There is nothing that RuPaul’s Drag Race fans enjoy more than the Snatch Game, the annual bastardization of the Match Game where contestants show off their best celebrity impersonations. I have a feeling that all of the contestants hate the Snatch Game because it’s the one challenge they know is coming — and despite what fans may think, it is not easy to do a good celebrity impersonation.
This year’s Snatch Game is especially lousy. There isn’t a clear winner like in past seasons, and no one person really walks away with the competition. Bob was the ultimate winner, of course, but even he should have just stuck with his brilliant Carol Channing the whole way through. He wasn’t even playing Uzo Aduba at first; he was doing an impersonation of Crazy Eyes, and as anyone who has seen Aduba pick up one of her Emmys on live TV can attest, she doesn’t act like that in real life.
The other hard part of the Snatch Game is not only doing the character, but making it funny as well. Bob and Thorgy, who does Michael Jackson, are the only two who manage to pull that off. Actually, let’s throw Chi Chi Devayne in there as well, even though I mostly loved her Eartha Kitt because I love Eartha Kitt full-stop. I’m growing to love Chi Chi a little bit more each week.
Bob wins the Read of the Week when she (as Carol Channing) tells Chi Chi (as Eartha Kitt), “I couldn’t tell if you were Della Reese or Luther Vandross.”
Robbie Turner’s Diana Vreeland is actually pretty good, but she doesn’t make any jokes at all. It really is a wasted opportunity (but also hard to pull off because who knows that much about Diana Vreeland other than how absolutely fierce she was?). Kim Chi’s Kimmy Jong-Un could have been really funny, but it’s a bit too high-concept for what we’re used to seeing.
Then, we get to the downright awful. Acid Betty didn’t manage to get the likeness or the behavior of Nancy Grace and Naomi Small’s Tiffany “New York” Pollard had about as much to do with New York as Empire, which is filmed in Chicago and poorly tries to make it look like New York.
The worst, however, is complete waste-of-space Derrick Barry. He really should not be in the competition right now. Yes, I enjoyed his fight with Bob at the top of the episode, but there is no way that someone as bland as Derrick should be getting in a war of words with someone as quick and sharp as Bob. It’s like Derrick brought a can of SpaghettiOs to a knife fight. Of course, Derrick does Britney for the Snatch Game, which I don’t really mind, because that is the one opportunity to show off his skills in the celebrity-impersonation arena. The problem is that Britney is bad! Yes, he looks exactly like Britney, but he doesn’t sound like her, act like her, or say things she would say. It’s like he’s playing a drag queen who is dressed up as Britney. It’s about as lifeless as Michelle Visage’s Spanx after she takes them off following a long day of filming.
The game is judged by models Chanel Iman and Gigi Hadid, but was inexplicably won by Charo. Hey, I’m not knocking it — I’ll take any surprise Charo appearance I can get. Afterwards, the queens have to put on their best Madonna lewks and that’s when we all knew that either Acid Betty or Naomi Smalls would be going home. Why? They both got the sob stories.
Acid Betty was lamenting that she doesn’t really have a place in the drag community because all of the Brooklyn queens don’t think what she does is drag and they don’t want to work with her. What I love about Betty’s drag is that it isn’t like what anyone else does. If those stupid Brooklyn queens who don’t shave their legs or believe in fake titties or tucking can’t get into that, then screw them. Thorgy, meanwhile, again lets us know that she is a master of stringed instruments (you could call her well-strung) and wants to make classical music cool. Yeah, good luck. You have about as good of a chance at making seitan the national food.
Naomi Smalls was adopted and one of 11 children growing up with white parents. She’s the only gay one and didn’t quite know where she fit in, but claims that she had a perfect childhood. I didn’t feel bad for Naomi; it just made me like her more. Well, it simply made me like her, since she left about as much an impression before as her bony ass would sitting on a sofa made of clouds. (That’s no impression at all.)
Here is how everyone did in their Madonna lewks.
Thorgy Thor: If “Nothing Really Matters” Madonna had way too much fun playing with the shape of her face on Snapchat.
Kim Chi: If “Nothing Really Matters” Madonna were actually Asian.
Derrick Barry: If “Nothing Really Matters” Madonna bought her kimono at one of those places on the Jersey Shore that will airbrush your name and picture on a fringed tank top and then Britney Spears wore it to a Chinese restaurant.
Naomi Smalls: If “Nothing Really Matters” Madonna’s kimono got stuck in a document shredder.
Acid Betty: The “Bedroom Stories” drag queen in the 1999 VMA drag tribute to Madge herself. Complete brilliant realness.
Robbie Turner: Oh look, she kept the League of Their Own costume she bought at Halloween Village sometime in mid-November.
Chi Chi Devayne: Meet Louise Ciccone, Chatanooga’s second-best Madonna impersonator.
Bob Thedragqueen: Sexy Boy Scout Madonna is a thing?
Bob, of course, is the winner, which sadly means that Acid Betty and Naomi Smalls are the bottom two. Naomi deserves to be there, but I thought Betty’s Madonna lewk was good enough to save her. Robbie Turner’s Madonna look was bad and so was her Snatch Game performance. The same goes for Derrick Barry, who just needs to be eliminated already. I don’t have it in my heart to keep making fun of him every week.
Sadly, my girl Acid Betty is the one going home. How are you going to compete against Naomi Smalls in a bra and panties, writhing around the stage looking like a supermodel fantasy? At the end of her lip sync, Betty aped like she was going to give birth. She should have had something up there just in case this happened. A live birth on the Drag Race runway would have been a first and absolutely genius. I’m sorry to see her go since she was always fresh, surprising, and bitchy. (And also my friend.) Why Ru would have kicked off either of these two before Derrick Barry, however, is the real tragedy.