‘Drag Race’ queens Gottmik, Olivia Lux and Tina Burner talk Snatch Game back-ups and all-time favorite performances
It’s finally the week most RuPaul’s Drag Race fans dream about all year. Snatch Game is upon us, babes!
The season 13 competition is already hot and heavy, but now it’s time to see what these queens are really made of. Famously, Snatch Game can create legends, but it can also be responsible for moments that live in unfortunate infamy.
Daniel Trainor and Sam Stone chatted with fan favorites Gottmik, Olivia Lux and Tina Burner about their Snatch Game preparation, their back-up impressions that didn’t make it to the screen and how the show has already changed their lives.
Trainor: Hello, ladies! Let’s talk Snatch Game. I think it’s the most anticipated challenge of each season and fans certainly always have their opinions. Going into it, where were your excitement and/or anxiety levels?
Olivia: We can even rewind all the way back to getting the Drag Race call. When you get it, your first thought is “Oh my god, what am I going to do for Snatch Game?” It’s definitely something within the fandom that is prized. I was just excited for the girls to let loose and have fun.
Gottmik: Before you’re even on the show, it’s a thing. You’ll be drinking with your friends and it’s like “Who would you do for Snatch Game?” I’ve had options since the dawn of time. When I got the call, like Olivia said, it’s the first thing in your head. I’m not a celebrity impersonator. I’ve never done that before. So it was definitely a stressful moment for me, personally. You’re in the competition and everything is moving so fast, and then RuPaul says “it’s Snatch Game time,” you get so excited and celebrate. And then you have to snap to it and you’re like “Oh no.” You actually have to do it. It’s the craziest roller coaster of emotions.
Tina: As everyone knows, Snatch Game is a make-or-break moment on the show. I was more excited than anything, because who doesn’t love to be someone else for a few hours? It really flexes your acting muscles. I also couldn’t wait to see everybody’s choices – for the good and the bad.
Stone: How did you guys prepare for Snatch Game, even before you got on the show?
Olivia: You can only prepare so much. For example, the improv challenge when I played the mime. Or the disco challenge when I had to dance. You prepare as much as you can, but at the end of the day, you have to let it go and let it breathe. I did improv games with my friends beforehand (laughs). I had a Snatch Game Day with my roommate. We just fired off things I could possibly be. However, the characters that I did for my audition tape were characters I couldn’t end up doing on the show because people ended up doing them on Season 12 or All-Stars.
Gottmik: I was deciding what character I was doing up until the literal point of doing my make-up. I swear. I was like “should I do both?” I was going through it. I said, no matter what happens, I was just going to try and make RuPaul laugh. That’s all you can do. The Rusical Challenge taught me about the art of letting go and having fun. It’s easy to connect with Ru when you’re having fun.
Stone: If you can get one laugh out of RuPaul, she will cackle.
Gottmik: If you can get one laugh out of RuPaul, you’re probably going to stay. So, fingers crossed!
Olivia: It’s a floodgate with Ru.
Trainor: Especially this season! There are already these iconic moments in the Werk Room with her uncontrollable laughter. I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or what, but RuPaul is ready to let loose!
Gottmik: (laughs) Quarantine had something to do with it, one-hundred percent.
Trainor: We don’t want to spoil who you guys actually played, but we’d love to hear about your back-up choices that you decided not to use for whatever reason. What did you have?
Tina: I was thinking about doing Martha Stewart, but realized I can’t cook and I’ve never been to prison.
Olivia: I was fully ready to do Cardi B. But then it was really awkward when I saw Jaida do her in Season 12. Cardi had never been done before, so I didn’t think anybody would do it. Lo and behold, she did it! Also, ever since I’ve been doing drag, I’ve been told that I remind people of Eartha Kitt. Despite Eartha being done twice, I thought “Maybe I’ll bring her with me.” And, lo and behold, Jujubee brought her back for All-Stars! So, those were two that I was excited to bring with me, but you have to roll with the punches.
Gottmik: Going up to the mirror, I had a photo of Susanne Bartsch and I was going to do her. I was going to have so much fun with her because she is just as crazy as I am. It’s basically me with an accent. But I switched at the last minute.
Stone: When you think about Snatch Game, do you have any iconic performances that are your favorites?
Gottmik: I really love Katya’s Bjork. I love Alaska’s Mae West.
Olivia: Adore’s Anna Nicole. I loved Eureka O’Hara’s Honey Boo Boo. That was really funny. Little Edie! How can we forget Jinkx Monsoon’s Little Edie? Judge Judy, oh my goodness! Bianca Del Rio’s Judge Judy! There are so many great performances.
Tina: Season 6 was an amazing Snatch Game. Bianca and Adore really got me, too. Tatianna’s Britney and also Kennedy Davenport as Little Richard. Iconic.
Trainor: Olivia and Gottmik, it really feels like the two of you have blossomed as performers throughout this competition and found your creative voices. Especially you, Gottmik, every week it seems like your attitude is “I guess we’ll see what happens!,” but you always turn it out!
Gottmik: (laughs) It’s literally true.
Trainor: What has the process been like in finding and growing your confidence with each challenge?
Gottmik: It has been the most magical, amazing thing. It’s exactly how you see. Walking into the competition, I had this idea that I was going to crash the system and I was going to be gorgeous Miss Fame vibes, and I wanted to sit pretty and be this make-up angel of light the whole time. But when I started having fun, I realized I’m so much more than that. I just wanted to keep it going. I kept pushing myself every week and I’d discover a new part of myself. It was an out-of-body experience.
Olivia: What really helped me was taking it week-by-week, challenge-by-challenge. When you think about it that way, you can be like “Okay this week, I’m going to tackle improv!” Watching every back, it’s cool because you get to see it all together. It’s so cool to share it with everyone now, and look back and feel like I’m slaying.
Trainor: Tina, after some tough critiques with the Rusical last week, did you look at Snatch Game as a chance at redemption?
Tina: After watching the Rusical back, I slayed it. No redemption needed!
Stone: We’ve seen some conflict and pot stirring this season. However, Olivia and Gottmik, it feels like you two have managed to stay consistently positive. In a room where you’re competing with everybody, how did you manage to avoid all of that?
Olivia: Once you realize that not everything is about you, you can just be like “I’m going to sit over here and mind my business!” That way, it was easier for me to not get pushed into the whirlwind of everything.
Gottmik: I agree. I’m from L.A. where there’s basically no conflict. Everybody goes out of their way to not have to deal with conflict at all. You could see that on the show. Anytime there was conflict, I was just laughing on the side. At first, when people didn’t really know me, they thought it was rude that I was laughing the whole time. But I just didn’t know what to do! I had no idea where to put my hands or where to look. I was freaking out. When we made Rosé and Denali audition for the Rusical, Olivia and I were just sitting there dying together. I’m really close with Kandy and Tina, but when that Mean Girls situation happened, I was like “I’m not mean!” I’m definitely shady, but never mean. I wasn’t a huge fan of that title, but I’m also just someone who goes where the fun is and those bitches are loud and fun, so I gravitated that way. But when it got spooky, I gravitated another way!
Stone: Just to clarify, the conflict I’m talking about is when that bee attacked you.
Gottmik: (laughs) That bee was super rude and I’m still triggered about that.
Trainor: On Friday nights, how are you guys watching the show? This cast seems so tight, both on screen and via social media, so I’m curious about text threads and viewing habits.
Gottmik: We really are so close. I almost cried during the COVID special. I can’t believe I was locked in my room for so long and then got shoved into my dream life. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done under the craziest circumstances. I came out with some of my favorite people I’ve ever met in my life. I have never bonded with girls this fast. I’m so obsessed with everyone. I can’t thank the universe enough.
Tina: I feel it’s always handy to have a drink or two ready. To be honest, we are all seeing it for the first time. I also love the Ru-cap with my mom the next day. She is officially the best. She takes notes!
Olivia: I love video chatting with people. We’re constantly video chatting throughout the week. Fridays, though, is more of an immediate tribe thing, whether it be your partner or your family. But the rest of the week, we’re always talking. When things open back up, we’ll definitely cherish the moments when we can be physically together.
Trainor: I imagine the show has already changed your lives in crazy ways. How are things different now?
Olivia: Okay, it was the weirdest thing. I recently went to Target. I had my mask on, obviously. But I noticed some people were following me. This girl came up to me and was like “Are you Olivia?” and I was like “Oh my gosh, I am!” Then a bunch of other people chimed in and were like “We saw you, too, and just wanted to say hi!”
Trainor: This is your life now!
Olivia: It’s so cool, because I love connecting with people. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where it feels normal.
Stone: Thanks so much for the time today. We can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of the season.
Olivia: Thank you, Sam and Daniel!
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays at 8/7C on VH1.