Tops and Bottoms: Power Ranking ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Episode 5 — RECAP


If you don't already know, Snatch Game is an annual challenge that started in season two. It's played in the style of Match Game, but the panel is made up entirely of the queens' best celebrity impersonations. As the season's have gone on, the expectations have risen (since all the gurls know by now that this is coming). A lot goes into getting this right. You've got to have your celebrity's look down. (That's usually the easy part.) Then, you need to make sure you've got a handle on their voice/mannerisms while also creating a character. The goal here is to entertain, so serving a flawless Madame Tussaud's replica is missing the point. The best deliveries amp up the most comical aspects of their celeb. On top of all that, you need to think on your feet to provide pithy answers and play off the other contestants. And to add an extra special twist this season, the queens had to create a runway look inspired by none other than Mama Ru herself.

Heather McDonald (Chelsea Lately) and Gillian Jacobs (Community) served as Snatch Game contestants and guest judges this week.

Here's our Power Rankings:

1. This week's editing was such an obvious bait and switch. BenDeLaCreme is much too smart and much too talented to go into Snatch Game without a plan. She was incredible as Dame Maggie Smith. Her responses to the contestants and her fellow queens were hilarious. Ben didn't miss a beat. Even her runway look was perfect. It was just the right blend of Ru and Ben's signature style. I totally don't buy the judges' critique that it was "another old lady." The old hag face was the least interesting part of what was a very fully-realized performance.

2. Adore's Anna Nicole Smith was some next-level impersonation. Her voice was inspired by Anna Nicole's slurry southern drawl, but she added just a little shakiness to make it her own caricature. She hit the catchphrases, sure, but she also landed some good jokes of her own. (I chuckled at her "vodcah" answer.) I agree with guest Heather McDonald and the other judges, though, that her runway look revealed she is always at least a little bit Anna Nicole. It made the Snatch Game performance less impressive, and her runway look did feel decidedly less Ru.

3. My heart still belongs to Bianca. Judge Judy is the perfect character for Snatch Game. Her look is iconic. She's funny whether you're laughing with her or at her. It could be too shouty, but Bianca had enough tricks up her robe's sleeves (that puppet!) to transcend the obvious here. Even when she's not performing, Bianca's unstoppably entertaining. I never tire of her giving the girls much-needed reality checks. My worry is that Bianca's runway looks are becoming too one-note. I got almost no Ru off her this week. Bianca is a costume designer, clearly she can do more.


4. I'm not afraid to admit my love for all things Real Housewives, so Joslyn's look tonight really hit the spot. My initial suspicion that there are more brains there than may appear has all been confirmed. The "prostitution whoreses" joke was a little predictable, but the "cumin" banter was silly and charming, and I thought the pay-off to the last name bit was great. Also, boy did she look her! Dead ringer. Her runway look, though? Womp Womp.

5. If Bianca's got one look, Darienne Lake has one face. Her Paula Deen was missing the celebrity chef's big, blue eyes. With Darienne's heavy lids and lashes, she just looked like herself, but in retirement. She also needed that Paula Deen cackle to really sell the impression. Maybe there was more to the performance we didn't see, but there was barely any mention of recipes. There were a few fat jokes, but Paula Deen is less about eating high-caloric cuisine, and more about creating it. It's a subtle difference, but it felt like a missed opportunity to really nail the character.

6. Courtney Act's Fran Drescher was a snooze. It wasn't a disaster, but it wasn't anything special, either. If the other queens weren't so heinous, she might have been in trouble.


7. I think Milk's Julia Child was worse than Trinity's Nicki Minaj, but at least she took a risk on the runway. Julia Child would've needed a really strong characterization (think Alexis Mateo's Alicia Keys) to work in this context. I loved the Ru out-of-drag look on the runway, personally. While Milk hasn't given us straight-up glamour, she has showcased a variety of looks — editorial, camp and masculine — and that's more than I can say for some of these other queens. It was just disappointing to see Milk fail to be as creative with her character as she is with her outfits.

8. At least Trinity didn't try and serve us a sterile Beyoncé for Snatch Game. This Nicki Minaj lacked any kind of character (save for the wig), and I don't think she landed a single joke. (Though, she did set up a great zinger for BenDeLaCreme.) Her Untucked revelation (we'll discuss more on that next week) gives me hope that she's faced some kind of block the first few episodes. Maybe now she's ready to bring it to the competition. Her intergalactic princess party outfit in her first challenge was evidence that there's more to this pageant queen than meets the eye. I'm willing to give her a clean slate to show us what she's really got now.

9. Goodbye, Gia Gunn, you sweet, dumb queen. It was clear Gia wasn't going to make it out of the Snatch Game unscathed once she switched her choice from Selena to the dynamic, multi-dimensional character that is Kim Kardashian. Even in more clever hands, that's a tough one to pull off. Plus, her runway look was a sloppy mess. The wig was horrendous and the proportions were all off. She looked short and lumpy. Santino nailed it when he said it was a "Halloween costume in a bag."

10. You guys, I can't anymore with Laganja Estranja. I've had it. Officially. I don't usually go into Untucked here in these recaps, but, for two episodes now, Laganja has revealed herself to be an epically unlikable figure. She's oversensitive to the point of hysteria. She's the exact opposite of Bianca (which is probably why the two clash) — she's insincere and insecure. Her Rachel Zoe was inexcusable. That's a character that's a great choice for Snatch Game, and one with which most queens could easily coast into safety. Why stutter and not play up her vocal fry? It's not like no one's ever skewered Zoe before. It shouldn't have been this hard. Laganja has just got to go.

How would you rank the queens this week? Assuming you could nail the look, who would you portray if you were playing Snatch Game?


  1. MIke says

    Everyone knows “Downton Abby” Maggie Smith but “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” Maggie Smith is far younger, sexier, and biting. “For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like.” To a student: “Roll down your sleeves this instant! We are civilized!” To another: “You may raise the window six inches. More is vulgar.” But more than half the audience would be clueless. At least Ru knows: “The prime of Miss Ben dela Creme.”

    Loved Milk’s reaction to Ru’s “You’ve seen past episodes of our show?”

    -“What show?”

  2. Mawm says

    Adore has shot up on my personal rankings. Ben and Bianca are tops for me too.

    Can’t stand Laganja. I wish last night had been a double elimination.

  3. Theo says

    Ben DeLaCreme and Bianca are my personal picks. Adore did nail Anna Nicole, I expected a lot more from Milk, her personality is flat, Laganja is getting to be too much drama.

  4. MIke says

    “Assuming you could nail the look, who would you portray if you were playing Snatch Game?”

    I just saw it was Anita Bryant’s birthday. That would be a great if risky choice for a talented comedy queen to pull off. Very John Waters. But only us old queens would get it. “I’m praying ALL your gay away!”

  5. Jason says

    The editing left a lot to be desired. Although they did let each contestant land (or attempt to at least) a joke. I’d venture a guess plenty of Darienne’s Paula was left on the cutting room floor due to time. But at this stage, it’s Bianca, Darienne & Ben’s game to win. With a dark horse named Joslyn swooping in…

  6. normadesmond says

    i have to agree with mr. hankinson’s critique.

    not sure who i’d do if i were on the panel, but you’d think these queens would figure it out. YOU GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK.

  7. Lucas H says

    I LOVE LOVE the Snatch Game episode the best every season! I agree Laganja is a sad excuse for a drag queen and a mess of a person, but watching her is kind of like watching a train wreck. And Bianca clearly cannot stop herself from shading the $4i! out of her. It’s so fun to watch. Anyway. Good show. Team BendelaCreme!

  8. Matt says

    Seems to me that Ben dela Creme is head and shoulders above everyone else. He is sharp and clever without being overbearing and rude like Bianca can be. Sure, we are all Bianca at some point in being exasperated with some of the less intelligent contestants, but I am just so very much not a fan of the “I’m not here to make friends” mantra. We have heard that from Bianca and Gia and it is frankly a very stupid thing to either say or believe. Obviously, you are there to win. That’s the goal. But to spend all that time there with those people and not want to be their friend in the meantime, thereby making your experience so much more enjoyable, win or lose, is just about as foolish a thing as I can imagine. And we get that on every, but every, reality show. “I’m not here to make friends.” Once the contestant says that, they are dead to me!

  9. Erik says

    I thought I had all of the annoying Laganja I could take after last week, but her untucked scenes last night were just brutal and showed her crying yet again for being slighted. Sorry, but if you want to whine about feeling attacked at least be ready to provide a hint of an example. Adore was right, very transparent.

    Before the show started, I thought Milk would be awesome. But I wasn’t feeling the man dressing up as a man thing last night (didn’t Sharon get read for that?) or any of Milk’s other runway looks. Great performance artist, iffy drag queen. Ben delaCreme nailed it, and Bianca was great, too. Agree with most here, It looks like a Bianca, Ben and Darienne fight to the finish.

    Finally, next week is another singing challenge? I miss the variety of challenges previous seasons have brought. Poor Trinity, she’s screwed again.

  10. says

    My favorites this season are Courtney Act, BendelaCreme, and Bianca Del Rio (though her caustic sense of humor can sometimes be exhausting).

    I’m glad the live singing and Snatch Game competitions were moved up this year (at least, I think they were), because the show isn’t just about looking for a capable drag queen who can fill out the roster at the Sunday drag show. It’s about looking for a drag SUPER STAR. Looking great on a runway is nice, but it’s not enough. Lipsynching properly in time with the music, perhaps while dancing, is also great. But you need the full package, and I think in previous seasons some super talented girls hit one misstep and were eliminated before they could show their stuff.

    Speaking of which … since the queens have their own strengths and weaknesses, I think I’d prefer a season with cumulative points rather than weekly eliminations. There are numerous skills a drag superstar can be expected to have — fabulous runway, ability to act, ability to lipsynch, ability to sing, sewing, creative expression, and more. If a girl is strong in 8 out of 10 but her two weaknesses happen to be the showcased talent in the first two episodes, we don’t really get a chance to see the full package.

    And actually, the cost of song royalties preclude this, but if it were possible, I’d assign the girls a theme (Motown, One-Hit Wonders, Fractured Fairy Tales, As Seen on TV, etc.) and have them choose a song (to lipsynch to or sing live), make or pull together an outfit, and from that deliver a fully fleshed out performance.

  11. Shine says

    I’m glad first of all that this week’s runway theme was made SUPER CLEAR for my dumb ass. It was even announced in the trailer. Last week I thought there was no theme but somehow my brain didn’t register that part. I’m also glad we got to see them walk the runway more. Ben De La Creme channeled Ru the best in my opinion, her gown was SO SIMILAR to Ru’s.

    Snatch Game was great this year; love Bianca’s, Adore’s and Ben’s performances. Ben was the stand-out again in my opinion.

    I enjoyed seeing Bianca and Adore bond a little bit. I was worried this was going to turn into another Sharon vs. Fifi or Jynx vs. Roxxxy. So hopefully Bianca lending Adore a cincher and a helping hand is indicative of something good. I also liked seeing them bond during Untucked.

    Seeing Laganja’s behaviour makes me think she might need to see a psychiatrist, seriously. She says she felt hurt by Adore, but can’t remember what Adore apparently said or even vaguely what she apparently said. She also can’t remember where, or when, or in what context it happened. So basically Laganja is saying to Adore that he has NO episodic or semantic memory of being hurt by her, but SOMEHOW feels hurt?! That doesn’t read as merely insincere, it sounds like Laganja needs medication…

    I’m not sure I believe Ru that Santino was talking about Ru and not Trinity during Trinity’s runway walk. It did come accross, and sounds more plausible Santino was talking about Trinity as she had JUST been criticized for her poor speech with a flipper(sp?) in, and Santino has never seemed to be in the habit of making fun of Ru… AND Santino was in ‘Judging-the-Queens’ mode.

    That was a really ballsy thing for Milk to do; I’m ambivalent about it.

  12. says

    I thought Milk as Ru was brilliant. You knew who she was doing and she nailed him. It was billed as A Night of A Thousand Ru’s not glam Ru’s. Still her Snatch Game performance was lacking.

    Listening to Milk’s critique, I did question Ru and Michelle’s view of drag and it made me think that maybe they are not recognizing or are too old for this growing trend in younger drag performers. It is a pattern from other seasons.

    Gia had one of the more touching and honest moments in the hall with Laganja on Untucked before having to LSFYL.