My belief that Lip Sync Battle is a bad show that wastes a great premise is a matter of public record. That belief hasn't changed. Watching celebrities poorly mouth along to lyrics they couldn't be bothered to learn—with a life support system of distracting backup dancers and a metric ton of props—is vastly less entertaining than watching skilled, no-frills lip-syncing.
But something truly extraordinary happened on last night's episode of the Spike reality competition series, on which husband and wife Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum faced off.
If you are sexually interested in attractive male humans (and even if you're not!), there's a very good chance you've seen Magic Mike or Magic Mike XXL, the modern cinematic classics that follow Channing Tatum's title stripper and his stripper friends on their charming stripper adventures. Like her husband, Jenna has serious dance chops—they met on the set of Step Up, after all. Perhaps that's what inspired her to perform an homage to her husband's most famous character, taking on Mike's signature song: "Pony" by Ginuwine.
I have no idea if Jenna knows the words, because I'm not paying attention to her mouth—her body is doing crazy things and I physically cannot look away from it.
This isn't a lip sync so much as it's a next-level dance sync, complete with Magic Mike-approved moves like grinding, air-humping, and (of course) stroking a metal phallus. Watching Channing's face is half the fun; he's absolutely giddy.
Here are several more thoughts I have about this performance:
- Why isn't this woman more famous? She's great. Let's work on that.
- Later in this clip, Channing Tatum comes out wearing beautiful Beyoncé-inspired hair and lashes, but that's not the best part of the episode.
- Beyoncé herself—yes, that Beyoncé—shows up at the end of the clip, and even that's not the best part of this episode.
- I would personally donate to any crowd-funding efforts to produce a (consensually released, of course) Jenna-Channing sex tape.
- This sex tape should be elaborately choreographed, please.
- Lip Sync Battle, this is an isolated incident that changes nothing between us. You remain terrible. (That said: Continuing to book celebrities who are really good at something and having them do that thing they are really good at might be a wise strategy for the future.)