Ariana Grande, shantay you stay.
On the March 26 episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Grande made history when she became the singer with the most songs ever lip-synced on the show (as of episode 12 of season 13, Grande has appeared in seven lip syncs). The crowning moment came with the lip sync between Utica Queen and Symone to her 2018 single “No Tears Left to Cry,” where — spoiler alert! — Symone emerged victorious, while Utica sashayed away.
But of the seven lip syncs, which ones “Break Free” from the rest, and which ones make you say “Thank U, Next”? Billboard took a look back at all seven lip syncs of Grande’s songs and ranked them from worst to best. Check out the results below:
7. “Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea),” Nicky Doll vs. Dahlia Sin (Season 12, Episode 3)
Notoriously, the first elimination of Drag Race season 12 came after a relatively lackluster lip sync. Both Dahlia Sin and Nicky Doll ended up sort of sauntering around the stage, landing in a series of poses that, while beautiful to look at, did not provide the entertainment fans have come to expect in a lip sync.
Ultimately, Nicky was able to save herself from elimination in this lip sync, even though it felt like a photo-finish for last place. Tricks and stunts aren’t necessary for making a great lip sync — but this one needed something, especially with such an infectious, lip sync-ready song like “Problem” playing in the background.
Footage of this lip sync was unavailable.
6. “Bang Bang (with Jessie J & Nicki Minaj),” Aquaria vs. Eureka O’Hara vs. Kameron Michaels (Season 10, Episode 14)
While the “Problem” lip sync didn’t have enough pizzaz, the season 10 finale lip sync to Jessie J, Grande and Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang” was one with arguably too much pizzaz. Each of the three queens were quite literally doing whatever they could to win the competition: Eureka O’Hara had her go-to moves and an outfit reveal, Kameron Michaels basically threw her body all around the stage, and Aquaria came with literal tricks up her sleeve.
There were so many splits, flips, and even fireworks that it became hard to focus on what any one queen was doing. Aquaria definitely earned her crown, even if it was hard to tell exactly what was going on throughout this manic performance.
5. “No Tears Left to Cry,” Symone vs. Utica Queen (Season 13, Episode 12)
In the lip sync that made Grande a Drag Race record-holder, the queens did a fine job. “No Tears Left to Cry” is a deceptively hard song to lip-sync to, with a healthy balance of big dance-pop energy and emotional vulnerability needed to take home a win.
Utica did a solid job with her artistic lip-sync style, but Symone managed to fully embody the words of the song, giving fans all of the feels with her emotional (yet still very funny) performance. We stan queens serving vulnerability on the main stage, and Symone delivered.
4. “Break Free (ft. Zedd),” Jaidynn Diore Fierce vs. Kandy Ho (Season 7, Episode 6)
Maybe it’s because Ms. Grande herself was on the judges’ panel, but Jaidynn Diore Fierce and Kandy Ho were not messing around in their “Break Free” lip sync. From start to finish, both of the season 7 queens danced, dropped, splitted and shook their padded butts off in order to not only stay in the competition, but impress Ariana.
They did exactly that: Kandy Ho delivered a full fantasy as Ariana on the main stage, while Jaidynn Diore Fierce managed to edge her out with what seemed like an endless supply of energy and enthusiasm. Regardless of who won, the looks on Grande’s face throughout the performance said it all — these queens slayed.
3. “Into You,” Valentina vs. Monét X Change (All Stars 4, Episode 2)
“Into You” was practically made to be a lip-sync song on Drag Race, and Monét X Change and Valentina proved why. Valentina had a lot at stake with this lip sync, and made sure that she was able to deliver from beginning to end, while Monét proved yet again why she is a fan-favorite lip-sync assassin with her hilarious and brilliant performance.
Valentina ultimately won, thanks to the unbridled energy and skill that she brought in the final 30 seconds, finally redeeming herself for her iconic failure on season 9. It had story, skills, and plenty of drama, making this a top-tier Drag Race lip sync.
2. “One Last Time,” Roxxxy Andrews vs. Miz Cracker (All Stars 5, Episode 6)
To be blunt, this performance to “One More Time” is a master class in how to pull off an iconic lip sync, and Roxxxy Andrews is the instructor. From the first beat of the song, Roxxxy capitalized on every single beat of the song, choosing when and where to place her carefully structured series of stunts and reveals.
That’s not to say that Miz Cracker did a bad job. The All Stars 5 runner-up served a solid lip sync against Andrews, but there was simply no competition here. Once Roxxxy dropped trou to reveal a thong that read “Thick & Juicy” in rhinestone lettering, it was over. Long live the thick and juicy queen.
1. “Greedy,” Nina Bo’nina Brown vs. Valentina (Season 9, Episode 9)
Hear us out: Yes, technically, the infamous lip sync between Valentina and Nina Bo’nina Brown is widely considered to be one of the worst in Drag Race herstory. But when a lip sync goes this wrong, for this many reasons, it transcends to a new level of bad — and that level is called iconic.
Every single moment of this lip sync is etched into the memory of Drag Race: RuPaul stopping mid lip-sync to lecture Valentina, her initial refusal to take her mask off, Nina Bo’nina’s incredible dancing toward the end of the number, and even Shea Couleé’s background commentary of “She. Doesn’t. Know. The. Words,” all make for one of the most watchable moments in the show’s 13 year history.