The longest season in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory rolls on, but wake up babies! It’s Snatch Game time! Snap to it!
My name is Daniel Trainor and, when this season started, I was fifteen pounds lighter and believed in a higher power. Now I’m just a couch potato struggling to find a will to live. But enough about me! Let’s watch these queens impersonate people I’ve never heard of!
My name is Sam Stone, and I, for one, would suggest what therapists would call “going outside,” Daniel!
Let’s get Snatched.
DT: After last week’s double “shantay, you stay,” the girls debrief in the Werk Room dressed in enough yellow to make my eyes bleed. But all the queens are still here!
SS: In the sage words of Tina Burner “we said it before, it’s anybody’s game…but now it just feels like it is fucking anybody’s game.” Ok Socrates is shaking.
DT: With that knowledge in hand, RuPaul walks in looking like the Brady Bunch house exploded and explains this week’s Mini Challenge, which calls for the girls to get into quick punk drag and audition for The Panty Hoes. I was actually a fan of The Panty Hoes before they went mainstream, but whatever it’s not a big deal you wouldn’t understand.
SS: Oh you like the Panty Hoes? Name seven hundred of their songs?
DT: “What’d You Do Last Night, You Bitch!” A timeless classic.
SS: Ok thought you were a real fan…
DT: The girls mostly look like Hollywood Boulevard wanderers at 3:00 am as they gyrate and kick around the stage, but it’s Tina Burner’s jiggling ass that provides me with an image that will never leave my brain and will likely lead to tens of thousands of dollars in therapy bills.
SS: I’m not sure if maybe Tina Burner was cursed by an evil witch in her mid 30’s, or what happened (Agatha all along vibes — topical!) but the abrupt zoom in on her jiggling butt was a violent choice.
DT: Tina and her oscillating appendages win the challenge. For the Maxi Challenge, RuPaul says the five words that every drag queen longs to hear: “no Ross Mathews this week!” Or sorry wait, “we’re playing the Snatch Game!”
SS: Who would you do for the Snatch Game, Daniel?
DT: Gay Shrek.
SS: This isn’t meant as a read, but that would be perfect.
DT: As the girls start revealing who they are going to play, Kandy says she’s doing Patrick Starr and, I swear to God, I barely know who this person is. These impressions are making me feel older and older every season.
SS: Yeah, no shade, but I did assume she meant the Spongebob character, and I thought it would have been an incredible choice.
DT: Speaking of incredible choices, Utica chooses to not make one in playing Bob Ross, the calm, sedate, snoozefest of a PBS painter. Ru is just as skeptical as we are, but Utica feels confident she can eke some humor out of possibly the least exciting person who ever existed.
SS: We’re also treated to an interesting sideplot wherein Utica chooses to wear a wigged afro made of stuffed squirrels, so as to avoid appropriation.
DT: Rosé is playing noted comedic genius and icon Mary, Queen of Scots. She’s looking forward to showing off her historic intelligence during the challenge. Yes, mama! I gag for 16th century anecdotes! Drag King James V, bitch!
SS: Elliott has bravely chosen to portray homosexual impersonation stand-by Rue McClanahan from “The Golden Girls,” and once again, RuPaul doesn’t seem confident she’s up to the task. Can Elliott meet the high bar set by drag queens of yore? Probably not, but I can’t wait to see this play out.
DT: Tina is going with Richard Simmons. I swear to God, Tina insisting on doing her Snatch Game performance in her “signature colors” should be grounds for disqualification from the competition. Thank God Richard is still missing or held captive or whatever (I didn’t make it to the end of the podcast).
SS: Before you know it, the Snatch Game has commenced, and we’re ready to see our little baby birds fly from the nest. It becomes immediately clear that a few of our hatchlings will indeed fall out of the sky (is this metaphor long enough) — Oliva’s impression of vegan icon Tabitha Brown falls incredibly flat, and Elliott can’t quite grasp how humor works in his impression of Rue.
DT: Rosé’s entire premise is a Scottish accent, Tina is hoping lifting weights will distract from her lackluster impression and Kandy is, uh….just kinda being Kandy! They all do enough to avoid total disaster.
SS: Like Kandy, Gottmik’s Paris Hilton impression is more akin to Gottmik speaking in her own signature vocal fry and wearing an enormous furry pink coat, but her wit and timing are on point, and Ru is nearly asphyxiating at every answer.
DT: Meanwhile, Utica is fully out here licking spray paint, which is what I assumed she’s been doing this entire competition off camera. But to get visual confirmation is both unsightly and self-affirming.
SS: Symone has somehow found a way to make an impression of Harriet Tubman truly funny, which is a sentence I never thought I would write, let alone publish on this crazy thing called the Internet.
DT: To cap off this entire mad romp, Elliott misspells the ‘lanai’ on her answer card, and I can almost hear the “sashay away” now.
SS: Back in the Werk Room, the girls discuss their Snatch Game performances and Olivia says she’s proud of what she did, and I’m so envious of somebody with such confidence! Can I buy that somewhere?
DT: Olivia calls out Utica for being two-faced and saying one thing to her face, and another to Denali in the Werk Room about her Snatch Game performance. It’s classic behavior, but my advice to Utica is that you shouldn’t talk behind somebody’s back if that back is without shouting distance.
SS: Finally someone besides Kandy understands what fuels this show — drama and fights.
DT: On the runway, the category is Fascinating Fascinators. I love alliteration! And I love when things are attached to heads! So this is huge for me.
SS: That’s what I immediately thought when I heard this week’s category. I thought “Dan loves things attached to heads — this will be huge for him!!”
DT: Olivia makes up for her Snatch Game performance with a surprising, cool, mad scientist moment. Denali is dressed as a diner waitress on skates, which basically worked and made me crave french fries, and Rosé looks pretty, if a bit predictable, in a rosy thorn look.
SS: And here, dear reader is where we will have one of our rare, fascinating disagreements on the recap. I think Rosé’s look was chic and interesting, and I challenge Daniel to a physical fight to determine who’s correct about this (me).
DT: Anytime, anyplace. Utica has a picnic basket ensemble and she’s covered in button-ants. It’s…very Utica. Elliott’s look was a miss, for me. She looks like a queen who got stuck inside a Jennifer Convertible. Wait, Jennifer Convertible. Potential drag queen name? Put a pin in this! Apparently she’s supposed to be a…flamingo?
SS: Gottmik once again serves an entire fantasy, leaving us gooped, gagged, and, dare I say, GORPED? (new phrase I’m workshopping). It’s a punk, leather runway with an enormous safety pin piercing her head. What’s not to love, babes?
DT: The gorpiest moment of the runway, however, is saved for Symone. She creates a symbolic, political, moving ensemble as a tribute to Black lives lost, that makes for quite a powerful statement.
SS: The judges almost don’t know how to respond. Puns? Sincere words of praise? It’s clear the “Drag Race” isn’t ready for Symone.
DT: That’s made more evident by the fact that she merely finds herself safe (what?), alongside Kandy and Tina, last week’s bottom three.
SS: Talk about feeling gorped, Symone’s safe call was genuinely shocking. In the bottom this week are Olivia, Utica, and Elliott, while the top queens are Gottmik, Rosé, and Denali.
DT: Gottmik takes another win this week (do I smell a frontrunner…or is that my breath?), while Utica and Elliott are left to lip sync for their lives.
SS: During the lip sync, Elliott feels like she’s holding everything back for a big moment that…never comes. Utica uses her long, ant-covered body to command attention almost the entire time, and eventually comes out the winner.
DT: Elliott gets sent home for a second time this season, after her rude dismissal in the premiere episode seventeen years ago. Thank you for being a friend, Elliott.