Hosted by L.L. Cool J., with help from model/celebrity Chrissy Teigen, the show pits two celebrities against one another in epic lip sync battles. The first song is typically a standard lip sync performance, with each member playing to the audience. But the second is a large production, complete with makeup, costumes, set design, and backup dancers. Presumably, the rival celebrities have no idea in advance what songs each will sing, and apparently neither does the host.
The show launched in April 2015, inspired by the popular sketch that began on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and moved over to his current run on the Tonight Show. It was reportedly the idea of actor John Krasinski, who is a producer of Lip Sync Battle, alongside co-Office alum Stephen Merchant. Both actors have themselves battled on the show; Krasinski against Anna Kendrick and Merchant against Malin Akerman.
The first episode, which featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson against Fallon, was reportedly the highest-rated premiere in Spike’s history. And it’s been on the rise ever since, continuing as Spike’s most-watched original series, reports Variety.
There have been plenty of epic battles, so we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites in the videos below:
Anne Hathaway, doing a dead-ringer impression of Miley Cyrus in Wrecking Ball as her performance against Emily Blunt’s Piece of My Heart.
Krasinki’s bang-on version of the famous NSYNC Bye Bye Bye music video is a must-see, pitted against Kendrick’s Steal My Girl.
Justin Bieber doing his best Ozzy Osbourne singing Crazy Train will give you a new-found respect for the Canadian pop star. While Deion Sanders’ Like a Virgin was funny, it was no match.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s gender-bending, highly choreographed version of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, which was pitted against Anthony Mackie’s best M.C. Hammer impersonation, is dedication to the lip syncing craft at its best.
While the latest match up of Olivia Munn and Kevin Hart proved a dud, the season opener earlier this month that pitted Channing Tatum against his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum opened the show strong, and featured arguably some of the best performances yet (see above). The pair decided to do two major production performances each, all four of which went viral. The best include the one where Tatum goes full-on Beyonce, and Dewan-Tatum recreates an entire scene from her hubby’s flick Magic Mike XXL to the sexy tune Pony by Ginuwine. It helps that both are, of course, trained dancers.
With the second season attracting 4.4 million viewers, and likely far more when you factor in later online views, it’s no surprise that Spike is keeping the zany show on the roster.
To date, 21 episodes have aired, including a holiday special that featured Seth Rogen, and the aforementioned Gordon-Levitt performance. The next episode will air on Monday, January 21, and will pit Anthony Anderson against his on-screen wife Tracee Ellis Ross from the show Black-ish. Others scheduled to appear this season include comedian and star of comedy series Undateable Chris D’Elia, Eva Longoria, and Gigi Hadid.
No premiere date for season 3 has been confirmed yet. Season two will wrap up on February 25, 2016.