Was Channing Tatum too charming to lose? Too famous? That’s the question we should be asking after his battle on last night’s Lip Sync Battle against his wife, the dancer and actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The episode was chock-full of celebrities, from Quentin Tarantino observing in the audience to Magic Mike co-star Adam Rodriguez, Paula Abdul, and, yes, the Queen herself, Beyoncé, gracing the stage. With all these heavy-hitters, who should have won this battle of the spouses?
Battle 1: Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s “Cold Hearted” vs. Channing Tatum’s “Let It Go”
It’s a shame that Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s performance of Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted” isn’t available yet online, because it’s a massive, impressive performance on the level of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s re-creation of Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.” Jenna Dewan-Tatum got her start as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson, and this performance is sexy, slinky, and technically flawless. And, yes, she nails the rap portion while being lifted off of scaffolding. Paula Abdul makes a cameo appearance at the end, but it’s clear that Jenna never really needed the boost. Channing Tatum’s performance of “Let It Go” from Frozen feels a little too late to be relevant, but it’s cute! We get it: He’s built like a Clydesdale, and there’s something charming about seeing him prance about the stage, giant thighs flashing under a blue gown. But I’m just reminded of the ultimate Frozen lip-sync, which was done by a Korean high-school student on Star King. That was low-tech brilliance.
Winner: Jenna Dewan-Tatum, by a sibilant s.
Battle 2: Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s “Pony” vs. Channing Tatum’s “Run the World (Girls)”
Here are some of the things that were working harder than Channing Tatum on that episode: the prop directors, the wind machine, and Chrissy Teigen’s double-sided tape. Channing’s performance was a weak imitation at best. He looked like he had mush mouth, which is only okay if you’re lip-syncing Ariana Grande! What irks is that Channing has the ability to deliver a performance fit for the Queen, and yet he did the bare minimum. Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s rendition of her husband’s delightful Magic Mike XXL solo to Ginuwine’s “Pony” was charming, from her crayoned abs to her dance moves.
Winner: Jenna Dewan-Tatum, by a crayoned abdominal.
Overall winner: This was a clear case of too big to fail: Even though Jenna Dewan-Tatum was the better performer, Lip Sync Battle decided she and Channing would be the show’s first “co-winners.” No: There are no ties! This is a miscarriage of justice. If Spike’s Lip Sync Battle can’t be held to a higher standard, what hope do we have? Who runs the world? Jenna Dewan-Tatum.