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Trisha Paytas thinks lip syncs shouldn't decide Drag Race eliminations

Trisha Paytas thinks lip syncs shouldn't decide Drag Race eliminations

Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige; Trisha Paytas; Plasma on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16
MTV; Instagram (@trishapaytasbackup)

The YouTube star shared her thoughts regarding Plasma’s elimination on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 episode 9 after losing a lip sync to Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige.

All opinions are valid. Some opinions are also completely wrong, and that’s okay!

In case you didn’t know, YouTube star and influencer Trisha Paytas is a new fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race who reportedly started watching the show after being impersonated by Sugar in the Snatch Game of season 15. Sugar was subsequently eliminated for bombing in the challenge, but it still encouraged Trisha to watch Drag Race and share her opinions from time to time.

Following the elimination of Plasma — who lost a lip sync to Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige on Drag Race season 16 — Trisha shared a few X posts with the hot take that lip syncs shouldn’t be the determining factor for queens being eliminated on the show. They wrote:

“I’m sorry but the lip sync battles should NOT be the determining factor who goes home. Like a queen can win every single challenge but go home cause she not flipping? No shade. It is impressive. But track record should count for something.”

Trisha added in a subsequent X post:

“So in theory, a queen could lose every challenge but win the whole competition cause she lip syncs the best ???? I’m not even the biggest fan of who was sent home but I mean she was a front runner. I’m shook.”

Trisha’s initial hot take ended with an X post that read:

“Also truly, the queen who won the lip sync is a FIERCE PERFORMER. Like it is damn impressive. But she doesn’t hold her own in the challenges like the others do.”

Mhi’ya’s season 16 costar Geneva Karr shared Trisha’s X post and wrote:

“Well it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. The only opinion in the show that matters is… RuPaul’s [shrug emoji.]”

Trisha replied, “I mean it’s a show and I’m a fan [shrug emoji]. Isn’t that’s what entertainment is all about. Opinions and stuff. No disrespect but damn it’s not that serious.”

When fans started tagging Mhi’ya herself in Trisha’s post, the Queen of Flips herself clapped back with an X post:

“So what’s the point of LIP SYNCING FOR YOUR LIFE??? And in [the ‘Flowers’ lip sync] I didn’t flip! Y’all still was mad! KMA BOO.”

For context, KMA is an acronym for “kiss my ass.”

Trisha then replied to Mhi’ya post: “I actually am a huge huge fan of urs. Literally did not mean to disrespect. Watching u perform is [mesmerizing.] This was my initial gut reaction. Ur gorg. And inspiring. And hope u make it far.”

Lip syncs for your life (and legacy) have been a staple throughout all seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, including its various spinoffs and international versions. Over the years, many reality TV critics have applauded the “lip syncing” format as a tool for eliminations given that, unlike other reality competition shows, contestants get a final chance to fight for their permanence in the series… even if they underperformed during a given week because they didn’t have a certain set of skills.

Given that most (nearly all) drag performers have done some lip syncing in their careers — more traditionally in live settings/events, but also in TikTok videos using audio tags — it’s always been a pretty widely-accepted opinion that lip syncs are great equalizers for contestants on the show to fight for their spot on the show one last time.

It’s fair for anyone to dislike the lip syncing format and use Plasma’s elimination as a recent examples. However, that would be a loaded opinion that disregarded all the other incredible lip syncs we’ve gotten from the show, and how exciting we all felt to see Sasha Velour’s rose petals reveal, Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Hytes’ “Sorry Not Sorry” lip sync, Roxxxy Andrews’ wig under a wig stunt, Alyssa Edwards and Tatianna’s “Shut Up and Drive” comeback lip sync, DiDa Ritz’s legendary “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” performance, and even the very recent and phenomenal lip sync between Anetra and Marcia Marcia Marcia to “Boss B*tch.” The list is endless, really, which furthers the point of how successful these lip syncs still are for the series.

Respectfully, we’re gonna have to disagree with Trisha Paytas on this one!

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 airs every Friday on MTV.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.