Over the years, RuPaul's Drag Race has featured several lip sync performances that included awe-striking stunts pulled off by the queens. From wig reveals to jump splits to body contortions to utilizing props, the Drag Race queens have pulled off unbelievable stunts that left viewers absolutely amazed.
For the sake of this ranking, we're defining a Drag Race "stunt" as making a move or using a prop in a planned or intentional way in order to stand out during a lip sync performance. On the show, pulling a stunt is often used as a lip sync device to shock viewers, impress the judges, and catch Mama Ru's attention. Over time, these stunts have saved a lot of queens from going home and have even contributed to the crowning of Drag Race winners.
So here's the best of the best when it comes to some of the stunts the queens of Drag Race have pulled off over the years:
Pressing play on her boom box, and then "turning it off" at the end of the lip sync, was a minor but incredibly gaggy stunt pulled off by Kandy Muse in the very first episode of Drag Race season 13. Kandy also had a great performance throughout "Call Me Maybe," but let's be real: she won that lip sync the second that she turned on that boom box.
Brita set fire on the Drag Race runway while lip syncing to "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. That magic trick was not only impressive, but it also fit the song perfectly by setting fire to a rain of snow. This didn't come close to Kandy Zyanide setting her entire dress on fire on the runway of Drag Race Thailand, but it was still a bold stunt for Brita to pull off.
At the end of her lip sync performance to Hole's "Celebrity Skin" – right when the lyrics went "You want a piece of me?" – Mayhem Miller started to deliberately pluck off the black and pink feathers from her outfit. After an electrifying performance during that entire lip sync, this final stunt buried down any chances of Mayhem being sent home that episode.
Shangela was known to pull off several stunts on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3, but nothing was funnier than her pulling out a mint tin while lip syncing to "I Kissed A Girl" and then proceeding to throw mints at BenDeLaCreme during the performance. The judges couldn't help but laugh, and even Ben was taken aback by such a witty stunt.
The early days of Drag Race didn't feature that many lip sync stunts. But when frontrunner Raja found herself in the bottom two lip syncing against the judges' darling Carmen Carrera, she pulled all of the stops to defeat her opponent. Despite being known as a look queen, Raja stripped it all off in front of the judges in a slow and seductive manner. Raja also flirted with Carmen throughout the lip sync and, in the end, left a red-hot kiss mark right on Carmen's shoulder that had the judges gagging.
No one can debate how badly Alaska Thunderfuck wanted to win All Stars 2, and she did whatever it took to have the best track record in the competition. During her lip sync against Katya to Chic's "Le Freak", Alaska wowed the judges by showing more skin than she had ever done in the series. Alaska then finished up her striptease with a final stunt: she pulled out a knife and cut through her skirt.
Certain queens have elevated the idea of a death drop – which is actually called a dip – on RuPaul's Drag Race. But when it comes to splits, Katya raised the bar and shocked the judges with her slow-motion split while lip syncing to "Twist of Fate." Most successful stunts on the show are fast-paced or blink-it-and-you-miss-it moments, which is what makes Katya's split such a fascinating stunt: she took her sweet time with it and let the judges have it.
Monet X Change pulled all the stunts during her lip sync for the crown on All Stars 4: she played an air violin, she shuffled along, and she dipped all the way to the floor. But no other stunt during Monet's "Fighter" lip sync was funnier or more iconic than when she had a wig reveal that revealed the exact same wig underneath it. This stunt had the judges cracking up in the panel.
Monet X Chnage Vs Trinity The Tuck- Fighter pic.twitter.com/05WOJmCBqY
— andioop (@WiglessnDep) February 16, 2019
The "Conjoined Queens" maxi challenge on Drag Race season seven had Ginger Minj and Sasha Belle attached at their breasts. Upon landing in the bottom two and having to lip sync against duo Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Tempest DuJour, Ginger and Sasha performed a full mastectomy during their lip sync. Granted, the execution of this stunt was a bit messy since it left Ginger barechested and wigless by the end of the lip sync, but it was still a very iconic moment in Drag Race herstory.
The season nine finale is often remembered for another iconic stunt, but one must never discount Peppermint's seamless outfit and wig reveal during her lip sync to "Stronger" against Trinity The Tuck. Right as the song moved out of its bridge and into its final chorus, Peppermint went from wearing a short warrior dress and long blue wig to wearing a long gown and short white wig. That bold transformation, done so seamlessly at the grand finale, was quite an impressive stunt.
Monet X Change was the first queen to do a fake-out while lip syncing on Drag Race, and it had the judges losing their minds. After so many queens dipping and hitting the splits over the years, it was hilarious to watch Monet faking the motion of a jump split, but not actually going for it. The stunt was also very successful because everyone already knew that Monet was able to do the splits, so the fake-out wasn't an excuse – it was a choice. Later in the lip sync, Monet also used her mask as if grasping for oxygen, which was yet another iconic stunt.
After season nine, there was a lot of pressure on RuPaul's Drag Race finalists to pull off effective reveals and/or stunts during their lip syncs for the crown. One of the most eye-catching and original stunts in the history of the show came from Yvie Oddly in the season 11 grand finale as she lip synced against Brooke Lynn Hytes to "The Edge Of Glory" and revealed a face sculpture she had been hiding behind her headpiece. Yvie also delivered this stunt at the exact perfect time in the song, which made it even more fascinating.
The Edge of Glory
me encantó este lipsync final por la corona!! team yvie pic.twitter.com/0xoN3kdZob
— estefa (@sougodot) June 8, 2019
The late Chi Chi DeVayne's lip sync to "Am I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in season eight will always be remembered as one of the most emotional moments in the history of this franchise. After not meeting the judges' expectations for so many weeks due to having weaker outfits than the other queens, Chi Chi delivered a raw and passionate performance to the song that included tearing apart the cascading beads on the back of her gown. Chi Chi also delivered this stunt at the highest point of the song, which made it even more emotional and awe-striking.
never not thinking about chi chi devayne and how she absolutely devoured this lip sync of “and i am telling you.” pic.twitter.com/EugIcpy9Bv
— hot girl midsommar (@verymimi) November 15, 2020
At this point, fans are more than used to seeing queens "death dropping" on RuPaul's Drag Race. However, no stunt has ever come close to Kennedy Davenport's iconic lip sync performance to "Roar" against Katya. Kennedy knew that the odds were stacked against her and that Katya was beloved by the judges. All she had left was to deliver a performance so good that Mama Ru couldn't possibly send her home. Well, that's exactly what Kennedy did when, at the emotional height of "Roar" she jumped off of the stage and hit the splits on the floor in front of the judges' panel, leaving them absolutely speechless.
3. Katya Zamolodchikova vs Kennedy Davenport - Season 7 - Katy Perry, Roar pic.twitter.com/O0VTsyYedz
— PJ (@pjcapello) September 1, 2016
It seemed ludicrous that anyone would ever top Peppermint's complete outfit-and-wig reveal from the season nine finale...and then there was Symone's Timberland-inspired number to "Gimme More" by Britney Spears in the season 13 finale. For her first lip sync of the night against Gottmik, Symone came out wearing a hood that seemed inspired by Grace Jones' character in A View To A Kill, May Day. Throughout the performance, Symone revealed a two-piece and a boot clearly inspired by the Timberland footwear company. Unlike Peppermint's reveal, Symone took her time revealing each new wig and outfit, pulling off an incredibly ambitious stunt while never looking incorrect for even a second.
Drag Race fans will never be able to forget Naomi Small's gravity-defying stunt during her lip sync to "Adrenaline" against Gia Gunn on All Stars 4. Viewers had their jaws to the floor as they saw Naomi's infamous backbend – a stunt that instantly became a big meme on social media for just how amazing it was. Meanwhile, credit should also be given to Gia's stunts during this lip sync as she went from schoolgirl to showgirl in an outfit reveal and used her very long human hair as if it was blades on a helicopter.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache deserves this spot for her entire lip sync smackdown performance on All Stars 6, which was an entire episode dedicated to Silky redeeming herself as a lip sync assassin. From pulling cups, liquor, and even ice from her breasts to bringing out a fake guitar made out of pizza boxes, Silky was an absolute stunt queen during this All Stars 6 smackdown. With that said, the cherry on top has to be Silky's half-woman, half-man performance to Aqua's "Barbie Girl." The stunts started when Silky chose to lip sync by herself despite A'Keria C. Davenport bowing out of her chance to return to the competition. She then lip synced to both parts in "Barbie Girl," turning around (and even rolling around!) to present as a boy or a girl throughout the song.
Yvie Oddly and Brooke Lynn Hytes' performances to Demi Lovato's "Sorry Not Sorry" have gone down as some of the best lip syncs in Drag Race herstory, and it was all about the stunts. From an eerie Yvie doing a cartwheel to reveal a wig under a wig to an unbothered Brooke pretending to check on her nails in the middle of the performance, these two queens served all kinds of gravity-defying contortions that seemed truly unbelievable for anyone watching. As Shuga Cain put it, Yvie and Brooke's lip sync had so many stunts, it basically felt like a performance from Cirque du Soleil. A truly iconic moment.
A lot of stunts and shenanigans have been pulled on Drag Race, but Roxxxy Andrews' wig-under-a-wig reveal in season five deserves this very high placement for elevating the level of stunts that have since been featured on the show. Before this move from Roxxxy, contestants were often sent home for taking their wigs off as a sign of giving up or accidentally having their wigs fall off during a performance. Here, though, Roxxxy started out the "Whip My Hair" lip sync by revealing a wig under a wig, which had RuPaul gasping and Michelle Visage snapping her fingers harder than she's ever done. In the spirit of the song, Roxxxy then whipped that wig back and forth as hard as she could to prove that it wasn't going anywhere.
While it was heartbreaking for many fans to see Shea Couleé lose the crown in season nine, Sasha Velour delivered what can be easily defined as a "cultural reset" on Drag Race with her lip sync to "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston. Sasha started this lip sync in an unusual way: she wore a wig, for starters, had a dress that didn't exactly match the song, and paired it up with gloves. As the song moved along, Sasha chose specific moments to take off her gloves and reveal rose petals hidden beneath them. Alas, not a single person in the audience or at home was prepared for the stunt that Sasha was about to pull. Right as the second and more emotional chorus of the song hit, Sasha took off her wig to reveal a rain of rose petals falling on top of her bald head. Considering the story Sasha had told all season of losing her mother to cancer, this wig reveal felt like a powerful ode to survival and resilience, not to mention how incredibly surprising it was. Nearly every single finalist on Drag Race has been trying to pull off something similar to what Sasha did in the season nine finale, but no other stunt has been able to top this one...so far!