ByRyann Whelan, writer at
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Ryann Whelan

Lip Sync has become a viral staple in the last few years, starting on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, coming along to The Tonight Show, and eventually spinning off into its own show on Spike. But quantity does not equal quality, and making fake singing entertaining isn't as easy as you'd think it'd be. While Lip Sync Battle has brought on big, flashy numbers with costumes and back-up dancers, the majority of this list is comprised of the early, simple performances that are hilarious without the gimmicks. Here's a guide to the best lip syncers in the business and their signature performances.

10.) Anna Kendrick:

Best Performance: “Booty”

Shake that.
Shake that.

It’s not surprising that Anna Kendrick delivers a great Lip Sync, considering her aca-experience. This time, she takes the stage solo and attacks it. Kendrick gets points for approaching her battle strategically. She first gets into opponent John Krasinski’s head with “Steal My Girl,” in reference to his wife Emily Blunt (who gets an honorary Lip Sync Award herself). She then brings the “Booty,” going full diva with choreography fit for any pop star and enlisting JLo herself as back-up.

9.) Tom Cruise

Best Performance: “Can’t Feel My Face”

Massive movie star Tom Cruise exudes confidence and has rocked out for roles before so it’s no surprise that he gave a great Lip Sync performance. He brings his acting chops to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” singing both parts of a male-female duet. But there’s something so amusing about his take on “Can’t Feel My Face,” maybe because he delivers it so realistically.

8.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Best Performance: “Super Bass”

JoGo gets points for completely committing and performing with such sincere enthusiasm and energy. He takes a creative, head-banging approach to “Tiny Dancer." “Super Bass” is where he really shines though, not only in being able to keep up with the fast pace of the rap, but also his ability to so effortlessly inhabit Nicki Minaj. The head and hand movements are so on point.

7.) Stephen Merchant

Best Performance: “Single Ladies”

Stephen Merchant, one of the creators of the Lip Sync Battle itself, is unique in his performance style. He isn’t smooth, but rather tackles his songs in a delightfully awkward, deadpan, abrasive manner. His incredibly tall and lanky form only add to the hilarity, particularly when combined with ridiculous dance moves. Sure "Dirrty" is his flashiest performance, but there's nothing like his angry take on "Beyonce-Z"'s best hit and the "Single Ladies" routine.

Too "Dirrty."
Too "Dirrty."

6.) John Krasinski

Best Performance: “I’ll Make Love To You”


Lip Sync pioneer, Krasinski delivers subtle performances that are funny and always full of charm, tackling pop, soul, old school rap, and R&B with the aplomb of a seasoned pro. His classic marionette impression is showcased beautifully in "Bye, Bye, Bye" and he goes all out in sequined drag for "Proud Mary," but I'm a sucker for his simpler work. In the first televised Lip Sync Battle, he takes on Boyz II Men’s "I'll Make Love to You" and his performance is an effortless intersection of funny and sexy. It deserves to be seen, but is not readily accessible online. Luckily I've done the work for you.

5.) Anne Hathaway

Best Performance: “Wrecking Ball”

Not your usual Hathaway musical number.
Not your usual Hathaway musical number.

Take it from someone who saw this in person, Hathaway transcends Lip Sync in this performance. Fully embodying Miley Cyrus and defying expectations, Hathaway rips off her pants, frenches and grinds on a hammer, and leaps onto a swinging wrecking ball. Nothing more really needs to be said. This single performance earns her a spot on this list.

4.) Will Ferrell

Best Performance: “Drunk in Love/ Let it Go”

Will Ferrell is one of those people who could do really anything and make us laugh. So it’s no surprise that his performances on Jimmy Fallon’s Super Bowl episode are just so good it's impossible to choose between them. Ferrell plays both completely sincere, basically doing a straight recreation of the “Drunk in Love” video and “Let It Go” scene from “Frozen.” Watching Ferrell channel a sexy Beyonce writhing on the floor and a joyful, animated queen strutting her stuff is simply hysterical. He even steals Kevin Hart's performance.

3.) Emma Stone

Best Performance: “All I Do Is Win”

Emma Stone turned in two absolutely flawless performances, plain and simple. With “Hook,” a brilliantly obscure choice, and “All I Do Is Win,” Stone nails it with two completely different genres. She doesn't hold back, rocking out with serious intensity, and she doesn’t miss a beat on both songs' fast-paced sections. Technical excellence, creative song selection, hilarious delivery— she is perfect.

2.) Paul Rudd

Best Performance: "Don’t Stop Me Now”

Paul Rudd is a Lip Sync natural. Extremely expressive face combined with inspired physicality— a cocktail of Lip Sync genius. His Tina Turner is brilliant, but it’s his rendition of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” that is so delightful, so hilarious, so mesmerizing that I believe it reigns as Lip Sync's single most enjoyable performance. Rudd invents dance moves you need in your life.

1.) Jimmy Fallon

It would be impossible to rank anyone but Jimmy as number one. He has graced us with over a dozen legendary lip syncs and not a single one disappoints. Jimmy’s signature is enthusiasm and physicality— energetically employing his whole body. How do we choose a favorite? I think the eighties are his strong suit (“Juke Box Hero,” “Take On Me,” “Don’t You Want Me” to name just a few) but his “Since You’ve Been Gone” is pretty spectacular too. See any of the above videos to witness the master at work.


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