Legendary drag icon RuPaul clapped back at straight culture and the popular show Lip Sync Battle in a recent interview. The 55-year-old “super model of the world” recalls that lip-syncing was first seen on his show RuPaul’s Drag Race.
On RuPaul’s Drag Race, (often shortened to RPDR) the bottom two contestants “lip-sync for their life” against each other in their final chance to stay in the competition.
In an interview with Vulture, RuPaul commented:
“(Lip Sync Battle) is a poor rip-off of (RuPaul’s Drag Race.) Regular, straight pop culture has liberally lifted things from gay culture as long as I can remember.”
RuPaul is a smart man, but because he claims to be an “outsider to the mainstream” he often comes off as controversial. Though he has made great strides in the drag and gay community, RuPaul has made other controversial statements in the past regarding gay culture. He called out critics who called him out on his use of transphobic language. RuPaul, provocative and brazen, will defend his beliefs whether you agree or not.
RuPaul believes straight culture has copied things from gay culture for years. In the interview, he mentioned that Hollywood is more trans-accepting now, but finds that gay people and drag queens are still viewed as outsiders. Though he finds he has been copied by the show, he says he doesn’t pay them any mind.
As a huge fan of RPDR, I understand where RuPaul is coming from. The Logo TV show, which originally aired in 2009, was a hidden gem that has exploded into an international phenomenon. The idea of lip-syncing on television was an obscure concept at the time, and it took off much more quickly with Lip Sync Battle. However similar they may seem, what separates these shows is that they are two different experiences.
Lip Sync Battle is trying to be entertainment. When you have a man like Channing Tatum dress up and lip-sync Beyoncé, it’s funny. Watching Lip Sync Battle is fun, it’s not trying to be about skill. On RPDR, there’s more of an emotional connection and it’s serious. Watching queens battle it out to ultimately stay, you’re on the edge of your seat rooting for them. You see two queens who are fighting to become America’s next drag superstar and prove themselves.
RuPaul ultimately said Lip Sync Battle can keep doing lip-syncs, but his queens will “show these b*tches how it’s really done.”