In a word, I’m furious. We have had seven regular seasons of Drag Race and two rounds of All Stars that have featured Snatch Game and/or impersonations (because y’all know I didn’t forget AS1’s Gaff In), and STILL there are queens who can’t gather their shit together for the Snatch Game. You have one job: make RuPaul laugh. And, if you haven’t noticed, toilet humour and sexual innuendo are all you need to make it happen. Seriously. That’s it. Maybe act dumb so she can feel like the smartest one in the room. Play up to that superiority complex.
This was legit me when I realized this week would be the Snatch Game:
The most valuable thing a drag queen can have is time on a microphone. Yeah, look and body are great to win people over at first sight but how am I gonna love you if I can’t connect with you? Sasha’s approach was perfect. I’m not saying I lapped up her Dietrich, but the fact that her first choice was Judith Butler speaks volumes, bitch. Sasha, by her own account is a “very intense person,” which was fucking adorable to say. But realizing her weakness on outright comedy and playing Dietrich as an intense eccentric (which she was, make no mistake) was just being a good queen.
So with all of that off my chest—and without an Interior Illusions Lounge confessional—let’s get into some looks.
Aja as Alyssa Edwards
I’m 100% down with Michelle on this one: drag queens impersonating other drag queens is not cute. Maybe at your local with some queens in town ripping on each other (*Bratpack Thot Swap* *B-Roll*) because you’re doing it for fun and not trying to win a game. Aside from that, it was a weak Alyssa. There’s a legit song with Alyssaisms for the world to hear and not once did Aja get a-squirping and a-chirping. Miss.
Alexis Michelle as Liza Minnelli
Astounding. I mean look at Alexis—Liza was a natural choice for her. It’s someone she idolizes and has unknowingly studied for years. I’m a huge Liza fan myself and this was fantastic head to toe. I wish she wore red because that’s the colour I most associate with Liza, but the answers were funny, had some great nods to real fans (i.e. the joke about the Palace), and her mannerisms? Beautiful. I’ll put a down payment on that.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine as Sofia Vergara
Ai, dios mio. Cynthia. Sofia Vergara might have a thick accent and distinct cadence of speech, but she can still string a sentence together. This is a classic case of queen seeing themselves in a celebrity and thinking, “I CAN DO THAT DOWN,” without fully realizing the comedic aspect of it. Like, are you laughing with Sofia? Or at her? They’re two very different things.
Farrah Moan as Gigi Gorgeous
Cool. You’re a pretty blonde who wore a sweatsuit. Miss x100.
Nina Bo’Nina Brown University Degree in Political Science
Straight off the hop, I’m less than impressed it’s another Racer impersonation. And I’ll take off even more house points because this is an impersonation she’s done on Instagram, so this ain’t nothing new. That said, Jasmine is a character and funny as all get out, and Nina delivered. Even took it up a notch which is saying something (which is also funny because Jasmine Masters has something to say).
Peppermint as Nene Leakes
I feel like this has been tried or suggested to many queens before and here’s what I gather from watching it fail every time: only Nene is Nene. There are some people in the world who can’t be replicated. I have no other suggestion for Peppermint because I think she’s one of those people. Very distinct. Very herself. The look is OK—the hair is great. But pairing that cheap necklace against the gold dress? I swear that necklace has silver accents on it and how dare it be paired with gold.
Sasha Velour as Marlene Dietrich
I got into this earlier so I won’t horse a dead beat but this is what it looks like when studying pays off. And I don’t just mean mannerisms and paint. I mean vocabulary, references and character. Not the funniest Snatch I’ve seen but I definitely laughed (especially at the Teutonic bisexuals crack).
Shea Couleé as Naomi Campbell
I mean, the best joke was the Cricket phone and she didn’t even have to throw the damn thing. I can see why she was safe this week—it was medium fine. If you ever want to impersonate someone and make it funny, you gotta find someone who has a personality rather than someone with infamy or a one-liner. But the look is top notch.
Trinity Taylor as Amanda Lepore
Peppermint really used the, “I never did an impersonation,” defence but you know who else hadn’t impersonated their Snatcher? Trinity. And who turned it out? Trinity. And who deserves more credit than she’s getting? Trinity. Oh wait, who got that credit in this week’s Untucked? Trinity. Take it to the top, girl.
Valentina as Miss Columbia
She’s in the same boat as Shea in terms of character source but, like Shea, was able to make it work. I don’t really have more to say because it’s pretty one note through the whole game although it was cool to see her comedic timing. And is she wearing Trinity’s Paris Hilton dress from last week?
Overall, I was bored with the Snatch Game. Like I said, if you’ve been watching this show for as long as it’s been on, you know how this game works. Anyone who falters did. not. pre. pare. And that ain’t on anyone but yourself. There are three challenges you need to prove yourself in on Drag Race:
- The first one
- Snatch Game
- The 3-look Ball
If you make it through those, you’re in the top three. And if you’re in the top three, it’s down to Ru and how much love you receive online from the fans (who you should have won over throughout the season by being yourself, being funny, and staying humble). So we’ll see, queen.
I have another thing to say and this time it’s about Ru. I’m not gonna get into too much detail because I think it’s all horseshit but for anyone criticizing her looks this season there is a gift waiting for you in the hallway. It’s a chair. I suggest you use it to take a seat.
So what if Mathu left the show, Ru still looks incredible:
I’ve mentioned that I’m not a fan of the new padding but the beat and gown cannot be touched. And sure, she’s got a little Reba lip going on. But if you wanna jump on the Rose Dommu train and comment on the Mic article, by all means go ahead. It does raise some salient points about how drag queens are now held to an incredibly high standard thanks to this TV show, but it’s gross to slip that criticism in after you’ve started with clickbait about how busted Ru’s getting.
RuPaul is untouchable and pays all our bills. Enough.
GOOD LORD, I HAVE MORE OPINIONS. Here’s the thing. You can have a theme called, “Night of 1,000 Madonnas,” because Madonna has served us 525,600 looks in our seasons of love. You can even do the theme twice because it should be improbable that you get a repeat. Season 8 gave us the kimonos that covered the world. This season, I was floored to see two repeats. To borrow from my friend, Meghan: SEND EVERYONE HOME.
Aja as Who’s The Girl Tour Madonna
Last night, I dreamt of San Pedro. He wasn’t wearing this but I wouldn’t have mind if he had. Aja’s definitely got a sense of style but it’s not as cohesive as someone like Valentina. Still, a very respectable Madonna foray.
Alexis as Madonna as Breathless Mahoney
Gorgeous, but this is a repeat of a different ilk. It’s basically what she wore for her Gaga runway except with curly Madonna hair and sequins. I expected more.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine as Madonna who fell at the awards show
It doesn’t take a Michelle Visage to see that Cynthia needs more highlight on her top lip. What is going on there? If only that was the only thing holding her back, though. I do love Cucu, but the schtick has worn thin. There’s no dimension to Cynthia’s persona and that’s a real shame because she seems very nice.
This basically sums it up:
Farrah Moan as Super Bowl Madonna
Girl, you’re lucky this replicant costume is nigh unclockable.
Nina Bo’Nina Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog as MET Gala Madonna
It’s edgy, I’ll give her that. And contemporary. It’s a little less tailored than Trinity, but y’all know that, too. Honestly, not much to say here. I’m glad Shea read her for being a downer. I know you can just drum up confidence but there’s something to be said for keeping a stiff upper lip during the competition.
Peppermint as The Material Girl
This is pretty spot on. Watch the video back and you’ll see Madonna is draped in pink from head to toe. And the prop doesn’t take much away from the presentation so Sasha, take a leaf. I laughed during the critique when Michelle clocked her for wearing pink again. Bitch, who cares if she wore pink every single week. Is she turning it? Yes. So siddown.
Sasha Velour as Erotica Madonna
I love it. And the detailing can’t be matched. She’s even got a gold cap on one of her teeth. It’s queer, it’s sexy and it’s something I wouldn’t have expected from Sasha. This is how you show versatility.
Shea Couleé as The Material Girl
Now, I get that Shea’s look might be a little more polished than Peppermint, but it’s a departure from Madonna’s video. Frankly, it’s the black gloves that are throwing me off. They’re such a contrast against the white fur and pink dress. I mean, you have the video available to you when you’re packing your costumes—do a last look, girl. Cant’ fault her on the hair though. Wow.
Trinity Taylor as MET Gala Madonna
If she had been wearing Nina’s wig for this, damn. It’s still incredible and see what I mean about tailoring? Things can be two sizes on a drag queen: perfectly fitted or comically large. Anything in the middle—especially on camera—is tough to pull off. I should know. Most of my drag wardrobe is ill fitting.
Valentina as SEX Book Madonna
ENOUGH. GET RIGHT OUT. Two pieces of cardboard and I’m dead. What sorcery.
OK, we all knew Cynthia was gonna lip-synch after watching Snatch Game. It was a no-brainer. I was surprised to see Peppermint in the bottom two but I dunno, maybe they did that to shake her up? Peppermint is a legend, so I have no doubt she’s got the skills to pay the bills, but this show requires you to be in a constant state of, “OUTTA MY WAY HEAUX THIS IS MINE.”
Pulling the paje with the robot? Hilarious.
Please Pep, don’t hurt em!
And finally, the shade of this dance move
It made me super happy to see Peppermint get a little goofy and have fun with the lip-synch. It shows everyone that drag queens don’t have to be trained dancers or sex sirens to entertain. You need to connect with the audience and have fun because if you are, they are. It’s actually that simple, seriously. Drag is escapism and while it’s nice to impress people with all the illusion and look and body, it’s also great to make people laugh. That’ll leave the longest lasting impression. Yeah, we do drag for our own selfish reasons but ultimately, you do it for the audience.
WELL I CERTAINLY HAD A LOT TO SAY THIS WEEK. Thanks for joining me on this journey. Can’t wait to see what happens next.