"Lip Sync Battle" returns with Mariah Carey tribute

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Lip Sync Battle returns with Mariah Carey tribute |
On January 17, after four seasons on Spike TV, the circus-like atmosphere returns for its fifth season on the Paramount Network with the same formula that's made it meme-worthy hit, ever since it debuted as a recurring sketch on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Two celebrity guests square off against each other in elaborately staged lip-sync performances, with the studio audience deciding the winner. As the high-energy exclusive trailer - set to Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock's 1988 smash, "It Takes Two" - reveals, this year's battles include Criss vs. producer Jermaine Dupri, tennis superstar Andy Roddick vs. his wife/actress Brooklyn Decker, actor Jason Schwartzman vs. Sesame Street's Big Bird and Latin stars Lele Pons vs. Prince Royce, as well as the cast of Queer Eye, Andy Grammer, Molly Bernard and Nico Tortorella of Younger, and Serena Williams.

"The people that do Lip Sync Battle are really the fearless artists in the community," says LL Cool J, the veteran rapper and actor. "The ones that have the courage to come on the show and play, and don't take themselves too serious - you'll find that they are the ones that are more relevant, that fans are more passionate about. That's why an artist like Beyonce will come on this show."

Since then, Patterson says guests have sought to one-up one another not only with their dance moves and lip-syncing skills, but with ever-more-elaborate set pieces and bigger surprise cameos - including this season's biggest, Mariah Carey, who drops by her own tribute episode to watch Criss and Dupri let their inner divas run wild.

If Dupri is nervous about lip-syncing one of the many hits he co-wrote and produced for Carey in front of the singer herself, he's not letting on. Before the episode's taping, he's chilling in his dressing room, watching football and giving the lyrics to his song a last look. Dupri says he learned "the key to lip syncing" from his many years on music video sets as a rapper, producer and label boss. "You have to actually voice the song while you're performing," he explains. "When we shoot music videos, that's something we always tell the artists - if they're up there like" - and here he silently mouths words - "it looks really weird."


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