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Lip-Stink: 7 Painfully Bad Lip Sync Moments

To record executives and band managers, lip syncing is the equivalent of playing your third-string quarterback in the fourth quarter of a blowout. Minimize risk during an event that really doesn’t mean that much. For them, playing live is too risky. I mean, anything could go wrong, right? And how hard is it to mouth the words to a song you’ve practiced countless times, right? Right?

Sigh. Watch, cringe, and enjoy.

1. Milli Vanilli. People lip synced before Milli Vanilli, but no one is more associated with the practice than this former Grammy winner for Best New Artist. In 1989, during a performance of their hit “Girl, You Know It’s True,” the record actually skipped, resulting in both Rob and Fab running off stage in embarrassment.

2. Scotty McCreery. I understand how parades might lend themselves to lip-syncing. It’s cold, and you have to sing multiple times throughout the parade. But when the camera’s on you, son, at least have the microphone up to your mouth when your voice comes through the speakers. But I’m sure his legion of American Idol fans didn’t notice, or didn’t care.

3. Ashlee Simpson. Same thing with Ashlee Simpson, except she’s not in a parade, and nobody likes her.

4. Katy Perry. This is less lip sync and more flute sync. Like McCreery, she needs to learn that you must be prepared for entrances. At least she doesn’t try to pretend that it didn’t happen.

5. Portuguese fail #1. Okay, so theoretically, he could have still been singing when he fell off the stage. But at the very least we should have heard a thud or an “oompf!” or a “I thought they said 10 paces left!”?

6. Portuguese fail #2. The Portuguese also teach us this important tip. Do not ever. Drop. The microphone.

7. Muse (honorable mention) – Muse were told that they had to lip sync for an Italian music show. To protest, they all traded instruments and did the worst lip sync job they could muster. Nice!

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Peter Lee

3 Comments

  1. Somewhere there must be tape of one or more of Pink Floyd’s American TV appearances in the fall of 67, when Syd Barrett refused to lip-sync at all and just stood there looking at the camera. They did “American Bandstand,” and, one source says, “The Perry Como Show,” which is awesome.

  2. The Muse fake lip synching is very funny. It dilutes the art form of singing when shows force artists to lip synch. Audiences are very forgiving if an artist does not sound exactly the same when singing live as they do on the album, so there is very little reason for lip synching.

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