RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 5 – The Snatch Game

Finally the Snatch Game! With the possible exceptions of the premieres and finales, the annual Snatch Game episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race is the most consistently entertaining hour of reality television. It’s here where we see how the remaining contestants do with impersonations. It’s arguably something every good drag performer should have in her back pocket, yet year after year we’re witness to just as many failing performances as we are fantastic renditions. I wonder if part of the discrepancy is that typically the queens would perform songs as these alter egos, whereas on the Snatch Game they’re of course camping it up, game show style. Regardless, the Drag-o-Meter waits for no one!

Drag-o-Meter Rating 1/5: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Nothing, Julie Newmar!

  • Wow, where does Ru get these grisly suits?
  • There was a real opportunity for a “chicken hawk” reference early on, but darned if I heard one.
  • No points because, it has nothing to do with RDR, but I have a real-life Beyonce story coming up…
  • The celebrity judges (comedian Ross Mathews & “original Dreamgirl” Loretta Devine) are unknown to me. You know a judge isn’t famous if their many accomplishments have to be listed. Doubly so if they need to be verbalized.
  • Maybe this is a complaint of Lady Gaga, but Phi Phi’s impersonation is more Madonna than Gaga. Right?
  • Yah, sadly Kenya’s Beyonce is pretty flat.
  • Once again, no runway theme is imposed. Why?
  • Phi Phi’s one wonky eye.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 2/5: You bettah work!

  • The girls all immediately fight over Madame LaQueer’s hangers and wig heads.
  • What is the origin of Kenya’s name, given that she’s proudly Puerto Rican? I’d like all of the names to have been explained, really.
  • When Sharon realized she was way off the mark with her chicken, she should have just grabbed the Pit Crew guy’s balls. Duh.
  • Chad opines that he, “basically owes [Cher] everything in [his] life.” A little much? A little much.
  • Latrice’s Aretha Franklin isn’t doing it for me. Maybe I don’t know Aretha very well, but it was kinda flat.
  • Jiggly’s runway dress is pretty boring, yet she’s somehow safe.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 3/5: [snaps!]

  • At last, we get to see Chad do Cher. He did, after all, get work done to look more like her. I really want him to meet her somehow, but sadly this show is not popular enough for that. By far.
  • Wendy Williams, or is it Milan, spells surgeon “sergin.”
  • Jessica Simpson has a mini electric fan on herself the whole time, for some reason.
  • I can’t decided how I feel about Ru’s latest runway look. It’s feathery blue sunflowers? Ehh, I kind of like it, but maybe only because it isn’t the worst thing she’s worn.
  • I kind of liked Dida’s teddy bear skirt, but my viewing partner disagreed.
  • Once again we have Sharon Needles needling herself. Meta.
  • In general, the current queens can be easily grouped into ones that are clearly good and those that are clearly bad. There isn’t a lot of middle ground. These are my top four, which I have confirmed for at least two weeks now: Sharon, Willam, Chad, and Latrice. They stand out, are always in character, and get the challenges on a level above the others. Plus, they tend not to ever get involved in the pettiness or take being read too seriously.
  • Ru points on in judging that to be a drag queen you need to have knowledge of pop culture to be relevant, so it’s not an excuse that you don’t have a huge repertoire of American celebrity references. True dat. In fact it’s odd that anyone even brings that up as an excuse.
  • “She ordered those tears from China,” Sharon says to Willam’s unexpected crying about Phi Phi’s melancholy [for having finally made close drag friends]. Would have worked, but the timing was a little off.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 4/5: Heyyyyyyyy Girl!

  • Each week the losers from the previous episode are shown holding the giant check with a sad look on their faces. The face of failure. You ain’t never getting that check.
  • The brief graphic of the Beat the Cock mini-games appears to have been a very fancy chicken dressed in a pink and purple lamay ensemble, wearing black heels of course.
  • The mini-games were silly and obviously super low-budget, but I liked the consistency of the cock theme. Best was perhaps seeing the girls diddle around in heels with an egg between their legs.
  • Willam refers to his Jessica Simpson wig on its head-stand as “sleeping.” I cackled at that one.
  • Holy crap Milan’s Diana Ross makeup is ca-ca-ca-crazy!
  • “We were on uppers, downers, and candy corns,” Sharon says to Ru in an undeniable Michelle Visage voice.
  • Willam’s Jessica Simpson basically is just a dumb blonde, but there’s a lot of subtlety, and I did laugh out a few times. There were little things like how she spelled her own name wrong on the name plate several times.
  • Jiggly immediately steps forward and apologizes for being a…snatch…at the Snatch Game. Good on ya.
  • “How many giraffe’s had to die,” Santino muses.
  • OMG I loved Milan’s Janelle Monae. It was SO spot-on, and she looked so cute. I will admit, though, that this is technically drag king.
  • For whatever reason, you look at Sharon and maybe think she’d be super awkward in person, but without fail she always has something timely and charming to say. She’s maybe my favorite.
  • Michelle Visage, to her credit, takes all of the ripping and jokes about her appearance and age very well. The editing made us predict she would flip out, but she not only doesn’t…she seems genuinely flattered.
  • The big prize (a custom gown from Marco Marco) actually looks expensive.
  • You can see it in Kenya’s eyes when she realizes she’s facing off against Milan in a vogueing (the “Vogue”) lipysnc for your life. “Oh…fuck,” she smizes. Still, Kenya brings it, but it’s not vogueing realness. It was a fair fight nonetheless and probably the best this season so far.
  • In an Untucked scene we learn that Willam brought a cardboard promotional cutout of Jessica Simpson to the Snatch Game. Like, the actual one from Macy’s. She unfolds at her seat and walks away, presumably to do something else, wherein the cutout is close enough to the real thing. Pretty smart indeed.
  • DiDa says she didn’t notice — despite sitting 2 seats away at the Snatch Game — each time Chad changed his Cher wigs. His reaction shot was pretty hilarious.

Drag-o-Meter Rating 5/5: Sickening!

  • Phi Phi wins the mini-games and gives Chad her prize (a phone call home) because it’s her anniversary. Adorbs!
  • Then Latrice immediately says, “see, she aint a total bitch.”
  • OMFG I love the Snatch Game!
  • “I spread La Mer on my toast in the morning. I’m Cher bitch.” Someone please make this a t-shirt stat! True story: I know someone who goes through La Mer like butter.
  • Chad’s Cher is, of course, by far the best impersonation. She not only has all the mannerisms and the look, but she’s seamlessly integrated things I would expect the real Cher to say, like, “this chicken shit show.”
  • This is a conversation that occurred onscreen, presented without comment: “I’m gonna wear the giraffe body suit you made for me.” “Yay!”
  • “I tend to think that emotions are for ugly people,” Willam says after Michelle gives the cliche, “I want to know the real you,” critique.
  • In the “impersonate each other” Untucked/not challenge (that should have been a challenge), Latrice at one point draws Sharon. Frozen because she literally can’t think of anything, Jiggly then guesses correctly.
  • After Kenya’s nonsensical explanation for her coked-out Beyonce impersonation, Sharon expertly deadpans, “I love the way your mind works…but that made no goddamn sense.” They all laugh maniacally.

I’ve determined a few things about Ru’s comments:

  1. She’s commonly upstaged or at least matched in commentary by the other judges, notably Santino.
  2. It’s easy to miss the subtle comments.
  3. Context, context, context.

As such, next week I’ll be including all judging commentary. Nevertheless, Ru had a few golden nuggets this week:

  • “Egg drop soup anyone?”
  • “Tossed salad and an egg.”
  • “Well you know you’re supposed to be portraying a woman.” To Sharon when she explains she’ll be impersonating Michelle Visage.
  • “What are you gonna do, arrest me for all this ass?”
  • “Sharon Needles…after a little lunchtime procedure.”
  • “Speaking of plastic surgery, you chose to do Michelle Visage.”
  • “Kenya Michaels, impersonating Beyonce is not your Destiny’s Child.”
  • “Phi Phi O’Hara, your Lady Gaga was on the Edge of Gory.”

Not to immediately jinx myself, but I think I might actually win big time in the Fantasy Race. I haven’t had to make any changes to As the Day is Long yet. I’m at the top of my leader-board and not doing terrible overall either. This episode brought in the most points so far, 20. Keep it up, ladies!


One thought on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4, Episode 5 – The Snatch Game

  1. […] last week’s annually stunning “Snatch Game,” this week RuPaul’s Drag Race was a return to […]

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