We are all living in a post-“Sorry Not Sorry” lip sync world, and I for one could not be happier.
Every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, fans anxiously await the Snatch Game. It’s a make-or-break moment for the queens each time, and it’s responsible for the series’ most memorable moments.
Although last night’s Snatch wasn’t one of the best, the episode shocked with not one, but two ICONIC, LEGENDARY moments that will be etched in the annals of herstory forever and ever, amen.
But first, the drama from our last Untucked still lingers. Yvie insinuated Sikly was talentless and someone flipped Vanjie’s freak-out switch. Silky opts to ice Yvie out, while Vanjie goes full fire screaming. Is it the most well-articulated argument? No. Was Yvie acting with malicious intent giving Vanjie some tough love? No. Does any of that stop Vanjie from an unrelenting screaming fit? Also, no.
The mini-challenge this week is a fun little excuse to plug Ru’s new book, GuRu. The gals all need to pitch a self-help book of their own. Silky runs away with this one, shilling for her book, Eat It: Chronicles of the Buffet. It’s pure Silky, and it’s got the most fully-realized vision of the bunch.
Her win comes with a chunk of change from Postmates, which brings All Star alum Morgan McMichaels in to do a cute little segment with Ru that involves a callback to pingpong balls being shot out of her … well, you get the idea.
Of course, this week is all about Snatch Game at Sea, which is really just regular Snatch Game with Ru in a captain’s hat. The ladies’ choices had me feeling both too old and too young. Silky was doing T.S. Madison, Plastique picked Lovely Mimi, Vanjie picked the “Cash Me Outside” girl. I have such cursory knowledge of these folks. Are they … a Snapchat?
On the opposite end, Nina picks Harvey Fierstein (as Edna Turnblad) and Jo Anne Worley, pulling a Bob the Drag Queen double Snatch. They’re obscure picks, especially for a crowd that thinks “Cash Me Outside” girl is a celebrity, but you know Ru will eat it up. Shuga Cain picks a perfect Snatch character in Charo, while Yvie is taking on View moderator and EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg.
Most concerning is Brooke. Despite her frontrunner status, Brooke is Shooke about Snatch. She doesn’t do characters, but she’s going to try her best at Celine Dion. It’s a choice that a better comedian could absolutely slay, but Brooke doesn’t have much to offer beyond the backward tuxedo jacket and some kind of Canadian accent.
Ru’s walkthrough is joined by season five winner and Snatch champion, Jinkx Monsoon. Yvie and Brooke are clearly in trouble, and they warn Vanjie to maybe think more expansively about where the jokes can come beyond “Cash me outside.” There’s also some concern that Plastique’s nail tech character may be too close to what she did in the Black Panther-themed acting challenge earlier this season.
That last critique seemed to be unfounded once the ladies are on stage. Veep‘s Clea DuVall and Tony Hale are our contestants, and both are definitely game. The Snatch itself is something of a letdown. Silky bulldozes the competition by basically being Silky, but you can’t deny she’s funny doing it. Nina has a lot of fun starting as Harvey Fierstein, but it’s her transformation into Jo Anne Worley that really deserves high marks. She hits the signature singing “Wooooooh!” and does a very cute little bit that transforms Snatch Game to Snatch Word, a reference to Worley’s time on Password.
Shuga also puts on a strong performance. It’s very Charo 101, but she stays in character and imbues the performance with real love from the Love Boat staple. Plastique as Lovely Mimi and A’Keria as Tiffany Haddish both exceeded my expectations with a few successful gags landing throughout.
Then we’ve got the real tough stuff. As Whoopi, Yvie fully misses the mark. The look is right, but the joke she keeps harping on is that Whoopi hasn’t had any good roles in a long time, which doesn’t feel remotely true, much less a definitive characterization. There are so many ways to tackle Whoopi, and Yvie chose none of them.
As predicted, Vanjie got nothing on “Cash Me Outside” girl (whose name I refuse to commit to memory). She starts with a weird high-pitched voice that she immediately drops. The rest of the performance is just Angry Vanjie.
But the real bottom of the barrel is Brooke as Celine, who doesn’t even attempt a joke. It’s just a Canadian accent (that really doesn’t even sound like Celine). At least Yvie was trying. This felt like a real retreat in the face of challenge.
Before the runway, Yvie attempts to smooth things over with Silky, but Dr. Ganache still ain’t having it. Vanjie has better luck making nice with Yvie, attributing their spat to the way sisters fight. Again, Vanjie’s self-awareness is on display, knowing her behavior was not becoming for a woman of her age. It was another example why there’s so much more depth to this sometimes silly character.
It’s all sequin everything on the runway, and all the queens BRING it, but none more than Brooke. Knowing her Snatch performance is going to land her in the bottom, she goes all the way out. She emerges in an afro and sequined cape, tossing both off to reveal the sexiest little barely-there pink swimsuit and long blonde locks. Not only is it one hell of a reveal, she sells all over the runway, posing and dropping like none other. It is truly one of, if not THE, greatest runway presentations of all time. The judges are literally SCREAMING the whole time. It’s art.
The judges feedback was all pretty predictable. Silky is the clear winner, but Nina and Shuga both get praise for their work. Vanjie is called out for yet another swimsuit and a character that was nowhere near fully baked. Yvie is also on the chopping block for missing so many chances to play up Whoopi’s most notable roles, like View moderator and Sister Act star.
Then there’s Brooke. The judges can barely verbalize how much they love it, but it’s just not enough to save her from the bottom two.
Just when we thought we peaked with Brooke’s runway, she and Yvie are tasked with lip syncing to Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry.” It’s a PERFECT song for this. It’s got attitude, it’s got clear shablam moments and it’s part of the Gay Community DNA in terms of songs everyone basically knows.
And yet? Brooke and Yvie outdo even the loftiest expectations. They do a perfectly timed dual drop/flip and both spend more time than one would think is humanly possible lip syncing while COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN. They burn the whole friggin’ house down. I watched this lip sync no less than six times, and I got chills every time. It’s a THRILL. It’s Drag Race at its absolute best.
Ru clearly can’t send either home, so it’s a double shantay.
Where does that leave us? Check out our rankings below, and leave yours in the comments!
- Yes, Snatch was a huge fail for Brooke, but she survived. Not only did she just survive, she murdered that runway and lip sync. It was masterful. She looked fantastic and gave us iconic moments. With her biggest roadblock now in the rearview, she can continue her dominance.
- Silky is surging. I’ve been saying from the jump that she’s a star, and the judges clearly agree. I know very little about T.S. Madison’s whole thing, but Silky had me laughing. She also never looked better than in the green gown she wore on this runway. It was a stellar week for her all around.
- Like Brooke, Yvie can bounce back from this abysmal Snatch like she bounced off the floor during that lip sync. Her runway lewk wasn’t as strong as Brooke’s, but she still got high praise from the judges for her glam rock jumpsuit (even if Michelle didn’t get the wig). Yvie knows who she is, and she’s done a good job thus far channeling that into the challenges and runways.
- Don’t sleep on A’Keria. Her Tiffany Haddish played to all her signature bits. She was quick, she was funny and she looked great. On the runway, A’Keria is consistently excellent (save for that unfortunate shoulder pad last week). Her wig was big and beautiful, and I love the little cat tail she added for an extra layer of camp.
- Vanjie is on the decline. I’m getting less and less convinced she’ll make it to the finals each week. She was a fool not to heed Ru’s warnings in the workroom, and it seems like she’s committed to walking the runway like it’s a plank each week, just waiting for Michelle to send her overboard. She can still turn it out, and I could see her surviving lip syncs against all the gals down further in the rankings, which makes me think she’ll outlast at least a few more queens.
- This should’ve been Nina‘s challenge to slay, but she was merely “good.” Not great. In the absence of a big win here, and with runways that never blow anyone away, it feels like a matter of time until Nina sashays away.
- It’s not that Plastique did poorly last night, but when sizing up the competition, she’s just starting to fall a bit behind. Maybe it is the personality gap, or maybe it’s her youth that makes her look a little less seasoned than the rest. Lovely Mimi isn’t someone everyone, especially Ru, seems inspired by. Maybe she would have done better with a character more folks could recognize.
- It’s a shame that Shuga still feels like the bottom of the list despite her top-three finish here. Charo was an excellent choice, and the judges ate up her purple gown on the runway. Personally, I felt the flamenco-style hair was a bit too on the nose and wish she made a different choice in the styling to elevate the whole thing. Like Plastique, other queens’ star power is outshining Shuga.
How would you rank the queens?