After the last episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, an all night marathon ravaged my bones with my friend Camila and led to a haze of coffee alongside a discussion on ichat on the celebrities we would impersonate in Snatch Game; if we had the equipment and such. For the record, my choices were former judge Merle Ginsberg seeking revenge on Michelle Visage by hiring a hit, or an emotional Ashlee Simpson pinching her nose down and holding her baby in a fedora.
Leading back to the point, we noticed the general lack of CharismaUniquenessNerveTalent in this season’s lip syncs, which are supposed to be one of the best parts! Your life is on the line bitch, get it togetha. There are some fabulous queens this season, but we long for the days of yesteryear when Michelle Williams was crying at her own damn song being performed by guys in heels that would make normal women, weep.
Here are what I felt to be the most memorable and dramatic LSFYLs. I haven’t slept, but I’m pretty sure they happened.
5. [Tie in Season 2] Raven’s My Lovin’ by En Vogue & Jujubee’s Shake Your Love by Debbie Gibson
I think these two LSFYLs show that lip-syncing isn’t just hard movement and choreography stuffed into every second one can physically manage. It requires attitude that is achieved with confidence in simple gestures.
Raven is all about owning her audience and making the voice appear like her own author.
Jujubee takes a more physical approach with moving her body to fit into the mood of the song and is more about dance than pretending she’s singing the music.
4. [Tie in Season 1 and 3] Shannel - The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston &
Yara Sofia and Carmen Carrera - Mickey by Toni Basil (en Espanol!)
Well we had to throw it up for the wig tossers and man kissers sometime, right?
Shannel managed to perfectly plan vulnerability and good editing to make one of the most dramatic moments of first season. Bad news is she unintentionally sent a message to other queens that throwing off your wig and pulling off your tits will keep you in the game.
Yara and Carmen were so deadlocked in their performances that Ru for the first time ever she keeps everyone in the game! Yara danced her butt off gracefully to the song, but Carmen better mouthed the words and, well, left a mark on the judges. Everyone loses, hurrah!
3. Season 4’s Dida Ritz - This Will Be by Natalie Cole
When I first saw this, I was like “What kind of Nutty Professor bullshit is this? Mop it up, Patti LuPone!” But I watched it a few more times and digested it. Gotta say that girl turned. it. out.
This song is so blatantly cheerful and been used on a ton of commercials, the only way to carry it was untamed energy. Not psychotic, frenetic flailing but spontaneous power to emphasize the vocals. Her drag mother probably brought out the expensive crackers to the Hydrate that night.
2. Season 3’s Alexis Mateo - Even Angels by Fantasia
To quote Manila Luzon, Alexis was feeling the music with her body and it was timeless. This is the one l remember most out of any of the others and not just because I love this song (that’s right, I have feelings).
I think Alexis serendipitously balanced between showy club moves that keep the audience interested and raw emotion. It was a soft song that called for more than pointing and backflips; it required vulnerability.
1. Season 3’s Raja Gemini & Carmen Carrera - Straight Up by Paula Abdul
Raja may have taken the lead, but Carmen did a pretty stand up job reacting to her bravado.
This could have easily been a duet between them, or a lucrative DVD copying business. But alas as we know, Raja dominated (in the legal sense) the stage with her ability to adapt to the rhythmic sensuality of the song. This was one of the times that nudity actually enhanced and not just a sad, Street Fighters death match casualty.