Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / RuPaul's Drag Race

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Lip Sync Performances 
  • So many of the lipsyncs. Especially ones where both girls give their all.
  • From Season 1:
    • Akashia is probably the first instance of a truly awesome lipsync when she performed to the song We Break The Dawn by Michelle Williams. Despite the fact the queen facing off against her (Tammie Brown) had decided she wasn't going to perform, Akashia still gave the song her all and thoroughly shocked and impressed Ru and the judges.
    RuPaul: "Akashia, you motherfucking broke the dawn!"
  • From Season 2:
    • Special mention goes to Jujubee, who across Season 2 and All Stars, has lip synced a total of five times and was never eliminated because of a lip sync.
    • Sahara and Shangela in the season 2 premiere set a high bar for the rest of the season.
    Sonique: "It looked like Mortal Kombat "
    • Sahara and Morgan's lip sync to Martha Wash's "Carry On." Pretty notable as quite a number of the queens have done a split during the lipsync, but Sahara may have topped them all by doing a jumping split and landing off the stage. The rest of the lip sync is deeply affecting with both Sahara and Morgan really connecting to the song. Ru cited it as one of his favorite moments on the show.
    • Morgan McMichaels and Sonique's lip sync to Stacey Q's “Two of Hearts.” The two approached it with very different styles, with Sonique delivering acrobatics and and splits, "working every inch of the stage," while Morgan went with air tight voguing so precise that Ru called it among the tightest she'd ever seen. Ru admitted that it was a very difficult choice, with Morgan barely snatching the win.
  • From Season 3:
    • Manila Luzon and Delta Work lip syncing to Donna Summer's “MacArthur Park.” Both really connect with the song, with Manila edging out by performing in a highly powerful, emotional, and completely insane manner.
    • Raja and Carmen lip sync to Paula Abdul's "Straight Up." It almost immediately becomes a strip tease full of erotic lesbian skin-on-skin contact to the visible excitement of the judges' panel, the other contestants, and the jocks backstage.
  • From Season 4:
    • Dida Ritz did such an incredible job on "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" that Natalie Cole, who was sitting on the judges' table that week, was impressed.
    • Phi Phi and Sharon's lip sync may quite possibly the most intense in Drag Race history, aided by the season-long tension experienced between the two as well as the extremely high energy song. They became Fire-Forged Friends through it.
    • Dida Ritz and Latrice Royale lip syncing to Gladys Knight & The Pips "I've Got To Use My Imagination."
    • Latrice's beautifully heartfelt perfomance of "Natural Woman" — completely outshining Kenya Michaels, who does identify as a woman and came out as transgender after the show.
  • From All Stars 1:
    • Honorary Mention to Alexis Mateo who did it four times, and only got eliminated against Raven (All-Stars), who is also a strong lip syncer and because she switched with Yara Sofia.
    • Raven and Jujubee's lip sync to Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" in All Stars due to the raw emotion involved, doubling as a Tear Jerker. Unlike most lip syncs, there's no dancing, no drag gimmicks, just two friends holding each other as they both burst into tears. It's so heartbreaking even Rupaul isn't able to send one of them home, telling them 'fuck it, they can both stay!'
  • From Season 5:
    • Coco Montrese's lip syncs were both strong but extra points go to her lip sync against Jade Jolie with The Pointer Sister's "I'm So Excited", because of how strong both Queens were.
      • What made it even more CMOA was how extremely strong Jade Jolie was; it came as a surprise to many (however she did very well in an earlier lip syncing challenge herself)
    • Roxxxy and Alyssa lip syncing to Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair." Alyssa's been established as being a great dancer and her performance in the spoken word lip sync challenge was raved so she was expected to do very well, but Roxxxy more than held her own by giving a high-energy performance and employing some great tricks, including taking off her wig to reveal another wig. Not only did Ru keep both queens, but she later revealed that this is her favorite lipsynch in the entire series so far.
    • The entire lip sync between Coco and Alyssa, built up off of of several years and most of a season's worth of tension. Best summed up by the judges' reactions, which are a collective Jaw Drop.
  • From Season 6:
    • Season 6 in general is just giving us awesome lipsync after awesome lipsync. Although the first two had their flops (Kelly and Magnolia), every lipsync since then has been top notch. These girls are not here to take chances.
    • April and Trinity lip syncing to "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan.
    • Trinity and Milk lip syncing "What a Man" by Salt-n-Pepa with En Vogue. It's notable on Trinity's end as she showed that even if it might seem like she's finished she's not and if she should ever fall into the bottom two again she'll come out victorious. Meanwhile, Milk also gets kudos for keeping up in the energy department; she wasn't going home easily and she worked just as hard as Trinity did.
    • Laganja and Joslyn lip syncing to "Stupid Girls" by Pink, especially when they simultaneously do a split. As Courtney points out, neither queen was looking at the other, so they had no clue the other person was going to do the same move. Everyone in the room cheered when it happened.
    • The lipsync between Trinity and Adore with the two of them working perfectly together.
  • From Season 7:
    • Katya and Sasha lip syncing to "Twist of Fate" by Olivia Newton-John. While Sasha holds her own, Katya deservedly wins by really connecting to the song and employing splits, slow-splits, and back bends.
    • Jaidynn and Kandy lip syncing to Ariana Grande's "Break Free." Grande was a judge that week and she was visibly impressed by both of them.
    • Jaidynn (with Tempest) and Ginger (with Sasha) hilariously lip sync to "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany. It's made all the more impressive that the pairs were conjoined, since their movement was somewhat restricted.
    • Kennedy Davenport and Katya's lip sync to Katy Perry's "Roar". In tribute to her drag sister Sahara, Kennedy replicates her jump split off the stage.
  • From Season 8:
    • Robbie Turner delivered a fantastic lip sync to Faith Evans's "Mesmerized" in roller skates.
    • Naysha Lopez and Chi Chi Devayne's lip sync to Blondie's "Call Me." Both delivered an appropriately high energy performance, with Chi Chi Devayne edging out Naysha.
    • Chi Chi Devayne and Thorgy Thor's lip sync to "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls. Towards the end, a strand of glass beads in the back of Chi Chi's dress got caught in her heel; it snapped as she stood up, dramatically raining beads on her during the climax of the song. This became a defining moment for Chi Chi and ultimately saved her from elimination.
    • Bob and Derrick's lip sync to Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)." While Derrick goes for a high-energy performance, Bob really connects with the song while pulling a schtick to bring out her personality in the lip sync, scoring her the win.
  • From All Stars 2:
    • Tatianna and Alyssa's lip sync to Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive" where they not only Lip Synched For Their Legacy, but also for their lives to return to the competition. It goes so well Ru lets both of them back in.
      • Alyssa Edwards is the first queen to been in two lip-syncs that resulted in Double Shantays.
  • From Season 9:
    • Aja vs. Kimora Blac's lipsync to Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero". When you tell Aja to lipsync for her life, she lipsyncs for her LIFE!
    • Charlie Hides vs. Trinity Taylor's lip sync to Britney Spears's "I Wanna Go". Trinity had just came off of a bad critique and took complete responsibility for her team's shortcomings, effectively sealing her place in the bottom two. Although Charlie only bobbed along, thus sealing her fate, it did not stop Trinity from putting on a show with flips and spins galore.
    • Aja vs. Nina Bo'Nina Brown's lip sync to CeCe Peniston's "Finally". Nina's voguing and breastplate-shaking against Aja's energetic acrobatics and spinning jump split makes for an extremely close call for Nina, the winner.
    • Sasha Velour's finale lip-sync against Shea to "So Emotional". Nobody knew how Sasha would do in a lip-sync, but the minute Sasha took off her wig and revealed all the rose petals underneath, it was over for Shea.
  • From All Stars 3:
    • Aja and Ben dela Creme's lip sync to "Anaconda." Both queens go very high energy and completely connect with the song, but Ben edges Aja out by going completely over-the-top and reducing the judges AND the other contestants into laughing fits.
  • From Season 10:
    • The season starts strong with the lip sync between Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo to Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man". Many viewers upon seeing this Bottom 2 were convinced that Vanessa would handily send Kalorie home due to her somewhat reserved behavior up until that point. However, Kalorie ended up giving an unexpectedly high-energy lip sync, tearing off pieces of her money dress to make it rain and... well, giving the judges body-ody-ody. It's Kalorie that sent Vanessa home.
    • Monét X Change vs Dusty Ray Bottoms lip-syncing Nicki Minaj's "Pound the Alarm" — which includes a death drop fake-out from Monét and Ru telling the other queens at the end that THAT is how you lip-sync for your life.
    • The season 10 episode 9 lip sync between Eureka and Kameron to Patti Labelle's "New Attitude" is a fest of comedy, athleticism, spot-on lip movements, synchronous jump splits and priceless reaction shots from the judging panel. The high-energy performance of both queens (and probably the fact that they both had great track records so far) led to the first double-shantay in a long time. "Now that's what I call a lip sync for your life!"
  • From All Stars 4:
    • Naomi's lipsync in the Return of the Queens episode to Ru's "Adrenaline". Much ado has been made in the fanbase of the producers giving her little to no screentime during the season, so when given the opportunity to really shine, she shined. The bend back move? The camera cuts to Michelle and Ru's jaws dropping. She brought the comedy too, getting to showcase more of her "Pose" sensibilities.
    • Again, Naomi in the Best Judys episode to Judy Garland's "Come Rain or Come Shine". She delivered so fiercely, Latrice gave her stamp of approval in much the same manner that she did for Dida Ritz's legendary "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" lipsync.
  • From Season 11:
    • Mercedes' and Kahanna's lipsync to "Work Bitch". Both queens gave very high energy performances with many tricks, but it's Kahanna that goes home.
    • In "Diva Worship", ALL 6 queens on the bottom team lipsync for their lives simultaneously. The only time that many queens perform on stage is during a lipsync extravaganza or a musical performance.
    • Ariel takes a hard fall in her lip-sync against Shuga. While she is actually eliminated as a result, viewers have to give Ariel props for getting up and carrying on as if nothing ever happened and delivering a good performance.
    • Brooke and Yvie's lipsync in episode 8. After both of their abysmal performances at Snatch Game, Ru decides to make them lipsync for their life. Both queens pull off amazing dance moves and acrobatic stunts, with death drops, flips and handstands. The lipsync is so good that Ru announces a double shantay.
    • Vanjie pulls out 2 amazing back-to-back lipsyncs, first to "Hood Boy", where she completely captures the essence of the song, eliminating Plastique. The next episode she goes against Shuga Cain to "No More Drama" by Mary J Blige and uses her caftan and hair whips for an emotional lipsync.
    RuPaul: "Vanjie, that was magic. Shantay you stay."

    Season 2 
  • Say what you want about Tyra Sanchez, but her "Country Realness" ensemble where she pulled off three distinct looks with one outfit is one of the most memorable runway walks in the entire series.

    Season 3 
  • In the Season 3 premiere, Raja became the first contestant to win both the mini-challenge and the main challenge.

    Season 4 

    Season 5 
  • In the second Untucked for Season 5, Serena ChaCha begins showing her true colours and tells the queens that their language (read: regular queen speak) is ghetto. The result? The queens descend on her like vultures and begin reading her to filth.
  • Jade Jolie confronting Alyssa Edwards about her antagonistic attitude. Especially since Jade had before mostly been shown as bubbly and soft, but this showed she's more a case of Silk Hiding Steel.
  • Jinkx Monsoon winning Season 5's Snatch Game with her Little Edie impersonation, coming out on top after the other queens give her crap for picking an obscure figure and for her style in general, being more about comedy and camp rather than glamour.
    • Any time Jinkx wins a competition or scores highly, since it always comes after being doubted and second-guessed by the other queens. As of 2018, she still holds the record for the longest time in a high or winning position, at nine consecutive weeks.
    • The fact that Jinkx was the first queen to win two challenges in season five.
    • In "Sugar Ball," Jinkx may have landed in the bottom two for the first time, but she still got a CMOA when she broke up Rolaskatox by sending Detox home. She completely owns it in the lip sync, which is especially ironic since the other girls had been doubting her ability to win if put up for elimination.
  • Alaska's Defend Your Life speech.

    Season 6 
  • Bianca Del Rio, in particular with Magnolia Crawford and Adore Delano in Untucked.
  • The rap 'Oh No She Betta Don't '. Ben and Bianca are hilarious in the best way, Joslyn gives a surprisingly strong verse and Adore delivers her strongest performance yet and ends up winning the challenge.
  • In the Season 6 comedy challenge, the girls must perform stand-up comedy in front of a live audience of senior citizens. Despite a series of lukewarm performances, Trinity does very well, and even Ru is just about brought to tears with how proud she is of her.
  • Adore winning the Drag Ball challenge, as previously in the same episode she actually has a minor breakdown and is in tears in front of RuPaul during her walthrough. It's also awesome because Ru constantly tells her queens to apply their talents towards other tasks they feel they're weak in, and they constantly don't get it. Adore, for all her ditzyness, actually does get it, incorporating her distinctive personality and acting skills into her looks, with Bob Mackie himself saying her looks weren't really that strong, but her performance in each role sold him on the outfits.
  • The Rusical challenge in season 6. Being skilled vocalists, Courtney and Adore delivered hard. Ben also held her own and managed to land in the week's top 3 with her performance. Fans were craving for a full-length version.

    Season 7 
  • Violet Chachki's reversible black sequined/red plaid outfit for the Fall Fashion Show mini-challenge. She almost literally knocked Carson Kressley out of his seat out of pure shock at the flawless transition and reveal.
  • Violet. Chachki's. Waist. For her "Death Becomes Her" look, she struts the runway with a waist so cinched she actually walks the stage with an oxygen tank ...see for yourself here. According to her, it's eighteen inches — less than half her shoulder width.
  • In Season 7, Kennedy's Little Richard and Ginger's Adele are both so hilarious and flawlessly executed that they tie for winner, a first for the series.
  • Season 7 had a special dance challenge where each contestant was paired up and had to dance in half-man half-girl drag. Everyone did exceptionally well, to the point where Rupaul herself was having an obviously hard time deciding what to do since none of them did that poor.

    Season 8 
  • In season 8, Kim Chi, Robbie and Naomi sing a punk song about chicken wings... And absolutely knock it out of the park.
    • From that same episode, Kim Chi, Thorgy and Acid Betty all look absolutely stunning in their runway looks.
  • In Season 8, Bob The Drag Queen did a Snatch Game first by doing two impersonations. First, a spot-on (and hilarious) impersonation of Uzo Aduba, followed by switching characters mid-game to an even funnier Carol Channing. No one was surprised when Bob won the challenge.
  • Violet Chachki stunning everyone in attendance by upstaging every drag queen present at the Season 8 finale. During the winners' runway, she showed up in a breathtaking hooded ballroom gown, cinched for the gods, dripping in opulent jewellery, covered in bugs and makeup that made her look like she was a corpse, and sporting a latex crown that seemed to grow right out from her skull. It was glorious.

    All Stars 2 
  • All Stars 2's transformations runway challenge brought such spectacular results from every single queen that on Fashion Photo Ruview, Raja and Raven didn't boot a single look (in fact, they gave a couple of the looks a "shoot", a step above and beyond their normal "toot" for looks that they like).
  • All Stars 2: Alaska found herself in the bottom for the first time. During a conversation between her and Katya, the later (who was among the best of the week and could eliminate her) said "Party" and there was a moment of silence. Alaska freaked out in an extremely brattish way.
    • Even more awesome, earlier in the episode, Alaska had called Katya "Adore" as a way to shade her. Katya had found a way to subtly return the favor as a joke.
  • In the All Stars 2 reunion episode, Ru talks how the proudest achievement of her career has been using her platform to launch 100 drag queens to international stardom. At that moment, the screen fills with all 100 RuPaul's Drag Race contestants as of Season 8. It's hard not to just pause and stare in awe and remember what each queen brought to the show.

    Season 9 
  • Season 9 Premiere...LADY MOTHERFREAKING GAGA!
    • Gaga's entrance also deserves special props. She walks in wearing full costume to the point where the contestants are openly stating that she's this season's Derrick. The confession cam proceeds to introduce her as "Ronnie" (complete with her hair up looking a little like Farrah) before she takes off the cap and lets her hair out. Well played Gaga, well played.
    • The queens have to recreate some of Gaga's looks, and in a complete reversal from last year's Kimonogate, we get varied outfits that are often perfect copies of the original. As Gaga pointed out, the originals were made by professional designers working in teams, while the contestants have to do this by themselves and on a budget. Charlie, Alexis and Nina in particular manage to nail the detail and styling.
  • From Season 9's semi-final, "Category Is" by Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Trinity Taylor and Shea Coulee — who all wrote, recorded and lip-synced/performed their own rap verses. Not only did they all completely kill it, but it ended up with NONE of them being eliminated and all four of them qualifying for the final.

    All Stars 3 
  • All Stars 3: For the Variety Show, four of the ten girls (Shangela, Aja, Kennedy and Chi Chi) went with dance-focused numbers. Aja went out of her way to request a platform from the production team, who were reportedly baffled about what she might have in mind for it. Hers and Kennedy's performances warrant special mention here:
    • In Aja's own words to the other girls: "I’m not going to tell you why I deserve to be here — I’m just going to show you." She came out guns blazing (or katana unsheathing, as it may be) to her original track "Level Ya Pussy Up", going through two outfit reveals while simultaneously voguing, duck-walking and death-dropping with astonishing precision. She capped off her performance by death-dropping off of the mainstage platform, pointedly being prefaced by Milk asking, "Is she gonna jump from there?" It's also worth noting that Aja actually wanted the platform to be higher, but Kennedy asked for it to be lowered for... well, keep reading below.
    • Clearly not looking to be topped by anyone, Kennedy followed this performance up with her own high-energy affair replete with high kicks and cartwheels... including a cartwheel onto the aforementioned platform. This stunt deserves to be highlighted in particular because while Aja's earlier death-drop was obviously impressive (impressive enough to win her a spot in the episode's Top 2 no less), Kennedy's cartwheel was not only essentially an inversion of this, but it wasn't something anyone on the show had done up until that point. (High altitude death-drops and splits, while effectively still being the nuclear option on the show, have precedent, notably including Kennedy's own off-stage split in her notorious Season 7 lip-sync against Katya.) Also, the filming crew deserve props for keeping the platform out of frame until literally the moment Kennedy's leg made contact with it.
  • The Rudemption Runway in episode 2 of All Stars 3 has the queens revisit their most infamously bad outfits from their respective seasons, and they all do a fantastic job, with the judges giving really minimal criticism on the looks.
  • As of episode 4 of All Stars 3, Ben is not only the first queen to win Snatch Game twice, her season track record of 4 wins is already on par with Sharon Needles' record-setting win-count in Season 4 (which has only been met so far by Alaska in All Stars 2 and Shea Couleé in Season 9). Her showing has been so strong that by the time of this episode's airing, she is actively judging herself based on whether or not she wins the final lip sync because by the standards of All Stars, there is literally no other metric by which she hasn't won yet.
    • As for the other winner of the episode, Shangela nets herself a second win, demonstrating the sheer magnitude of her growth since Season 3 and definitively proving to the audience that she's not here to play games... mostly. The other aspect of her performance that's remarkable is how she's using her caché to completely mold the dialogue of the season. While Ben has been attempting to "fairly" use her elimination vote effectively as an extension of the judges' critiques, by contrast, Shangela is more than living up to her Season 3 reputation for playing the game and has consistently used her elimination vote as a way to remind the other queens of who not to cross.
  • In episode 6 of All Stars 3 Ben wins her fifth challenge, the most of any contestant on the show thus far, and chooses to eliminate herself, as she realises that the crown means more to her competitors than to her. It's one of the only moments in the show that leaves everyone, including Ru, stunned.

    All Stars 4 
  • Valentina redeeming herself on the Lipsync For Your Legacy in episode 2. Not only does she perform impressive moves without any acrobatics, but she also knows the words this time around, and managed to beat Monet X Change, a Lip Sync assassin of her season — to an Ariana Grande song, no less!

    Season 11 
  • In episode 3, while unfortunate for Team Mariah (whose fumble is only matched by the notorious Shakesqueer challenge in Season 7, curiously also a third-episode challenge), there has never been in perhaps the entire history of Drag Race a more thorough trouncing in a team challenge. Team Britney took the ball and ran with it so fiercely, the only real deliberation on the mainstage was how to choose a girl to eliminate from Team Mariah. Team Britney was immediately handed the challenge win, and Nina claimed a well-deserved victory for coordinating it and simultaneously stealing the show.
  • Depending on whether or not you specifically enjoy the show's drama and big personalities, Untucked Episode 7. Drag Race hasn't seen a pile-up this spectacular in years, with rapid succession arguments between Yvie, Silky, Vanjie, Ra'jah and Plastique. The mood strongly harkens back to Season 5's Untucked.
  • Episode 8's runway had Brooke Lynn doing an amazing outfit AND wig reveal in one smooth motion, shocking both viewers and judges, who were so gagged they considered saving her from elimination despite her disastrous Snatch Game.
  • Really, Yvie Oddly is a walking CMOA. She suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which not only allows her to be extremely flexible and pull off some amazing stunts onstage, but she states that she is in constant pain because of it and she anticipates that it will eventually render her physically disabled. But in spite of this, she powers through and is a genuinely fierce queen — when she rolls her ankle during the gymnastics challenge, she constructs her entire runway look around it and plays it for comedy, and even demonstrates her acrobatic skills to Alyssa Edwards in the following episode, while wearing a bandage and noting how much her ankle hurt while she did it, and during the linedance she completely hams it up while playing the fiddle and is absolutely hilarious even while not being able to stand. And THEN in episode 8 she and Brooke Lynn have a double shantay after one of the most iconic lipsyncs in the series. All of the other queens doubted her — in episode 11, nearly EVERYONE said that she deserved to go home — yet she goes on to win the entire season, even though she only had ONE challenge win and coming close to winning a few of them. Determinator, right there.

    Other Examples 

Example of: