For some unknown reason (although it’s probably due to my tendency to show-myself-out), I have never attended a Lip Sync Battle at San Fran. Nor have I ever seen a Lip Sync Battle hosted by a comedian. So this Monday’s Lip Sync Battle completely blew my mind. But I must warn you now, since it was a show that can never be repeated, I have included many spoilers!
First to the stage, Penny Ashton as a raunchy Elsa. We love it. It’s sexy, it’s funny, and very exciting. Especially when the song turns into a techno remix and Elsa transforms into Anna with a simple wig change. The entire audience is clapping. Alice makes me proud by dropping the c*nt word early on, fucking great. Judge Jen reveals that Penny is a trained dancer (although I’m not sure that this fact was obvious). We have definitely started the night off strong.
Next up we have Neil Thornton, performing a double-act rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart. It’s a classic ballad, and we can dig it. At first I thought there wasn’t enough choreo, but then Neil whipped out some flags and he twirled me away. It was majestic, completely out of the blue, and perfectly melodramatic. Steffi acknowledges that Neil managed to nail the somewhat boring instrumental.
Savannah Calton follows with the first rendition of a Miley song, Wrecking Ball. I don’t love this song, but I fucking love her performance. I love the lack of a bra (it’s NEVER too much nip for a Monday), I love the smashing of the fruit, I love the empowerment. I also really love Alice’s comments on expensive fruit, because they are so valid. And I disagree with Steffi’s negative comments, in fact, I won’t even repeat them.
It is at this point that I realise how varied the performances of the night are, and I’m not going anywhere. Neither are the judges, as Steffi is already most of her way through a bottle of wine.
Rachel Rouge follows suit, with a beautifully entertaining Quizas, Quizas, Quizas. Not only is it in Spanish, but she does the entire song as half a woman and half a male. The two characters are equally entertaining, and this only increases when they begin to interact with each other. This dual-character conflict is highly amusing, especially when it begins to get sexy.
At this point we have a brief interval, filled with brilliant 90’s pop music from our Techie. When we return we are introduced to Admiral Ackbar, who does a bloody brilliant performance of Sia’s Chandelier. His wine spills everywhere, and his dance moves mimic the original video, but not to the point of copy-cat. My only disappointment for the Admiral, is the fact that NO ONE yells “It’s a Trap!”
It may be worth mentioning that my notes severely decreased from now on due to the arrival of curly fries. Oh, the brilliance of shows in a bar!
James Malcolm is up next, and his presence precedes him by the placement of a Chris Warner cut-out. His song is a new Miley song that i don’t recognise, but he really nails it. This is especially inspiring seeing as most of the words are spoken, and as Steffi says, spoken-word lip sync is often the hardest.
Adam Wright lip syncs to Queen’s Big Bottom Girls. I feel like Adam uses the fact that it’s Queen to his advantage, belting the words and reaching out to the audience in a Freddie-fashion. Although this makes me sing along, it has little originality. However, massive points for full-commitment to dancing with a pretty heavy mic-stand. During his post-song banter Wright addresses the tech, a friend from school, which is a bizarre yet beautiful moment.
Alice now opens the stage to any members of the audience or newcomers. Tessa reveals herself, which was (in Alice’s words) “not staged at-all”. Tessa performs Tricky by Run DMC, and as someone who knows all of the words, I find myself judging slightly harsher. But Tessa does great, and her Marilyn Monroe-esque outfit is a great contrast to the 80’s rap. Alice reveals that Tessa is a “normy” who expressed an interest in performing a lip sync a few months ago. This takes a heap of bravery and I admire Tessa greatly for doing so.
This is the end of the show, and all of the performers are invited onstage once more. I wasn’t aware of how many performers we’d seen until they were crowded on the San Fran stage. Niel is awarded as third runner-up, Rachel as second, and Penny takes home the gold (cough cough, no one was surprised here). The finale went off with a bang as the entire cast sung Let it Go once more.. All round, I had a wonderful evening and I will definitely be going back for more.
To hear more about Lip Sync Battles, head to https://www.facebook.com/lipsyncbattlesnz/.
*Full Disclaimer: I am friends with Jen, I adore her and often work alongside her. Since she is a judge and not a performer, I feel like this has not influenced my review.