season 14: Jasmine vs Jorgeous
Throughout Season 14 of Drag Race, Jasmine Kennedie and Jorgeous constantly showed their great dancing skills during the challenges and their separate times lip syncing for their lives. That’s why fans were excited to see the queens face each other in the ninth episode of the season.
Performing Etta James’ Something’s Got a Hold On Me, Jasmine and Kennedy did all the stunts they could think of — from splits, kicks, to twirls. The judges loved their flawless performance, so much so that RuPaul saved both of them from the chopping block.
NEXT: All 13 Seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ranked Worst To Best
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About The Author
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Ariana Bascom is an aspiring filmmaker and writer based in Toronto, Canada. A graduate from the Film & Media program at Queen’s University, she spends her time reviewing movies, guiding the occasional Haunted Walk, and writing lists for Screen Rant. She one day hopes to be a full time screenwriter and generate enough income to travel regularly and purchase elaborate Halloween costumes for her dog, Nacho.
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