‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Recap: How Do These Queens Not Know Snatch Game?

How is it that, season after season, all of these queens screw up the one challenge they know is coming?

by Brian Moylan
May 4 2018, 3:10am

Just like taxes, Madea movies, and being disappointed by the Oscar nominations, Snatch Game happens every damn year. It’s the one challenge that every one of them knows is coming and could spend months rehearsing for. As hinted at by the contestants in this episode, it’s even something that they include in their audition videos. If all of these queens are sitting around talking about who they would do on the Snatch Game, how did they mess it up so badly?

Other than Aquaria’s Melania Trump, Monét X Change’s Maya Angelou, and Eureka’s Honey Boo Boo, all of the celebrity impersonations were total disasters.

Those that succeed know the very simple secret to this annual ritual: Contestants have to choose someone with a very distinct, well known personality that is similar to theirs. As Aquaria said, she’s sort of reserved and standoffish, just like Melania Trump, so she turned what is usually a negative and turned it into comedy gold. Coupled with her oil-slicked editorial sea creature for the Mermaid Fantasy runway look (one of the hardest challenges yet), she was a very deserving winner. (And a surprising one considering she’s usually as funny as a cancer diagnosis.)

As soon as The Vixen said she was going to do Blue Ivy Carter I knew it would end in failure. Not only do most people not have a deep understanding of what she looks like, they also have no idea what she sounds like, what she does, or what her personality is like. Asia O’Hara fell into the similar trap of trying to do Beyoncé who, for all of her talents, is something of a blank slate. Outside of her songs and videos, we have no idea what she’s really like. I mean, she rarely even grants interviews, how can you come up with some quotes of hers?

Miz Cracker decided to do Dorothy Parker, who is hilarious and she didn’t do a bad job coming up with stabby quips a la the poisoned pen Parker. But even those who are familiar with her work might not know what she looked and sounded like. Again, this was an uphill battle. Monique Heart just didn’t have enough of Maxine Waters to go on to really make it work.

But we know all this from watching the episode. The real question is, why didn’t they have something better? Asia was going to do Whitney Houston, which she does in her act, but when Ru said not to do it with the drug jokes, she didn’t know how to make it work. But Whitney has so much to go on. The vocal trills, “show me the receipts,” “crack is whack,” “Bobby!” and countless others. Whitney is the perfect character, but Asia got too in her head to think beyond the really easy joke.

Monique Heart also brought some options including Cookie Lyon from Empire. Which she should have done. She would have slayed. She also hadn’t finished her costume. Which is a running theme for her, we’ve heard for several episodes that she’s hot gluing them together on her way to the runway.

The other queens didn’t seem to accept this as a solution and when Monique said it’s because she doesn’t have enough money all of the other queens told her they don’t have any either. The really interesting facts came out during Untucked. Kameron Michaels said she spent more on outfits to be on Drag Race than she did on the down payment for her house. Miz Cracker said that she took out a loan to get ready for the competition. She joked that she had to put her ass up for collateral, but I think she was serious when she said she paid more to be on Drag Race than to go to college. I’m sure even the $100,000 prize might not pay the loan back.

But just like college, this is an investment in a queen’s future. If staying in the competition longer means more popularity and therefore more bookings, having the outfits to stick around until the end is worth the money in the long run. But, then again, so is having a killer character for the Snatch Game.

But Monique didn’t seem prepared in any way.. She ended up in the bottom with The Vixen and Asia. When she and The Vixen squared off in the final lip sync, it soon became clear she didn’t know the words. She literally floundered in her performance, attempting cartwheels and instead falling flat on her face while The Vixen jumped, twirled, and kicked all around her, nailing every one of the lyrics for “Cut to the Feeling.”

I’m very upset with Monique for fucking this one up, not only because she was one of my favorites, but because I really need The Vixen to go home. Seriously, she’s making the show excruciating to watch and it seems like, after her stunts in this episode, the rest of the queens are turning on her.

It started at the reading challenge when her nemesis Eureka won again. “Don’t be jealous of all this weight, because you’re just waiting to win,” quipped Eureka. The Vixen retorted, “Waiting on you to go home.”

Then, after Snatch Game, she blamed her poor performance on Eureka, saying she stepped on everyone’s lines. Eureka didn’t take the bait and de-escalated what easily could have turned into a contentious shouting match.

The real coup de grâce came when RuPaul asked the top and bottom queens who they thought should go home. Eureka didn’t even say The Vixen, but The Vixen launched into a rant about how unprofessional Eureka was at the challenge. How did The Vixen think this was going to go? This is someone who just won two challenges in a row and the judges just gave near universal praise to. Did she think that cutting her down was actually going to send her home?

The other queens on the stage said The Vixen should be chopped. Which will make next week awkward.

The worst aspect is the hypocrisy of it all. The Vixen is self-admittedly aggressive and argumentative, but when people challenge her on it she tells them “don’t poke the bear,” meaning she’s not willing to change. Then, when Eureka apologizes for being loud and too much, The Vixen accuses her of not being willing to change. So, which is it? Why is she asking Eureka to do what she can’t? The Vixen is a great performer who has a mastery of hair and makeup. She has a very clear brand and her politically motivated drag should be commended. However she’s just as ill-prepared as Monique, but it’s more about doing some self-reflection than it is about getting some expensive garments made.

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