lip sync battle

Queen Latifah Takes Marlon Wayans Back to School on Lip Sync Battle

Right before her second lip-sync, Queen Latifah tells her competitor Marlon Wayans: “I’m about to smash you.” Never before on Lip Sync Battle have truer words been spoken. Let’s observe:

Battle 1: Marlon Wayans’s “Happy” vs. Queen Latifah’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”

Those are some jeans, Marlon. “Happy” is a weak song choice: It’s too old to be in the Zeitgeist and too recent to be nostalgic. Plus, it’s just too low-key to allow for the dramatics required for a good lip-sync. But boy, does Marlon Wayans try. This mostly consists of putting on Pharrell’s Arby’s hat and grinding up on Chrissy Teigen, Queen, and then LL Cool J. (Get it? It’s funny because they’re not gay.) Queen Latifah, on the other hand, chose something that goes directly to that fuzzy spot in your brain: En Vogue’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” and it’s delightful. Even though there are four divas singing in the original, she channels all of them. Can we also just pause for a second and say how good she looks?

Winner: Queen Latifah, by the swish of her side pony.

Battle 2: Marlon Wayans’s “Stay With Me” vs. Queen Latifah’s “Rock the Bells”

Marlon Wayans: Ugh. I get that he’s not a subtle comic, but I would have liked to have seen his elastic face put to better use. Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is a better pick, but he winds up doing the same thing he did in the last lip-sync, which was to inappropriately touch the female dancers before capping it off with a tired gay joke. It’s after this bit that Queen Latifah tells him, “I’m gonna smash you. I gotta keep it 100,” and she absolutely does. Latifah takes it way back to 1985 (!), when LL Cool J debuted with Radio. It’s dynamic, precise, and masterful. Bow down to the Queen.

Winner: Queen Latifah broke the boom box.

Do we even have to call this? Queen Latifah just entered the all-star pantheon.

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