Welcome to my review, recap, and power rankings of the eighth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 – “LipSync Lalaparuza Smackdown.” This is a new tradition on the show where we get to see all of the mid-season contenders lip sync to keep their place in the competition.
If I can be incredibly vulnerable with you for a moment (in a way that will bite me in the ass if I ever perform in drag later), I have a confession to make: I don’t care about lip syncing.
I’ll pause while some readers close their browser tabs in frustration. Not you. I know you’re a real one.
Sure, I dig lip syncs on Drag Race as the ultimate test of whether a queen sashays or shantés. And, I know that lip syncing is a cherished part of drag culture that partly stems from a history of performing celebrity illusions.
But, out in the wild? You watch someone move their body to another person’s song for four minutes. And I’m supposed to TIP THEM?!
Girl, I wouldn’t pay to go see Janet Jackson lip syncing back in the day, why would I care about a drag queen doing it? Especially when that drag queen might only fit in a few numbers in a night when Ms. Jackson is performing a whole damn show?
I’ve seen a few conceptual lip sync numbers live that have stuck with me, but for me every one of them was beaten beaten hands down by a queen singing live on the mic or performing an unusual talent. (I saw Ivy Winters do a costume quick-change number that was phenomenal!) Granted, queens who make their own custom mixes are giving us more of a perspective than someone who just says, “cue track X from YouTube,” but give me live singing. Give me a comedy act. Give me a circus performance.
Don’t give me a trio of four-minute lip sync spots and pretend that you performed a whole show.
(Keep in mind that I am someone who, when given the chance to take over a bar for a night, would play a FIVE HOUR SET from 9pm to 2am with only two 10 minute breaks. I have a more-is-more approach to entertainment that is reflected in my approach to making blog content.)
I know this opinion puts me at odds with essentially the entirety of the international drag industrial complex. (Except Charlie Hides, she always sings live.) Honestly, between this and not drinking, it’s why I’ve never been too interested in local drag shows. I’ve even considered performing in drag, but the idea of lip syncing just bores me too much.
Does that mean I was bored by this episode? Hell no! I think the Lalaparuza is a welcome addition to the show’s canon. It prevents any queen from sailing through the entire season without a lip sync. Plus, it’s a good way to feature everyone equally at the mid-season point to allow every queen to make a case for why she should be a finalist.
That means the Lalaparuza can really shake up my Power Rankings! There are some extremely unexpected rises and falls in the rankings compared to last week, including a new pair of challengers for what seemed like a completely locked-in Final Five.
Readers, start your engines. And, may the best drag queen win! [Read more…] about RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15, Episode 8 – “LipSync Lalaparuza Smackdown” Review & Power Ranking