10 celebrities who appeared as part of this year’s iteration of Snatch Game.
1. Paula Deen (Darienne Lake) : Snatch Game is the show’s annual Celebrity Impersonation round, paying tribute to the dreams of queens like Chad Michaels, Trinity K Bonet and Jessie J, who want to spend their lives inhabiting the skin of their favourite diva as a second-tier knock-off. The title is pun on “Match Game”, the US version of Blankety-Blank. Those of you who want to speculate on what the equivalent punning round title on the UK version – Lily Savage’s Drag Race – would be called are free to do so. Racist Southern US Butter-Chef Paula Deen was the celebrity of choice for Darienne Lake, and she probably best embodied the vibe of the Snatch Game challenge over the five series it’s been a Drag Race mainstay – vaguely disappointing in a way you can’t quite put your finger on. Don’t get me wrong, Darienne’s “southern belle eating a cupcake and being vaguely patronising” act was funny in a low key sort of way, but I was hoping for more.
2. Teresa Giudice (Joslyn Fox) : Joslyn Fox’s performance as one of the Real Housewives on the other hand was a surprise and a delight. I always worry when the queens decide to pick a figure from ephemeral American modern trash culture to imitate for reasons that will perhaps become more clear when we get to this week’s entry covering Laganja Estranja, but nothing translates across the Atlantic more smoothly than a jizz joke, and Joslyn’s commitment to mispronouncing “cumin” was admirable. She also seemlessly worked in “prostitution whores” and references to Teresa’s repeated flips in how she was pretentiously choosing to pronounce her surname this second. If I say all this like I have any knowledge of Teresa Giudice – I don’t. That’s just how good Joslyn was this week, taking someone I don’t know and making me laugh along with jokes about foibles and catchphrases I didn’t know they had. She was also a sweetheart on Untucked. Again. Can we award Miss Congenialty early this year?
3. Julia Child (Milk) : Actually let’s not, because under the rules newly coined last year that Miss Congeniality would be awarded for being hot and tangentially associated with an existing Fan Favourite, it’d probably go to Milk after Sharon Needles reveals on twitter that he let her suck him off once so EVERYONE VOTE FOR MILK (God the personal pronouns in that sentence I can only apologise) (Alexis Matteo was originally the punchline to that joke but then I realised I’d typed “Fan Favourite” LOL). Whatever, my patience with Milk has officially run out. Her Snatch Game performance was dull and her stomping down the runway dressed like a cross between Cookie Masterson and one of The Gentlemen from Buffy WITH HER BALD CAP PEELING OFF HER HEAD was an insult to past gender-bending queens like Milan, Alaska, Ongina and Kelly Osbourne who all got read harder for much less sloppy work. Would it be too harsh to say I want her gone next week? Because I do.
4. Nicki Minaj (Trinity K Bonet): Yes, fortunately Trinity decided to tamp down all her instincts and not come out as Beyonce, instead choosing Nicki Minaj. It was one of those performance that didn’t go very well, and which the show sought to undermine rather than paper over (come on – they could have done something more with Trinity being so busy changing wigs that she forgot to write an answer than just play the cricket noises in), so it was no surprise that she was plunged back into the funk that she’s spent the last few weeks in. Fortunately she was kept away from Bianca this week, so instead of getting shredded and sulking she spent most of Untucked actually showing a more vulnerable side to herself. Firstly by overhearing misinterpreting Snatino’s ribbing of Ru during the Runway as being directed at her, which is the sort of awkward bitter goof we’ve all done, and then revealing that she is a transgender wom…I mean living with HIV. And THEN her mother cameo’d via video to tell her that she loved her (I presume the door to the Interior Illusions lounge had to be nailed shut with 2 x 4s to stop Laganja storming in and accusing her of trying to steal her family moment). If Joslyn can’t win Miss Congeniality I hope she can, and also that this sudden rush of backstory doesn’t augur her going home next week.
5. Fran Drescher (Joslyn Fox) : Yes you read that right. She was better at it.
6. Judge Judy (Bianca Del Rio) : OK, so now we’re getting to the really good ones. I think in total this year’s Snatch Game was the strongest ever, with four genuine stand-out performances. (I understand why Joslyn didn’t make the official top 3 – she looked genuinely horrific on the Final Runway – but I would personally have stretched it to a Top 4). On the one hand I can see why Bianca’s version of Judge Judy could be seen as one of the weaker of the stand-outs, just because at times it felt like she was just waiting for any opportunity to throw in a catchphrase, and despite what she said her read of Laganja was ALL Bianca and no Judy. But on the other hand SHE HAD HAD A PUPPET. Like Ru, I’m a big Judith Sheindlin fan (HER COURT IS REAL, BUT SHE IS NOT) and the relationship she has with Byrd is amongst my favourites on tv, so I’m glad that Bianca paid tribute to it in puppet form. For about five minutes before throwing the puppet in Gia’s face and telling her to have sex with it. (<3)
7. Maggie Smith (Ben De La Creme) : The winner of this year’s challenge was Ben De La Creme as Maggie Smith. Or, more accurately, Ben De La Creme as Maggie Smith as Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Duchess of Grantham, a role that Maggie Smith has phoned in for the last 4 years and won Golden Globes, Emmys, SAGs and a coveted TV TIMES AWARD for. This gave Ben room to both do generic “bitchy snooty old English lady” jokes and ALSO pull those very specific and unique Maggie Smith electrocuted frog faces that she brings to the role. In the end, what pulled Ben over the finish line to the win was his runway look, which was one of the few (alongside maybe Trinity) that actually truly channelled RuPaul, rather than just generic frou-frou glamour. At this stage, based on the results so far, he’s definitely the one to beat, because there doesn’t seem to be a chink in his armour, other than his slight hyperactivity in performing. On a downer note I am slightly sad that Alyssa Edwards didn’t become the first queen from the show to be “done” on Snatch Game, as Ben briefly considered. As this Youtube video shows Ben can…definitely derive humour from Alyssa. Although who couldn’t?
8. Anna Nicole Smith (Adore Delano) : I’ll get this out the way now, I would have given the win to Danny Noriega this episode hands down. If you look at who’s won Snatch Game, it’s always been someone safe. Either a glowing tribute to someone, or of a celebrity “in character” and therefore safe to perform without fear of reprisal or bad feelings. And after 5 series of safe, I’m ready to say that I like my celebrity takedowns best when they’re merciless, rough, and just skirting the edge of poor taste. Which is why Adore’s Anna Nicole Smith had me from the off, because that shit was hard-edged. The slurring, the clapping, the muttered drugs slang, the amplified cluelessness deployed for approval… Adore’s Anna Nicole was just purely funny and caustic and made me laugh harder than anything else in the episode. As if this wasn’t enough though, Adore deserved the win doubly for her owning of Untucked, with that glorious slightly wall-eyed glare to camera when Gia and Laganja were preening one another’s feathers over how “sensitive” they were, that utter skewewing of Laganja’s “I want you to apologise for making me feel bad by saying something that I can’t recall but it definitely happened” bs, AND her glorious new power alliance with Bianca. Hopefully this mother-daughter alliance will give Bianca the softening and Adore the polish both of them need to compete with the Courtneys and Bens of the show.
9. Rachel Zoe (Laganja Estranja) : So Laganja is officially the villain of this series now? Because apparently there are more meltdowns to come according to the man himself. Meltdowns that he’s gloriously handwaved away with “they took my weed away from me, what did you expect?”. Not that the one that occurred this week wasn’t enough, and I’m not sure just how further into his face that chin can sink in sullen outrage. Obviously his Rachel Zoe was a bust because…I mean what is there to say about Rachel Zoe? She’s a shallow fashionista with a whole load of ineptly deployed catchphrases who relies on look and flapping around aimlessly. And whilst this might explain why Laganja was drawn to trying to portray her, it doesn’t explain why I had to watch it as part of Snatch Game, her head bobbing bok-boking out words like a robot chicken. Hopefully her love of UNDERGROUND RAP ARTISTS LIKE WISH AND RHY-RHY will come to play next week in the RAP CHALLENGE. Although it kind of already looks like she’s upstaged by Joslyn and Adore.
10. Kim Kardashian (Gia Gunn) : Absolutely.