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From Dwayne Johnson to Anne Hathaway: Our favorite 'Lip Sync Battle' performers

by Chris Serico /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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With the season finale of "Lip Sync Battle" airing Thursday, it's time to look back on some of the most hilarious, bizarre and amazing celebrity performances, at least one of which never can be unseen.

The hit Spike series has featured the miming talents of 20 eclectic celebrities, including Jimmy Fallon, whose "Tonight Show" first showcased the format devised by fellow performers John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant. Even TODAY's own Hoda Kotb turned heads with her renditions of "Baby Got Back" and "Uptown Funk," defeating Super Bowl champion and fellow morning-show host Michael Strahan in the process.

Throughout the season, many burning questions were answered: Can Salt defeat Pepa? (Not this time.) Can one sibling inspire pride and trauma in another sibling? (Yes; just ask Derek Hough, who had a front-row seat for Julianne Hough's winning performance of The Lonely Island's "I Just Had Sex.") And will there be more classic battles to come? Oh, most definitely, as Spike ordered 20 more episodes last month, meaning up to 40 new celebrities will show us what it really means to pay lip service (however, Fallon, Merchant, Krasinski and others could return for rematches).

As we prepare to see what Queen Latifah and Marlon Wayans pull off in Thursday's finale, TODAY.com celebrates the top five performances from the rest of Season 1. But first, honorable mentions must be bestowed upon series co-creator Krasinski, who knows how to work a shimmering Tina Turner dress, and his Golden Globe-winning wife, Emily Blunt, who raps "No Diggity" like a boss.

5. Common, "All Night Long"

This has it all. Costumes. A perfect wig. Unbridled, irony-free enthusiasm. And a most welcome surprise in Common's break dancing, which turned out to be a game-changer. It's tough to out-legend a Legend, but even John Legend's Hammer-ific "U Can't Touch This" wasn't enough to win this early-season battle.

4. Anna Kendrick, "Booty"

Given the Academy Award nominee's versatility as a performer — seriously, she's a septuple threat, if that's a thing — this is no surprise. With flawless dance moves, all kinds of attitude, a random Elvis Presley lip-curl, and a cameo by Jennifer Lopez herself, Kendrick's performance (which starts at the 3:24 mark) is, well, pitch perfect.

3. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, "Shake it Off"

To fully appreciate this ranking, remember that Johnson's performance was the series' first, and set an important tone for everything that followed. If he didn't fully invest himself in his performance of Taylor Swift's massive hit, right down to "Tay-Tay's" infectious giggle at the 1:12 mark, viewers might not have obsessed over it on social media or tuned in the following week. As he's proven as a reliable host of "Saturday Night Live," being all-in is one of Johnson's finest attributes as a performer.

2. Stephen Merchant, "Dirrty"

As hilarious as Merchant's performance of the Christina Aguilera anthem is, you will never be able to unsee it. It starts at the 2:26 mark, but when it comes to our memories, does it ever really end? You've been warned.

1. Anne Hathaway, "Wrecking Ball"

Winning an Academy Award was only the beginning for Hathaway, whose viral take on Miley Cyrus' monster hit not only secured her victory in her battle against Blunt, but also proved to be the buzziest moment of Season 1. As of this week, two clips of her performance on "Lip Sync Battle's" official YouTube page collected a combined 25 million views, tops among everything on that page. Hathaway's romp begins at the 2:17 mark in the video above, and if you neither laugh nor get goosebumps when she hops on the wrecking ball at the 3:48 mark, you probably don't like puppies or hugs very much.

Follow TODAY.com writer Chris Serico on Twitter.

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