RuPaul’s Drag Race 8 – Snatch Game

Everyone’s favourite episode (to complain about afterwards!)

The Aftermath : Given that this was Naysha’s second funeral, it was no surprise that the congregation skipped mourning entirely and got straight to hurling one another bodily into the grave like they were in an Eastenders Xmas Special. Chi Chi apologised to Derrick for not being a team player as part of Dragometry last week, Derrick called Chi Chi a bitch, Naomi then told Derrick she should have lip-synced for her life against Naysha instead of Chi Chi, Derrick then bragged that Debbie Harry loved him so clearly not, then Bob decided to take their Untucked feud prime time and told Derrick that he’s boring and snide. This high drama was leavened slightly by the fact that every time the camera panned back

Kim Chi was sat there in her shitty Picasso make-up, and Acid Betty was placed, stentorian posed, at the head of the table, like the grand high galactic rooster of the supreme space-monster court. Honestly I could watch Derrick (“I AM NOT! THAT! INNOCENT!”) and Bob (“GUYS, GUYS, AM I RIGHT, BACK ME UP, AM I RIGHT HERE GUYS?”) all day, but I can see how the general public would find it wearing.

The Challenge : Yet again no mini challenge this week, as Ru got right into cuing in Snatch Game, via a tortuous sub-Katya “lolrandom” aside that probably shouldn’t have survived the edit. For those of you who are new, Snatch Game is when the queens impersonate a bunch of minor American celebrities you’ve never heard of as part of a Blankety Blank format, and you nod along and laugh vaguely when you think you’re supposed to. Like, occasionally there’s an Adele or a Maggie Smith or a Cher but it’s a lot of Real Housewives of Storage Wars. Just bear with it, the jokes are usually crude enough to make sense whoever they’re being applied to.

The Drama : As is common with Snatch Game, the drama backstage circulated not so much around who the queens chose to be for Snatch Game, but who they didn’t choose. Kim Chi for example was considering being Pearl, of S7 fame, because they’re such good friends, but in the end opted for Kim Jong Un, because it would allow him to show a more “fucked up” side of himself. I’m still getting over that Supreme Court Judge mini challenge where he advanced on me all but fingering himself with his eyes rolling back in his head, but ok… More plot pertinent were the choices of Derrick, Naomi, and Bob. Derrick, after weeks of circling around the idea, decided to go full ghetto in the workroom, bringing out a borderline racist “BLACK GIRL TRAPPED IN A WHITE GIRL’S BODY!” Youtube character from 5 years ago called “Shocantelle Brown” (I told you that you weren’t going to have heard of any of these people, right?).

Fortunately for us all, Ru told her point blank to just do Britney instead. Which was a shame, because this Snatch Game really needed an horrific trainwreck performance to elevate it, and even failing that

Chi Chi’s face as Derrick neck-snapped, shucked and jived his way through each round would have been worth it. Lastly of all, it was sad to see Naomi get psyched out by Bob. Having spent the last few months perfecting her impersonation of Whoopi Goldberg’s character in The Color Purple (which…I think Naomi thinks was a lot more iconic than it was) she debuted it shyly for the workroom.

At which point Bob full on yelled

“OH YEAH LOOK, I’M GOING TO BE WHOOPI TOO, WATCH ME WATCH ME WATCH ME KILL IT!” scaring Naomi off having to compete with him and into a hastily cobbled together secondary choice. (SPOILERS : Bob didn’t even do Whoopi in the end). (SPOILERS : Bob’s such a bullying asshole sometimes, I love him).

The Performances, Ranked


1. Eartha Kitt : OK, now anyone who knows me could probably guess that “Eartha Kitt thinks she’s still Catwoman and also an actual cat” is exactly the sort of concept I would go for. The chasing around a ball of wool was adorable, but when Chi Chi swung around in her chair to lick her own genitals, that was the kicker for me (as it so often is in life). That she did all this whilst still aping Eartha’s ultra refined voice and regal air made this the best Snatch Game effort of a fairly lean year, and that it wasn’t Top 3 is one of the greatest crimes in the history of Snatch.


2. Charo Nice try Cynthia, but we all know that was you. Now sashay…away…again.



3. Uzo Aduba/Carol Channing : Yes, Bob’s enthusiasm for the Snatch Game could not be contained, as he became the first queen ever to perform as two characters in the same game. Unless you count when Willam was both Jessica Simpson and also a cardboard cut-out of Jessica Simpson. Both his Crazy Eyes and his Crazy Ol’ Broad were fun physical impersonations, but for a queen who prides herself on her quick wit, a lot of Bob’s gags didn’t really land, especially given that she’d had plenty of time to write them in advance. Yes, we’re at the “damning with faint praise” part of the ranking already, get ready.


4. Michael Jackson : After Kennedy broke new ground last year with her Little Richard, Thorgy became the second queen in drag race herstory to portray a man. Well…a man who isn’t a drag queen. Her Michael had plenty of flair and cute little moves (many of which were lifted from Jade Jolie’s seminal Tailor Swift for some reason) but…balcony dangling gags? What is this, 2003 again? It’s hard to do anything really new with Michael Jackson and…Thorgy didn’t. But still, it’s Thorgy, so it mostly worked out ok.


5. Kimmy Jong-Un : Fifth place out of nine for a queen who we literally only saw one answer from? Which wasn’t funny? I’ll say. In the end Kim Chi pussied out of playing Kim Jong Un and instead played his sister, Kimmy Jung-Un. Who Kim Chi made up in her head so she could play a woman. And then dressed like a man. I guess it’s nice to know that Kim has a process of her own when it comes to the performance challenges where she’s not being propped up by a team. It just…could maybe do with some editing.


6. Britney Spears : And to think she gets paid for this. Truly this was more of a “Coco does Janet” than a “Chad does Cher” as Derrick went through the basic Britney beats (tee hee I showed my fanny getting out of a car, tee hee sex, tee hee hairflip hairflip) in a fairly mechanical fashion without much life behind her eyes or fun. It’s sad to say, but I think we’d all go and see Tatianna do an evening of Britney before we did Derrick, and I feel confident speaking for the audience on that (I also preferred Pandora’s Carol to Bob’s, which is saying something, because I can’t effing stand Pandora) (I wonder if this is another stage in Snatch Game’s evolution – people taking on celebrities who’ve already had iconic Snatch Game versions and not quite measuring up). Still, this somehow ended up in the top three, because the show has now told itself that it wants/doesn’t want Derrick to be Britney so many times that it’s lost track and basically just had to shrug and throw her a bone.


7. Worzel Gummidge Not really, this was supposed to be television legal shouter Nancy Grace. Betty just talked about reefers and glared a lot. This was still better than two other people because she pulled some quality funny faces.


8. Diana Vreeland : What’s most hilarious to me is that Robbie’s entire thought process for this was clearly “everyone loved it when beloved Seattle queens Jinkx and BenDelaCreme played old women so I’ll so that”. AND NOTHING FURTHER. Just squiggle some wrinkles on your forehead Robbie, that’ll be enough. Anyway, it died on its arse because she had nothing funny to say, and the only reason she’s not last is that moment she went full Kelly Rowland on the runway and claimed she’d had laryngitis the entire time and that’s why she sucked *cough cough she’s sick*. SURE ROBBIE. SURE YA DID.


9. New York The most tragic moment of ignorance of 20th century gay history that has ever been shown on this show was when Jiggly Caliente didn’t know what the Stonewall Riots were. The SECOND most tragic moment of ignorance of 20th century gay history on this show was when Ivy Winters didn’t know that JFK fucked Marilyn Monroe. The most tragic moment of ignorance of 21st century gay history on this show was when Bob The Drag Queen threw the name Luther Vandross out there, and Naomi Smalls sat there as Tiffany “New York” Pollard and SAID NOTHING. Unforgiveable.

This Week’s Gratuitous Picture Of The Purse

No Pit Crew this week, as if things couldn’t get any worse.

The Melodrama : First off, we were treated to our last proper New York Crew interaction, as Betty confided in Thorgy that she feels isolated as a drag queen because her style is so visual and nobody respects it, just dismissing her as a “look queen”, whilst Thorgy shared with Betty her dream of getting all the kids into classical music by being a cool drag queen who plays the viola (…………). This was kind of a nice way to end things between these two, although it was slightly undercut by the fact you could feel Thorgy silently adding “also because I’m an unbearably rude twat” to the end of Betty every complaint about how nobody likes her because she’s too avant garde. Meanwhile for this week’s heavier backstory, we mined deeper into Naomi’s background, and discovered that she comes from a massive adoptive family consisting of

six white kids, three black kids, two hispanic kids, one asian kid and a couple of blurry kids. Truly a rainbow. Somehow despite this diversity, Naomi was the only gay one and also the only drag queen but her mother loved her anyway. Also Christianity and being called an Oreo and how offensive it is to be told that “you’re cute for a black guy” and so on and so on. Basically Naomi discussed a lot of stuff in a really short space of time and at the time it really felt like this might be because she was about to be eliminated. In a cute moment, Kim Chi broke in to say that Naomi IS cute for a black guy, and all of us running a book on who gets to take Kim Chi’s special flower adjusted our odds accordingly.

The Runway : The theme this week? Madonna. I honestly can’t think of any American female pop culture icon with so many diverse looks, poses and moods that the queens could potentially draw upon. Material Girl, Blond Ambition, Vogue, Sex, Hung Up, American Life, Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light, Like A Virgin, Desperately Seeking Susan, Music, Evita, Breathless, Erotica, Take A Bow, Justify My Love, Don’t Tell Me, Me Against The Music…the list of ways that pictures and outfits of Madonna defined Millennial culture is almost endless. What did we get?

Kimono

after kimono

after kimono

after FUCKING KIMONO. Was there a sale on? Because 50% of these queens should not have had the independent thought “oooh I’ll do a kimono, that just screams MADONNA”. And it’s not as though the other queens went the most obvious routes either, with Acid Betty referencing the “Bedtime Stories” video pregnancy look with seagulls flying out of her tits, and Bob referencing one time Madonna dressed as a boy scout because of gay rights for gays or something. This all gave the effect of making Chi Chi stomping the runway with cheap conical tits seem not hackneyed, like it could have done, but

an active relief. Here, unquestionably, was MADONNA. Once more though it was left up to Robbie to give my favourite runway presentation with a cute and flirty

League Of Their Own reference, complete with girlish skip and baseball to toss around. Sometimes the obvious choices really are the best.

This Week’s Most Insightful Guest Judge Input : Nothing, they were models.

The Lip Sync : After Bob got given the win, with a caution to stop showboating so much (in a drag competition lol ok Michelle), the decision as to who should make up the bottom 2 out of the obvious bottom 3 was decided principally by two factors : firstly Robbie’s decent runway, and secondly the fact that Carson Kressley did a better Nancy Grace than Acid Betty managed. Carson Kressley. And so it was a Betty vs Naomi lip-sync, to “Causing A Commotion” (again, I don’t want to harp on what a disappointment this week’s Madonna runway was to be personally, but CAUSING A COMMOTION? REALLY?), with Betty chained down by the weight of a fake baby and Naomi free to do her sexy thing all over the runway. The end product of which, even with a faked live birth,

was Acid Betty taking a tumble and being eliminated much earlier in the competition than I had anticipated. Really this consolidates Snatch Game as the one challenge for which there are no excuses – if you fuck it up, you could easily go home. Still, Betty was relatively gracious about the whole thing, only saying that she thought the whole idea of Snatch Game was dumb and over-rated on the way out. She didn’t even punch Michelle out or anything, how disappointing.

The Untuckening : So what would our two safe queens, Kim Chi and Chi Chi find to talk about backstage as the rest of the queens watched the disintegration of Team NYC on the main stage? Love? Life? Sex? Their forthcomnig touring revue show “Three Chis and a Lil’ Kim”? Nope. FOOD. For a couple of horrible moments it felt like we were going to get one of those awkward Untuckeds that plagued last series, you know, the ones where Kennedy was forced interact with people below the age of 28? After all, which two queen remaining have less in common than bougy suburban South Korean fashion junkie Kim Chi and cheap-ass sex obsessed Louisiana queen Chi Chi? But no, happily, nothing brings together people like complaining about where the food’s at.

Look at Chi Chi’s face. Then get her a sandwich. Turkey neck, oxtail stew…these queens wanted it all. Also during this conversation Chi Chi revealed that she made her outfit five seconds before she got on the runway, which means not only did Chi Chi deserve to be top 3 this week on merit, it also would have been great storylining after last week’s inspiring heartwarming lesson from Michelle that she should be less poor.

Other than that the primary story of this week’s Untucked came via Naomi’s little side conversations. First with Acid Betty where they both talked about the plans for the lip-sync that was so clearly coming (apparently the unedited judging critique made it very obvious that Robbie was considered third worst) which I thought was sweet, and secondly when Robbie wheeled herself off her sick bed to break it down to Naomi that she’s done every single runway in her pants and it’s got boring. This was great, partly because it’s true and Naomi needed to be told so by this season’s queen of the runway, and also partly for

Naomi’s face as it dawned on her that it was.

Also : the models came backstage but were still boring, and we met Betty’s sister

who looks quite a lot like Betty, and also quite a lot like a glamorous far right Fox News pundit. Which makes me ask yet again, when is someone going to do Ann Coulter for Snatch Game?

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13 thoughts on “RuPaul’s Drag Race 8 – Snatch Game

  1. Jack

    The last couple of series have been an argument that Snatch Game needs to be overhauled or retired. But then Ru has just done a Drag U-makeover challenge style quasi spin off of it so who knows? But if these queens can’t make it work… (My personal ‘why has no one done it?’ Dolly. Woman has a clear look and is a one liner machine.)

    Painful moments in gay history on this show: “What’s a Tony?”

    Shame Acid left when she did. At the moment it feels like Bob/Thorgy/Chi Chi/Kim battling it out for Top 3, with Robbie/Naomi/Derrick circling the drain in a challenge dependent order. Betty could’ve kept it interesting a bit longer.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I quite liked last season’s! Maybe they should still have a Celebrity Impersonation round but with a different context, like they did on All Stars (albeit not LIKE they did on All Stars because that was a bit shit). And yeah the departure of Betty does make the “tiering” of the show that much more obvious. She fit that nice middle ground where she’s clearly a great queen but could also blow up at any moment, so she kind of sat in the middle.

      Reply
  2. Scottieboy (@merseytart)

    Causing a Commotion is a TOP TUNE and sadly overlooked. Good to see they’ve at least splashed out on some proper music for the lip syncs this year.

    The parade of kimonos actually made me angry. Not least because Thorgy was the only one whose kimono actually looked like the one Madonna wore: the other three just seemed to have found one lying around and went “meh, that’ll do.” There are so many looks they could have done quickly and easily once they realised every other bitch was doing Nothing Really Matters. (Thorgy is claiming the producers told them all to keep their kimonos, even when they wanted to change: given the drama they got out of Whoopi vs Whoopi I call bullshit).

    Is the lack of Madonna inspiration because they’re all a bit young and so Madonna to them is Hard Candy/MDNA/Rebel Heart i.e. not that good? It felt like a great moment for Ru to break out her patented RESPECT YOUR GAY HISTORY lectures. “Go back to your homes and watch Who’s That Girl!”

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      Girl, they ain’t that young. Everyone who competed in this episode other than Naomi is pushing 30 and upwards, they should know their Madonna.

      Reply
  3. Sue Howarth

    Kim Chi is looking for the perfect partner. Someone a bit geeky, someone who does not really get come on’s, someone who likes outlandish decorations.her dream man has dark skin and stuff
    I give you Tamal.
    Partly for the monkseal meltdown,admittadly

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      Kim Chi is looking to get banged by fanboys, don’t let the “innocent” dreams fool you.

      Reply
  4. Chris

    If nothing else, this episode has nailed Bob and Chi Chi on as my top two – in some ways it feels like Bianca and Adore again, but if Bianca had a little less security in herself and Adore had a bit more poise.

    Pandora’s Carol Channing was the only thing left that I liked about her, and now even that’s slipped away a bit now Bob can do it too (she still wins out, if only for ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’. Bob’s Luther Vandross comment had me in stitches though)

    I have no idea how Acid Betty got from the big game she was talking pre-season (‘even Bianca’s scared of me’) to being kind of irrelevant in the end? I was expecting someone who’d really dominate the room, but all we got was one episode of not-being-a-team-player, and then crawling back under the radar, then only really coming out on Untucked to rag on Trixie (which I live for). Even her exit (when it was rumoured) was being hyped up by the fandom, saying she was going to blow up at Michelle and it was going to be epic and volcanic, but it all felt so muted?

    (Also in the run-up to the lip sync I was running through so many awesome Madonna tracks that they could lip sync to, and I was hyping myself up for Hung Up, and then…. that?)

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      The reddit rumour that Betty dropped the mic before the lip sync and walked off set is the greatest rumour surrounding this show that never panned out. I was *crushed*.

      Reply

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