Jimmy Fallon is a smart entertainer who knows exactly what audiences want. Springing from a very popular segment on The Tonight Show, Lip Sync Battle is a certified hit for Spike television. Drawing a total of 2.2 million viewers for its premiere on April 2, the numbers are incredibly big for an unscripted premiere on the newly re-branded television network that is now opening the doors of its boys club and courting the female demographic.
If you’re a fan of Fallon’s, you would know that the lip sync battles have been extremely popular for quite some time now, with many of the segments featuring huge stars lip-syncing their favorite tracks. Since first being introduced on the late night talk show a year ago, so many of these lip sync battles have since gone viral including Emma Stone’s with 48 million hits on YouTube, followed closely by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stephen Merchant’s reaching nearly 42 million. After such success and the broad social medium helping to assess popularity, it’s no surprise Fallon figured fans would want more.
Directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and executive produced by Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) and John Krasinski (The Office), Lip Sync Battle is hosted by LL Cool J and features color commentary by Chrissy Teigen. In the premiere episode, Fallon faces off with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the results are hilarious. The two pulled no stops and went all out with their performances. In the first round, they sang songs in a similar style seen from the segments on The Tonight Show. Johnson kicked the first round off with a little “Tay-Tay” (obviously, Urban Dictionary for Taylor Swift) and performed “Shake It Off” with the charisma and dance skills of a school girl. Fallon followed, and in his all boyish charms sang Harry Belefonte’s “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora),” getting the audience to their feet and into a conga line.