Lip Sync Battle is always an unpredictable program as celebrities large and small face off to try to out-perform each other via lip sync. A celebrity who is probably the physically largest ever to enter the Lip Sync Battle building is basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, who recently went a little bit crazy with his rendition of Michael Sembello’s “Maniac.” The song was immortalized thanks to Flashdance, and Shaq definitely channeled his inner Jennifer Beals in his performance. Check it out!
No offense to competitor Aisha Tyler, but Shaq might already have this round of Lip Sync Battle in the bag. Slightly fumbling over the lyrics doesn’t take away from the enthusiasm that Shaq brought to his performance. Despite being a man who can be accurately described as “ginormous,” there’s a surprising effortlessness to his movements. Who knows? Maybe this episode of Lip Sync Battle is Shaq’s way of finally admitting to the world that he loves Flashdance. He definitely looks like he could be singing into a hairbrush in front of a mirror.
Shaq didn’t choose the most elaborate costume for “Maniac,” especially compared to the glimpse of Aisha Tyler’s getup. Still, the mere fact that he squeezed into a pair of leggings and discovered a wig that could actually fit on his head means that he deserves the win. The leg warmers could, feasibly, be a dozen pairs of regular warmers sewed together, but those leggings are a mystery. They probably did help him get into character. I can’t imagine that his costume for “Maniac” is anything that he could confuse for his regular daywear.
Personally, I have a hard time picking my favorite part of Shaq’s performance. I definitely appreciate the way that he totally outshines his backup dancers. Some competitors on Lip Sync Battle let the dancers and props do all the work; Shaq dominated the stage with the '80s Flashdance moves while in his relatively simple outfit.
Shaq has kept busy in his years since retiring from the NBA. He actually earned a doctorate degree from Barry University, and he became a basketball analyst for TNT. He’s even dabbled in headlining a few television series over the years. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to be putting any thought into a Kazaam 2.
The snippet of Shaq going crazy on Lip Sync Battle is only a taste of what is to come in the showdown with Aisha Tyler. To see Shaq’s full performance, tune in to the next episode of Lip Sync Battle on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on Spike. Check out our summer TV premiere schedule to see what else you’ll be able to watch in the near future, and try as hard as you can to get “Maniac” out of your head for the rest of your day.