Categories: TV Recap

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap S16E15: Super Smash Bros Brawl (Deluxe Lip Sync Edition)

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The episode begins with the entire cast of season 16 flooding the Werkroom, the eliminated Queens seemingly have no idea why they’ve been brought back. For our entertainment, bitches! The girls have a quick gab session before Ru comes in to announce the Lip Sync LollapaRuza Smackdown where the 11 eliminated Queens will find the Queen of She Done Already Done Had Herses with a tournament of lip syncs. The tournament will feature nine lip syncs to determine the winner, who will take home a $50,000 prize. 

Ru is joined at a new Main Stage by Michelle Visage and Ts Madison, who looks so incredible that I couldn’t help but want to see more of her every time she was in frame. It must also be said before moving on to the rules that the top three Queens look incredible in their outfits being worn solely to watch these performances. The first round sees Queen versus Queen in a lip sync, the first chosen by random ball selection, who then chooses her competitor. The competitor then gets to choose the song. Having 11 Queens, the last lip sync of the first round will feature the three Queens not chosen yet performing against one another to a song chosen by the Queen that is chosen during random ball selection. This is why gays aren’t known for their sports prowess. In the following sections, the first Queen listed is the one chosen at random, the second being the one who picked the song provided. For the last lip sync in the first round, the first Queen listed picked the song. 

First Round:

Dawn vs Amanda Tori Meating – “Damaged” – Danity Kane 

Dawn begins the LollapaRuza by continuing her villain era, choosing one of her closest friends in the competition in the hopes that she will choose the song Dawn wants to perform. Amanda picks the exact song Dawn hopes for, thus beginning a girl group moment for both of them. What follows is disappointing from Dawn given her excitement about performing the song, not really doing much in comparison to her competitor, who is almost always in frame giving it her all. Not to be shady, but Amanda’s makeup has dramatically improved across the season, but there’s an obvious difference since the last time we saw her. She looks great! Dawn moves around the stage during the performance, but there wasn’t really a presence to what she’s doing. It’s admittedly hilarious that she picked Amanda for this song only for Amanda to eat her up in the lip sync. Amanda, and the most voluminous hair she’s worn this season, moves into the second round. 

Q vs Megami – “What About” – Janet Jackson

Megami’s song choice is to throw Q off and perhaps that’s what happens, but Q brings strange movements into the performance that don’t flatter her. Megami brings a stellar performance that seemingly none of her sisters were expecting, Q flailing around during the second verse in a desperate attempt to bring the attention to herself. The only thing about Megami’s performance that didn’t work for me is her outfit, but that’s my personal opinion. For the second time in a row, a Queen picks a challenger that she’s underestimating going into the lip sync. Megami moves on. 

Morphine Love Dion vs Geneva Karr – “Million Dollar Baby” – Ava Max

Geneva enters the lip sync looking like gay Inspector Gadget decided to try Dolly drag on Halloween, with a too-early reveal that does her no favors. She looks great after the reveal, but it feels like she started to understand that she looked like a broken disco ball on the Main Stage and wanted to toss off her coat immediately. Morphine goes from the baddest bitch at your father’s funeral to a bodysuit that shows off her gorgeous physique before giving an all-time great wig reveal, maneuvering from a big blonde to a Poison Ivy stunner in the blink of an eye. We can’t move past the lip sync without addressing Geneva’s attempt at a dip, giving full cadaver, “Andy’s coming” realness as she abruptly slams into the stage. Morphine’s entire performance is smooth and fluid, as well rounded as her BBL. She takes the win and moves on. 

Mirage vs Hershii LiqCour-Jeté – “Alone 2.0” – Kim Petras ft. Nicki Minaj

Mirage’s observation that Plasma would have picked “some dumb ass song” could not be more real and hilarious, but she immediately seems nervous about the rap verse of the song that Hershii chooses. Even though Hershii was the first eliminated, she apparently still got the memo about most of these Queens addressing the camera at some point throughout the season, so she does it during her confessional before the lip sync begins. Mirage and Hershii both look great during the lip sync, Hershii getting to prove her performance skills. She also proves her humor and strategy by moving right in front of Mirage as she begins a backbend, shrugging her shoulders and preventing her gymnastics from being seen. It doesn’t help Hershii win the lip sync, but it’s still hilarious. Mirage wins and moves into the next round. 

Mhi’ya Iman LePaige vs Plasma vs Xunami Muse – “Milkshake” – Kelis

If we’re assuming that you have been keeping up with this season of Drag Race, then your gut reaction to this lineup of Queens performing against each other to this specific song is probably correct. Mhi’ya is immediately stunning from the moment the song begins, only accentuated further by the beautiful red she’s wearing. There’s a moment before the lip sync begins where Mhi’ya is momentarily staring into the void as she contemplates that beat down she’s about to bestow upon her sisters and it makes me laugh that she’s so laser focused into eliminating them. She knows what she can do and hits every move with ease. Plasma looks beautiful but brings the same energy as the lip sync that got her eliminated, also giving a wig reveal that somehow aged her 75 years during the performance. She manages to get in a few laughs, but no part of this is as funny as catching Xunami vibing out behind Mhi’ya and Plasma as they run around the stage. She looks like she’s an extra in a beach party scene at a pivotal point in a teen drama series. Mhi’ya prevails and advances to the semifinals. 


Amanda Tori Meating vs Megami – “The Shoop Shoop Song” – Cher

Amanda’s first mistake in this lip sync is underestimating an opponent who is in the same round in the same tournament as her. Megami gives a hilarious performance that sees her simulating fellatio on stage, grabbing huge laughs from Ru along the way. Amanda surely brings her energy to the lip sync, but doesn’t do enough to warrant the win, nor does she receive it. It also can’t be overstated that Amanda has seen so much growth throughout the competition, specifically her makeup that improved so much. She’s going to kill on All Stars 13. Megami’s hilarious performance pushes her into the semifinals. 

Morphine Love Dion vs Mirage – “This Time We Know It’s For Real” – Donna Summer

“This is the mid boss,” Morphine says in a confessional, bringing in all gaymers. Mirage standing still to the lyric “Do I stand in line?” is one of the funniest things I’ve seen this year, solely because it’s so literal that it makes me laugh. These two Queens are examples of the best this season has to offer when it comes to performance, both slowly stretching into a standing backbend simultaneously and offering the same energy as Laganja Estranja and [] both hitting the splits at the same time during a season six lip sync. While Mirage is a great performer, there’s something transfixing about Morphine during the song, her emotional yet physically demanding performance pushing her above Mirage to win the lip sync. She moves into the semifinals. 

Semi-Finals: (note: Megami is picked by the random ball selection, then picking her competitor thus allowing the remaining Queen to move right into the final round)

Megami vs Mhi’ya Iman LePaige – “We Got The Beat” – The Go-Go’s

I thought I could make it through the entire recap without discuss Megami’s bangs, but I can’t do it. She looks like Penelope from Criminal Minds up there performing for access to secure files to aid an investigation. In the last lip sync of the semi finals with the last song available, Mhi’ya flies around the stage as is expected from her at this stage in the game, which could be her downfall here. Megami is able to still provide a fresh humor each lip sync, keeping Ru laughing the entire time while also knowing every word and never missing a beat. It’s cool to see Megami do so well in these lip syncs! The Queens watching the performance are sure Mhi’ya has won the lip sync, only to gag when they see Megami take home the victory for the round. After successfully assassinating the assassin, Megami moves into the final round against Morphine.

Final Round: 

Megami vs Morphine Love Dion – “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” – C+C Music Factory

The Final Round lip sync is one worth its title as Megami and Morphine go head to head for the grand prize. “I will never out-dance Morphine, but I know I can out-stupid Morphine,” Megami proudly says in a confessional before she begins lip syncing with a mouth made from her hand and some googly eyes. It’s a hilarious twist to bring to the lip sync, even funnier that Mhi’ya thinks she’s doing it because she doesn’t know the lyrics to the song. Morphine continues her streak of gracefully moving across the stage, even as the wig starts coming up. She starts shaking her ass all over the stage to the excitement of everyone, dropping into a split and slamming her ass into the ground a couple times for good measure. Megami brings more energy to the final performance than any before, which is saying something considering how well she’s done so far in this tournament. The two are both incredible, both giving well-rounded full-drag lip sync performances to the song and making the tournament go out on a high note. Morphine wins the tournament and takes home $50,000. It’s what she deserves.

Next week will be the final week of Drag Race season 16, where we will finally see a competitor crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar.

Photo: MTV

Tyler Doster

Tyler is the TV Awards Editor for AwardsWatch and from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He’s been obsessed with movies and the oscars since he was about 14. He enjoys reading, but even more, talking about Amy Adams more and will, at any given moment, bring up her Oscar snub for Arrival. The only thing he spends more time on than watching TV is sitting on Twitter. If you ever want to discuss the movie Carol at length, he’s your guy. You can find Tyler at @wordswithtyler

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