It’s the throwback edition of Lip Sync Battle, pitting two emcees, Cheryl James and Sandra Denton — better known as Salt and Pepa, respectively — against each other. (Sorry, Spinderella.) Spoiler alert: The first battle is kind of rough, but they more than make up for it in the second round. Let’s roll the clips!
Battle 1: Salt’s “Since U Been Gone” vs. Pepa’s “Firework”
Are our expectations too high? Salt and Pepa both feel like they “got this,” but they don’t: They pick big pop anthems that fizzle. Salt’s “Since U Been Gone” doesn’t really have any of the angst of the original, and Pepa’s “Firework” is a limp noodle. This is a tough call if only because no one’s heart really seems to be in it, and even though Salt obviously misses a cue, she seems to dig into the song more once the chorus gets going.
Winner: Salt, by a coin flip.
Battle 2: Salt’s “It’s Tricky” vs. Pepa’s “I Will Survive”
These are the performers we were waiting for. It’s obvious who’s going to win, and we get it: Pepa picked the iconic breakup song, and everyone is singing the song — yes, Chrissy Teigen because it’s kind of her job, as far as I can tell — but also Salt, LL Cool J, and probably you, dear viewer. To be fair, Pepa is great at this song, and you know that this was heavy on her rotation after a breakup, but watching this a couple of times through, we actually think that Salt’s “It’s Tricky” is the better lip-sync: She’s fun, dynamic, and charming, and hits her marks. You might even say she’s hot, cool, and vicious.
Winner: It’s tricky, but Salt.
It was clear Pepa was going to win because she went last and had a longer version of the song (thus more time to perform), but in our view, Salt did the better job.