For almost as long as RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on the air, fans each season have waited with bated breath for the recurring challenge that, in RuPaul’s own words, “separates the basic bitches from the fierce-ass queens.” Such is the cultural importance of Snatch Game, a parody of Match Game that tests drag queens’ skills at impersonating pop-culture icons, living or dead (or, in one rare case, nonexistent). Though rules and restrictions change from season to season, the objective has always remained the same: Make RuPaul laugh. It’s the mother of all comedy challenges on a reality show, and we’ve seen some, shall we say, varied results over the years. Ahead of season ten’s highly anticipated Game of Snatch, we look back on all the performances throughout Drag Race herstory with this comprehensive list of every Snatch Game impersonation (not counting the first season of All Stars, which had an alternative take on the game), ranked from least to most hilariously Snatched. Between the obvious duds and the wide swath of mediocre performances that take us through to the all-time greats, let’s see where we’ve got a match!
87. Alyssa Edwards as Katy Perry (Season 5)
A truly heinous impression that isn’t only a complete miss aesthetically, but also demonstrates a misunderstanding of both the assignment (be funny!) and of Katy Perry herself. After RuPaul asked whether she’s kissed a girl, Alyssa’s response — “Ru, never!” — suggested that she had no idea what “I Kissed a Girl” is about, and that she should have picked literally anyone else to impersonate. We already knew Alyssa existed in her own world, but this was next level. She had immunity that week and was spared from elimination, but Alyssa earns the bottom spot on this list for the hands-down worst Snatch Game performance ever. Without condition. Unconditionally, even.
86. Max as Sharon Needles (Season 7)
The worst Snatch Game performances simply don’t go anywhere, whether it’s because the queen doesn’t know much about her celeb or because she just doesn’t have much to offer in the comedy department. The latter is the issue here, since Max did a decent job of looking like the spooky queen we all know and love, but had no jokes to supplement the visuals. You’d think that an incorrect answer would at least set her up for a “Welp, back to Party City where I belong,” but no such luck!
85. Sonique as Lady Gaga (Season 2)
There’s not much to say about a performance that consisted of only three words, but if we had to come up with something, it’d be “Trust,” a trademark Gaga-ism apparently. Maybe we should give Sonique the benefit of the doubt — this was the very first Snatch Game, back in 2010 when Gaga was arguably more nondescript — but her performance was devoid of any quality whatsoever, and that’s reason enough to rank her so low. And we don’t need a million reasons, just one good one.
84. Kenya Michaels as Beyoncé (Season 4)
Not the only time a queen attempted to lampoon Queen Bey, and also not the only time we saw how impossible it is to caricature Beyoncé unless you’re able to harness her steely vocal timbre. But mimicking such cadences is not Kenya Michaels’s strength, and her performance went completely bonkers as soon as she started falling out her chair and farting and screaming. If it was too much for Latrice Royale, it’s too much for us.
83. Morgan McMichaels as Pink (Season 2)
If only the assignment was to play herself! If only! Unfortunately, Morgan was supposed to be Pink. While she looked the pop-rock part, the party never got started, and answering Ru’s question about being on a game show for the first time with “It’s not my first one, but it’s my first game show” was her death knell.
82. Phi Phi O’Hara as Lady Gaga (Season 4)
Phi Phi took Gaga in a completely opposite direction than Sonique, and while it was closer to what might work, it was still distractingly off the mark when it came to any behavioral specificity. Sure, she mentioned Little Monsters. Yes, the look was passably Gaga. But nothing about this was lived in. Phi Phi seemed to have given Gaga’s Wikipedia page a cursory read, thrown on a pleather outfit, and called it a day. Not known as a comedy queen, Phi Phi definitely gets credit for going for it, but if you want to make Ru laugh, stick with some good old-fashioned jokes.
81. Lineysha Sparx as Celia Cruz (Season 5)
Come on. Do you remember this? Because we didn’t.
80. Mariah Balenciaga as Joan Crawford (Season 3)
It’s clear that Mariah is familiar with Joan Crawford and has Mommie Dearest specifics at the ready, but she just isn’t engaging or entertaining enough as a performer to sell this. If you’re a drag queen playing Joan Crawford in the Snatch Game, you’d think there’d be a wire hanger involved instead of a wooden one, for Christina’s sake. Going for measured, small, and poignant isn’t gonna snatch you the win in Snatch Game, kids! In a Dunaway as Crawford manner of hysteria, we bellow: No. Restrained. Performances!!!
79. Gia Gunn as Kim Kardashian (Season 6)
It simply can’t be all about the look! There’s zero POV here, and God bless Gia for thinking that “big black dick” was a comedically earned answer in any way. Kim K. is always going to be a tough Snatch Game play, since she isn’t necessarily larger than life in terms of behavior and doesn’t really have a fun attitude to lean into. Gia found this out too late, and unfortunately became the victim of one of Bianca Del Rio’s merciless tirades as Judge Judy. Not knowing the correct term for morning sickness doomed her from the start, and this performance was what ultimately sent her packing. Bye, fish.
78. Laganja Estranja as Rachel Zoe (Season 6)
It’s a bad impression of a pretty niche public figure, so of course this was dead on arrival. “Stylist humor” is tough to sell, and that robotic staccato delivery did Laganja no favors.
77. Jessica Wild as RuPaul (Season 2)
Points for the gutsiness of impersonating Ru on the very first Snatch Game, but this was otherwise simplistic while somehow being way too over the top.
76. Milk as Julia Child (Season 6)
There isn’t much to this impression beyond overdrawn lips and a rolling pin that barely gets touched. For someone who’s as easy to impersonate as Julia Child, Milk commited about 70 percent while rambling about “sausage trucks” and missing Ru’s easy setups for some jokes about her “lovin’ oven.”
75. Detox as Kesha (Season 5)
Choosing to do Kesha circa 2012 is tough, since pulling off messy-but-subdued is tricky. Detox got one weak answer in before resorting to some gross-out peeing stunt that made everyone uncomfortable, and why oh why didn’t she take the opportunity to brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack?
74. Delta Work as Cher (Season 3)
Someone once described Cher’s voice as sounding like a person juggling a mouthful of chocolate malted balls, and most of humankind can do a passable impression of her. Delta barely made an attempt at all, and she’s obviously outshined by a truly great Cher impersonator that appears near the top of this list. Points for the wink at Bob Mackie with her look, but otherwise Delta just waded around in her nothing-doing. Snap out of it!
73. Jiggly Caliente as Snooki (Season 4)
A cringey performance that had the distinction of pushing Latrice Royale over the edge as soon as Jiggly started repeatedly screeching, “Snooki want smush-smush!” and ramming her ass into Phi Phi for no reason. The level of unprofessionalism? Far too much indeed.
72. Naomi Smalls as Tiffany “New York” Pollard (Season 8)
Poor Naomi’s turn as the iconic reality star felt more like Hottie or Red Oyster than New York. There isn’t much left after she shouts her classic “New York is in the motherfuckin’ house!” line, besides some vacant nodding at Ru’s questions.
71. Ivy Winters as Marilyn Monroe (Season 5)
Ivy delivered a serviceable Norma Jean look, but went on to miss every ball Ru pitched her, including one about JFK that Jinkx Monsoon’s Little Edie mercifully intercepted. If you can’t mimic Marilyn’s breathy coos, then you sure as hell don’t deserve to play her in the Snatch Game.
70. Cynthia Lee Fontaine as Sofia Vergara (Season 9)
What should have been a home run for Miss Santee Alley fell completely flat, perhaps because everything that came out of her mouth was Cynthia instead of Sofia. The wig was weak and the breasts weren’t nearly as big as they could have been, and even a single Vergara-esque whine would have gone very far. Instead, she was just one “cucu” away from breaking the illusion completely.
69. Peppermint as NeNe Leakes (Season 9)
It’s surprising to see a performer of Peppermint’s caliber let such a scenery-chewing opportunity slip away, as she seemed perfectly matched to play the juiciest peach in Atlanta. Whether she got in her head or not, we got almost none of the histrionics and catchphrases that Leakes has delivered for a decade. NeNe has given us so much quality television over the years, and she deserved better than this, shall we say, reserved tribute.
68. Milan as Diana Ross (Season 4)
Snatch Game contestant Ross Matthews said it better than anyone could: “This was a real heavy Diana Ross. This is Diana Ross at about 4:30 in the morning after a couple packs of cigarettes.” Not exactly how we remember the Divine Miss Ross, and in front of Ru, one of Diana Ross’s biggest fans?! A supreme miss.
67. Trinity K. Bonet as Nicki Minaj (Season 6)
The ol’ wig change between answers is fine, but Trinity pulled the gimmick in a way that had absolutely no payoff. The only Nicki caricaturization here is that she … looks into a hand mirror a lot? Okay, Barb.
66. Acid Betty as Nancy Grace (Season 8)
Not only was there almost no accent — what’s the fun in playing Nancy Grace if you’re not digging into those rhotic sounds? — but the look was a huge miss and the judges were right about the wig being too long. The allusion to “reefer smokers” was funny, but Acid Betty seemed over it from the jump.
65. Tatianna as Ariana Grande (All Stars 2)
For a queen who came into the competition as laser-focused as Tatianna, it was surprising to see her give up on this Ariana Grande impersonation. After freezing at one point, Tati got thrown off and ran out of things to say while trying her best to laugh it off, but the rest of the queens and those of us at home weren’t laughing with her. This was less Dangerous Woman and more Whispery Li’l Girl.
64. Chi Chi DeVayne as Maya Angelou (All Stars 3)
What Chi Chi didn’t realize is that she actually gave herself a gift in misspelling Maya Angelou’s name on her card. She could have taken that misstep and gone for broke as Dumb Maya Angelou, saying things like “I know why the caged bird … ugh, bitch, I forgot.” It would have been funny, or at least funnier than the flat performance we ended up with. As Angelou once said, “I had a lot of clouds, but I have had so many rainbows.” Chi Chi, this was a damn cloud, girl! Make it a rainbow!
63. Detox as Nancy Grace (All Stars 2)
We don’t know, guys. Maybe queens just shouldn’t be doing Nancy Grace. This one was a little better than Acid Betty’s version of the righteous newscaster, because it had some modicum of energy, but it was still a big miss. Snatch Game just isn’t Detox’s thing, and that’s okay!
62. Miss Fame as Donatella Versace (Season 7)
Correctly clocked by Violet as sounding more Russian than Italian, Fame as Donatella is much better in theory than in practice. We can understand why Violet backed off in the “Who Will Play Donatella?” werkroom standoff earlier in the episode, because who better to lampoon a famous fashion designer than a famous fashion queen? Alas, it just wasn’t funny, and Violet dodged a bullet here.
61. Roxxxy Andrews as Alaska Thunderfuck (All Stars 2)
Roxxxy should have gone with Sofia Vergara like she originally intended, as this performance as Alaska 5000 isn’t only comedically challenged, but also reveals that Roxxxy doesn’t know the most basic things about her season-five sister. You’re playing Alaska, Roxxxy! This is your hair! You don’t wear wigs! At least she got the “Hiiieeeeeee” right, but hitting the bare minimum isn’t a cute look for a make-or-break challenge like Snatch Game.
60. Kennedy Davenport as Phaedra Parks (All Stars 3)
We were excited for Kennedy’s All Stars Snatch Game after her season-seven showing blew expectations out of the water, and her choice to portray Real Housewives of Atlanta villain Phaedra Parks had plenty of potential. Ultimately, Kennedy struggled to find any kernel of humor in Phaedra’s dichotomy of churchgoer by day, party animal by night, and her entire performance rested on a costume reveal that wasn’t enough of a payoff (and maybe a too-niche reference). We’ll pray for her, henny.
59. Tyra Sanchez as Beyoncé (Season 2)
As Tyra herself said, “Beyoncé is just like me. All I had to do was just be myself, like smile and say nice things.” In other words, this impression wasn’t out to mine any comedic value, since Tyra was most concerned with doing fun Beyoncé cosplay rather than embodying a comical version of her.
58. Farrah Moan as Gigi Gorgeous (Season 9)
Another Laganja-esque case in which a niche figure with no comedic point of entry gets a half-baked impression. It was cute when Farrah tossed a few sticks of lip gloss over her shoulder, but she missed an opportunity to go full-on makeup tutorial and slather a bunch of garbage on her face. We needed something to pull the “character” Gigi out from the relative obscurity of the “real” Gigi.
57. Jaidynn Diore Fierce as Raven-Symoné (Season 7)
Jaidynn’s fun take on Raven lost all its steam by the second beat, and the laws of Snatch Game spacetime are such that if you’re not heightening a character choice every time Ru throws it over to you, you’re actually nosediving. Raven’s visions never gave any variable reward, unfortunately.
56. Trixie Mattel as RuPaul (All Stars 3)
Loser, loser … chicken dinner? The world screeched to a halt to see what a seasoned comedian like Trixie would bring to her first Snatch Game, and the result was supremely disappointing. Although the excessive head-bobbing and awkward “Now Available on iTunes” catchphrases amounted to a character choice, the emphasis on intentionally bad dad jokes still made for, um, bad dad jokes. This was the lowest point in Trixie’s downswing on All Stars 3 that ultimately lit a fire under her ass, but it did stain her comedic record. Trixie holds the distinction of being the only Drag Race winner with a low-ranking Snatch Game performance.
55. Aja as Alyssa Edwards (Season 9)
We give credit to Aja for not completely tanking this one, but it’s tough to make an Alyssa impression stand out when (1) it was done two seasons ago and (2) it was still a Ru Girl doing another Ru Girl at the end of the day. You can only get so much mileage out of that, but tongue pop away, sis.
54. Latrice Royale as Aretha Franklin (Season 4)
Suppose you choose to portray the Queen of Soul — one of the great capital-D Divas of our time — who truly has decades of lampoon-worthy moments. Would you scream about the air-conditioning at Divas Live? Would you viciously shade Dionne Warwick? Or would you lean on a lazy bit about how she loves to eat? Latrice chose the least interesting thing about Aretha Franklin to ridicule, and it was a hugely missed opportunity from the comedic mastermind behind “Get those nuts away from my face!”
53. Robbie Turner as Diana Vreeland (Season 8)
If you’re gonna go esoteric with your Snatch Game choice, you better blow it out and make a memorable introduction to the folks at home who haven’t seen The Eye Has to Travel ad nauseam like you have, Robbie.
52. Jujubee as Kimora Lee (Season 2)
We give props to Juju for opting out of broad ethnic minstrelsy (which may or may not have been a valid approach for other Asian queens). Instead, the touches of detail are what made her Kimora Lee memorable. Those neck lines? Genius. The impression itself didn’t pop, but it did get by on smaller winks, even if subtlety isn’t exactly something to shoot for on Snatch Game.
51. Jade Jolie as Taylor Swift (Season 5)
This was a pretty flat Taylor Swift even in a pre-Red world, but Jade managed to throw in some cute lines about T.Swift lunch boxes. Commitment goes a long way on this show within a show, and Jade stuck to the characterization — shallow as it may be — for a perfectly middle-of-the-road impression.
50. Coco Montrese as Janet Jackson (Season 5)
No stranger to portraying Ms. Jackson on stage, it’s a whole other task to make her entertaining on the Snatch Game. Janet is a lot of things, but she’s not a big personality, so it’s tough to make her funny and blow her out as a character. What kept Coco from falling lower on this list is the fact that the look was on point, and that she asked RuPaul an audacious question about who the hell Little Edie (as played by Jinkx) even is. It’s classic.
49. Raven as Paris Hilton (Season 2)
You could go a lot of different ways with Paris Hilton, but none of them add up to an explosive performance. Raven chose to capture “Bored During an Interview With Someone She Is Actively Judging” Paris, and we guess it read well enough. The look was pretty on point, and the joke that she didn’t even know she had a line of shoes was funny, if not a little accidental.
48. Sahara Davenport as Whitney Houston (Season 2)
The vocal cadence was certainly there, as was the look, but the truth is that we as a media-saturated public have seen a ton of great Whitney impressions over the years. If Maya Rudolph and Debra Wilson already set such a high bar, it’s tough for any performer of any talent to come close. Still, the late, great Sahara Davenport understood the assignment and worked in an admirable turn as one of the most beloved vocalists in the world.
47. Trinity Taylor as Amanda Lepore (Season 9)
Trinity pulled out a decent Amanda Lepore from the warped gravitational field of her tuck, and she tossed in some cleverly timed plastic-surgery jokes while keeping a straight, hardened face full of ’80s fillers. Not bad for a self-identifying pageant queen who turned out some great comedic performances during her season!
46. Valentina as Ariadna Gutiérrez (Season 9)
This performance as the unfortunate victim of Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe incompetence was just one joke, and it certainly wasn’t built to hold up over time. Still, Valentina did a decent job of making an emotional breakdown funny while capturing the feeling of glorious victory turning into instantaneous defeat, and so she lands a comfortable 45th runner-up on this list/pageant.
45. Carmen Carrera as Jennifer Lopez (Season 3)
We’d say it’s lame for a gorgeous, fishy drag queen to select a gorgeous celebrity to portray based solely on the fact that they’re both, you know, gorgeous, but Carmen used her natural vanity in this performance the same way you’d imagine a heightened version of J.Lo would. Love don’t cost a thing, and this performance didn’t cost Carrera much, even if it didn’t do anything to prove she was that much more than a stunning face (and body).
44. Yara Sofia as Amy Winehouse (Season 3)
Derided in its day, this impression actually holds up quite well as an example of making it work when the deck is stacked against you. Yara was at a disadvantage in this challenge by nature of being ESL — Snatch Game is truly unfair for those queens — and so she chose to messily play a well-known mess because, no matter what she tried to do, it was going to be a mess! Not a terrible thing to commit to. She got harshly critiqued by the judges, but we’re not ranking her very low since she was scrappy with her decision-making. It wasn’t that bad, and Michelle Visage would go on to say that it was a great performance years later.
43. Ginger Minj as Tammy Faye (All Stars 2)
To be honest, there is not another performance in Snatch Game herstory that was so completely ignored in the episode’s edit. The look was on point, what we saw was funny, but simply by nature of its fleeting airtime, there’s little to say about this one. And so, Ginger skates right down the middle here, kind of like how she did all season on All Stars 2. All tea, no shade!
42. BeBe Zahara Benet as Grace Jones (All Stars 3)
An OG Drag Race queen, Bebe’s first go at the Snatch Game was just a perfectly mediocre effort. She certainly earned some laughs joking about wanting to sleep with RuPaul, and the resemblance was uncanny, but it wasn’t quite elevated to a place of honest-to-goodness comedy. But we love Bebe because of how flawlessly she plays the queen diva that is Bebe herself, thank you very much, and she didn’t need to slay All Stars 3’s Snatch Game to be its breakout star.
41. Shea Couleé as Naomi Campbell (Season 9)
Not one of Shea’s most memorable moments, which isn’t a bad thing for a queen who’s had so many Drag Race highlights. Referring to Nina’s Jasmine Masters as Chris Rock was a fun little zinger, and the whole performance garnered praise from the queen of the catwalk herself on Twitter, who tweeted #GoShea. So, yeah! Go Shea!
40. Kim Chi as Kimmy Jong-Un (Season 8)
Call it a cop-out, call it cheating, call it completely disqualifying because it wasn’t technically a real person, but Kim gave us a focused, committed performance as Kim Jong-un’s sister who’s obsessed with gesturing a good throat slash. As we see elsewhere on the list, Asian queens have a much more limited pool of celebs to choose from, but somehow Kim pulled off a slightly massaged version of a famous person who could gift us with “weapons of ass destruction.”
39. Dida Ritz as Wendy Williams (Season 4)
The misfortune of being stuck between Jiggly’s Snooki and Kenya’s Beyoncé befell Dida and Phi Phi, but only Dida held her own through the chaos. All she had to do was throw in a couple “How you doin’?”s and call it a day, but staying in character and asking Jiggly “How she doin’?” during the smush-smush pandemonium earned her our respect.
38. Manila Luzon as Imelda Marcos (Season 3)
An excellent example of going for broke with a caricature of a lesser-known celebrity. There’s plenty to be said about Manila leaning hard on racial stereotypes throughout season three, but we give credit to her for being extremely clear about who Imelda Marcos is, especially for those of us who are due for a brush-up on Filipino First Ladies.
37. Phi Phi O’Hara as Theresa Caputo (All Stars 2)
Phi Phi would have run away with a Most Improved title if her old nemesis Alyssa Edwards didn’t send Ru into hysterics with her bonkers Joan Crawford. Still, Phi Phi worked in some admirable sight gags around the Long Island Medium’s questionable supernatural skills, and each “I have a gift” felt deliberately timed throughout her character beats. The overlong nails were right on the money, too.
36. Nina Bo’nina Brown as Jasmine Masters (Season 9)
Again, playing past Drag Race queens is hit-or-mostly-miss, but Jasmine’s raspy rants were ripe for roasting and Nina kept it simple with a heavy side-eye. It wasn’t the most elevated impression (no tea, no shade, no pink lemonade), but the corns were popped and the children were fed.
35. Chi Chi DeVayne as Eartha Kitt (Season 8)
Absent of actual Eartha Kitt specifics beyond her vocal cadence, Chi Chi smartly crafted a personified feline angle inspired by Eartha’s campy Catwoman. The furry ball was a cute prop that heightened the whole character game, and Chi Chi’s performance sealed her frontrunner status in the latter half of her season. Purr-tastic.
34. Violet Chachki as Alyssa Edwards (Season 7)
After conceding to Miss Fame in the Werkroom Battle of the Donatellas, Violet switched up her game plan and made the initially questionable decision to become the Vanessa Williams of drag herself, Alyssa Edwards. It ended up ranking as one of the better self-referential Snatch Game impersonations, replete with tongue pops and some fun plugging of Alyssa’s dance studio. #BeyondBelief forever.
33. Darienne Lake as Paula Deen (Season 6)
Short of frying a cheesecake on camera, Darienne gave the Southern monster that is Paula Deen a faithful send-up while nibbling on a stick of butter throughout the show. The editors didn’t cut to Darienne very much, but she landed a solid line about wanting a baloney sandwich after Bianca’s Judge Judy screamed at everyone.
32. Shangela as Tina Turner (Season 3)
Major points docked for letting a “Halleloo” slip while talking about being a long way from Nutbush. Otherwise, this was a textbook Tina Turner impression that you’d gag for at a gay bar. The shoulder bobs, the grimaces, the hair tosses were all authentic Anna Mae.
31. Courtney Act as Fran Drescher (Season 6)
For an Aussie girl, Courtney’s Queens accent ain’t half bad! While we’re inclined to agree that Joslyn Fox could have done a better job, Courtney’s nasally laugh and 1993 hair were still splendid. And the way she called him “Mr. RuPaul!” It’s as if Fran Fine got plucked right out of the Sheffield townhouse and thrown onto the Snatch Game soundstage.
30. Joslyn Fox as Teresa Giudice (Season 6)
Speaking of Joslyn, we have here one of the most underrated Snatch Game turns in the herstory of Drag Race. Start to finish she landed every joke, including the indelible way Tre says “cumin” or the revelation that her last name is pronounced “Johnson” back in the old country. A less skilled queen would have just repeatedly tried flipping over the table, but Joslyn expertly balances the whole performance with slurred Jersey-isms and quips for days. We’ll say it here: The fact that this got no love from the judges on the mainstage is one of the show’s great injustices. To the real Miss Congeniality of season six!
29. Willam as Jessica Simpson (Season 4)
Due to the nature of season four’s chaotic Snatch Game, Willam didn’t get much airtime as Jessica Simpson, but she does get credit for executing the (admittedly easy) joke that is Jessica’s legendary stupidity. Her name was crossed out twice on her card because she couldn’t figure out the spelling, and she had a fun moment at the expense of Latrice Royale’s Aretha Franklin. She didn’t do enough to stand out, but with Kenya and Jiggly acting a fool and Chad Michaels absolutely killing it as Cher, how could you? To be honest, a rewatch reveals that Willam sort of resembles Amy Schumer. All Stars 4, anyone?
28. Raja as Tyra Banks (Season 3)
Tyra Banks is an ideal choice for the Snatch Game because there are so many easily identifiable idiosyncrasies worth parodying, and Raja nailed just about all of them. The smizing until she bleeds from her eyes, the dramatic reveal of her Snatch Game answers as if they were photos of Top Model contestants, the hatred of Naomi Campbell spilling over into an all-out Banks-esque breakdown, it was all here. Raja may not particularly look like Banks, but she made a smart choice to play someone she knows inside and out. We were rooting for her, we were all rooting for her and … she did well!
27. Pearl as Angela “Big Ang” Raiola (Season 7)
Our favorite sleeper queen committed to this impression and made it enjoyable even for people unfamiliar with the late great reality star. The voice and the enormous breasts were a bold choice, and while both did a lot of work, it was Pearl’s interplay with the other queens — Katya’s Suze Orman in particular — that made this a memorably funny performance. For a queen remembered mostly for her aesthetic, Pearl had quite a few successes with comedy challenges on her season. Two breasts way up! Busty good fun!
26. Roxxxy Andrews as Tamar Braxton (Season 5)
The best performers know that when they’re having fun, the audience also has fun watching them, and Roxxxy Andrews had a rollicking good time as Tamar, whom she obviously adores and understands on a deeply studied level. Extra points for the lightly shady qualifier of “(Toni’s sister)” underneath the name on her card. This performance was also Tamar-approved, which is really the highest praise.
25. Aja as Crystal LaBeija (All Stars 3)
On her original season, Aja ignored the advice of her peers and chose to portray Alyssa Edwards instead of Crystal LaBeija, which she would come to regret and triumphantly rectify on her season of All Stars. Aja completely embodied Crystal, and you can really see why she was such a terrific choice in the first place; the two share the same fiery personality and penchant for delivering memorable reads of their fellow queens. She declared, just as Crystal would, that she was the only beautiful woman on that stage, and while that may or may not have been true, you know that she believed it. Just like Aja on this season, her Crystal impression was confident, gorgeous, and doesn’t give a damn what you thought. Ayo sis, you crushed this.
24. Sasha Velour as Marlene Dietrich (Season 9)
Sasha seemed nervous about the Snatch Game prior to stepping out as the legendary Dietrich, and with good reason. This was a challenge in the literal sense for a queen who put her intelligence above all else, and sometimes allowed it to complicate her ideas. Luckily, she used that intelligence to her advantage with long-winded yet hilarious anecdotes about the German star’s sexuality and worldliness, and the term “teutonic bisexual” was unleashed upon the world. It was alternative, singularly funny, and we already said smart, right? Sasha is smart.
23. Katya as Suze Orman (Season 7)
While it’s debatably more of an impression of an impression (Kristen Wiig’s), it doesn’t take away from Katya’s ability to think quickly on her feet and let jokes out on the fly. Her dig at Miss Fame’s Donatella Versace about “that wig [being] a bad investment” made guest judge Tamar Braxton roar, as did every reminder of her sexual inclination toward other women. This performance felt very natural to Katya who, to be honest, does kind of give us a lesbian vibe! Just saying!
22. Tatianna as Britney Spears (Season 2)
A little bit of a controversial winner for us, as we preferred Pandora Boxx’s Carol Channing, but that’s not to say Tatianna didn’t serve a great Britney, bitch. She nailed both sides of Brit Brit: the friendly girl from Louisiana who’d look you right in the eyes and call you sir, and the sexual beast underneath who’s played Hide the Cucumber one or nine times in her life. This was mostly a gag because it revealed that Tatianna actually has jokes under her fishy exterior, and as far as we’re concerned, any performance that alludes to Kevin Federline’s “man butter” is a home run. Even as a young queen, Tatianna was not that innocent.
21. Derrick Barry as Britney Spears (Season 8)
With Tati’s Britney out of the way, there’s only one true winner when it comes to impersonating the Princess of Pop. Derrick Barry has made her living as the self-proclaimed “best Britney in Vegas,” making this decision a much bigger risk than you might think. If she was anything less than genius as Britney Jean in Snatch Game, it would impact not only her standing in the competition but her reputation as a Britney double in general. Luckily, Derrick did her favorite pop star justice, and every time she tossed her hair from side to side, we lived! She really does look like her!
20. Alexis Mateo as Alicia Keys (Season 3)
The decision to play Alicia Keys as a butch lesbian doesn’t seem like it would work because Alicia Keys, vicious rumors aside, is not a butch lesbian. But this performance, in which Alexis repeatedly attempts to offer her phone number to Amber Rose, was infectiously fun. A lot of its charm has to do with how much fun Alexis had, but the highlight has to be when she answered what product Dirty Diana uses to wash her hair by revealing the word “DUSH” on her card, because we lose our goddamn minds every time. It’s an example of how an impression doesn’t need to be actually good or right to be very good and dead on. This is not the way Alicia Keys behaves in real life by any stretch, and that was definitely not how you spell douche, but god damn it if Alexis’s ideas about both weren’t brilliant.
19. Shangela as Jenifer Lewis (All Stars 3)
Not a bad backup after Ru told Shangela that her Miss Cleo sounded a bit too Irish. We ended up with a hilariously unbothered Jenifer Lewis, who sat back and complained about menopause while dabbing herself with a handkerchief. Sure, Shangie is good friends with the multi-hyphenate actress, but a solid impression is still a solid impression! The highlight is when Jenifer recalled working on Broadway with the real Kristin Chenoweth (who inexplicably played herself as a panelist) and then immediately said, “Yeah, no, I’m lying. I ain’t worked with that bitch.”
18. Ginger Minj as Adele (Season 7)
There was a lot going on here with the cigarettes and the statuettes and the pastries, but it all came together to create an excellent impression that was greater than the sum of its parts and/or props. Ginger played up a disinterested, detached version of Adele with a delightful Cockney accent marking all her responses. Telling Katya’s Suze Orman, “I love you, Justin Bieber!” may have been a cheap dig, but if it got a laugh out of Tamar Braxton, we’ll let it slide.
17. Thorgy Thor as Michael Jackson (Season 8)
If Kennedy Davenport’s Little Richard opened the door for future queens to impersonate non-females, then Thorgy’s Michael Jackson graciously wedged in the door stop. Beyond the trademark grunts and the head slides and the high-pitched giggles, Thorgy’s answers as the King of Pop were all eerily perfect and tragic in their accuracy. Dangling that baby from her chair was enough to earn Thorgy this spot alone, but what’s really exceptional is how she managed to keep MJ’s kinetic physicality popping throughout. Shamone-ow!
16. Alyssa Edwards as Joan Crawford (All Stars 2)
This one was a real triumph, when you consider Alyssa’s previous Snatch Game stint. Sure, 90 percent of this was directly quoting lines from Mommie Dearest, and there was very little to no vocal affect at all, but Alyssa completely sold you on it because she was having the most fun. “Barbara please!” coming out of nowhere and “This ain’t my first time … at the Snatch Game” were both designed to slay in this format, and Alyssa finally understood the assignment three years after botching her first go at it. Forget Roxxxy Andrews; this is the real redemption arc of the whole series, or at least the moment that made Alyssa’s glow-up so undeniable. Expectations for Alyssa were almost insurmountably high going into All Stars 2, and she scaled the whole damn mountain with this pseudo-impression that only made us love her more. Don’t fuck with her, fellas!
15. Stacy Layne Matthews as Monique (Season 3)
In any other season, this would not exactly have been a winning performance, and the fact that Stacy Layne Matthews really needed a win to bolster her narrative on season three probably worked in her favor. Still, her performance as Monique — or rather, as Mary from Precious — felt fresh and topical back in 2011. At the time, this character was still front and center in the cultural consciousness, and was almost tailor-made to be sent up by drag queens nationwide. Stacy Layne was more than up to the challenge, cutting an imposing and comic figure at the same time. In what was collectively the weakest Snatch Game, it was more than enough to snag the win.
14. Adore Delano as Anna Nicole Smith (Season 6)
It’s a marvel that Adore got away with mimicking a completely sloshed Anna Nicole Smith (specifically at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards), but it steered clear of mean-spirited mockery and, considering Adore’s own personality, succeeded as a sort of tribute to the late great Playmate. It was an inspired choice that spoke to Adore’s self-awareness as she leaned into her strengths as a lovable slipshod, and flashed a spotlight on her as a magnetic performer next to the likes of Bianca del Rio and BenDeLaCreme. That we’ll never know how her Jan Crouch impression would have done on All Stars 2 is an unknowable disappointment.
13. Katya as Björk (All Stars 2)
You gotta hand it to Katya, she really knows herself. She knew exactly how to filter her intense verbosity through Suze Orman, and for her All Stars Snatch Game performance, she focused on showcasing her trademark eccentricity. Here we got a glimpse of just how bizarrely Katya’s mind works in a performance as one of the strangest, most visionary figures in today’s popular culture. This could have felt like a “been there, done that” situation, as we’ve all seen many, many impressions of Bjork over the years, but Katya’s version of the Icelandic diva was less a by-the-numbers “Watch me shout-sing about how I once was eaten by a mountain and survived” nonsense parade and more of a glimpse into Katya’s humor through the Björk lens. Bonus points for not coming out in a swan dress and for literally eating one of her answer cards.
12. Pandora Boxx as Carol Channing (Season 2)
Truly, Pandora was the rightful winner of the very first Snatch Game, and so we are placing her here, higher than the victorious Tatianna-as-Britney. A quick look back at the tape confirms that Pandora’s Carol Channing made RuPaul laugh the hardest of any contestant that day, and therefore her loss is all the more confusing given that the challenge is simple: Make Ru laugh. Everything you would wish for in a drag queen’s take on Carol Channing was here: the voice, the irreverence, the manic look in her eye, the reference to a lovely bunch of coconuts. We aren’t necessarily in the “Pandora was done wrong!” crowd overall, but it’s very difficult to argue that this wasn’t the single best comedic performance on season two of Drag Race, maybe excluding Jujubee’s work in the soap-opera scene opposite RuPaul, but we digress. Pandora set the standard for future Snatch Game performances in the very first iteration of it, and her legacy remains strong.
11. Alaska Thunderfuck as Lady Bunny (Season 5)
“Well, Julie, I just wrote ANUS!” Nonsensical, whimsical, and dirty as hell, Alaska’s Lady Bunny was an inspired choice for her first Snatch Game. With Lady Bunny being one of RuPaul’s longtime peers in the drag community, you can tell Ru had the time of his life simply listening to whatever it is Alaska’s Bunny had to say. Come to think of it, the real Alaska does recall a young Lady Bunny in a way, and she’s well on her way to becoming just as prolific of a drag legend.
10. Sharon Needles as Michelle Visage (Season 4)
The fact that Sharon sounded nothing like the real Michelle seemed like a deliberate choice, and that ridiculously hoarse cackle was totally off the mark as to be totally genius. Every detail was so astoundingly specific as Sharon regaled everyone with anecdotes about working Susanne Bartsch’s parties for a buffalo nickel and doing hard drugs at the Limelight. While everyone else on season four’s Snatch Game got steamrolled into one fiasco or another, Sharon stuck to her specifics and delivered Drag Race’s first truly great self-referential Snatch Game impression.
9. Bianca Del Rio as Judge Judy (Season 6)
The old saying “Great risk, great reward” is certainly applicable here, as Bianca’s decision to portray Judge Judy, whom RuPaul famously worships and watches every single day, could have gone south given even the tiniest misstep. Professional that she is, Bianca came confident and prepared, even having a puppet of Officer Bert on hand to weigh in. The way she read other contestants as they struggled with their characters was simultaneously classic Bianca and classic Judge Judy, and as the game progressed, it became clear that this was the character Del Rio was destined to play, or at least the gavel she was destined to bang. Don’t like this performance? BUH-LONEY!
8. Alexis Michelle as Liza Minnelli (Season 9)
If Alexis’s histrionics on season nine still leave a bad taste in your mouth, let her resplendent Liza Minnelli impression clear your palate and remind you that she earned her Snatch Game win fair and square. Some would argue that Liza imitations are well-trod in the drag community, but the fact that Alexis was the first Drag Race queen to play her should silence any detractors. At the end of the day, it was a funny, faithful tribute. The kicks and the giggles and the “Mamas” all congealed into a loving send-up of the iconic film star, and best of all, it wasn’t mean-spirited or lowbrow in the least. Everybody loves a winner.
7. Kennedy Davenport as Little Richard (Season 7)
Pioneering Snatch Game’s gender rules aside, Kennedy’s Little Richard was all the more remarkable when you consider how expectations weren’t exactly high for the Dancing Diva of Texas, who up until this point had only spoken in her subdued, slow-as-molasses drawl. To our shock and delight, Kennedy embellished her raunchy take on the glam rocker with howls and falsetto riffs that made this one of the all-time greats. The small compact mirror she peered into was the perfect touch, and her answer about Batman and Robin converting the Batcave into a bathhouse decimated the competition right then and there. The risk in portraying the first non-female celebrity on Snatch Game could have backfired spectacularly, but Kennedy stuck the landing and then took off with the win.
6. BenDeLaCreme as Dame Maggie Smith (Season 6)
“Libations flavored with citrus” is one of those lines that echoes within the acoustic hollows of your temporal lobes and strikes when you least expect it, like on your way to therapy, or work, or Therapy, the Hell’s Kitchen gay bar. It was the single most genius answer in any Snatch Game, and it succeeded as a buttress to Ben’s overall performance as Maggie Smith à la the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Referring to Chelsea Handler as Lady Handler? Genius. Clapping back at Nicki Minaj about originating the English language? Amazing. That patrician-as-hell hat? Gag. Every moment was brilliant, and it’s even more impressive that Ben would go on to outdo herself on All Stars 2.
5. Bob the Drag Queen as Uzo Aduba/Carol Channing (Season 8)
It took a forward-thinking comedy queen like Bob to pull off such a delicious moment of skillful showboating. After leaving everyone in the dust with a batty Crazy Eyes bit, she quick-changed into an even battier Carol Channing, who hijacked Robbie Turner’s bland answer and rambled about being on Lipitor for years. The best moment was when Bob extolled the virtues of Fleet-brand enemas, saying, “If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready.” Classic Carol! By flipping the table and bending race in her brilliant way, Bob cemented her standing as a frontrunner and immortalized herself as a superior Snatch Game player in the show’s herstory.
4. BenDeLaCreme as Paul Lynde (All Stars 3)
All Stars 3 was BenDeLaCreme’s world and we were all just living in it. With the challenge’s gender restrictions tossed out the window long ago by Kennedy Davenport, this is far and away the best male drag on the show so far. Outside of completely resembling and embodying the iconic Hollywood Squares regular, DeLa pulled out jokes on jokes on jokes without ever letting up on specifics. When you consider the untouchable precedent she set for herself with Maggie Smith, this performance — which couldn’t have been more different in both rhythm and specificity — solidified BenDeLaCreme’s status as one of the best comedians in Drag Race canon. The interactions with Kristin Chenoweth were delicious, as were the back-and-forths with RuPaul. For Ben to use Snatch Game as a space to flourish and dominate the competition was remarkable, and we’re mostly just sad we can’t see more! All hail the Meryl Streep of drag!
3. Chad Michaels as Cher (Season 4)
Drag Race’s best version of pure, unadulterated celebrity drag impersonation, which is different from comedic caricature and in some ways more elevated. This performance was a bit meta in that Chad’s Cher became absolutely fed up with the foolish antics on season four’s infamous Snatch Game and declared herself to be better than the whole operation. “I don’t know why they book me on these chicken shit gigs. I’m an Oscar winner!” We were convinced that not only was this true for Cher, but also for Chad Michaels herself, who is simply in a different league than almost every other queen when it comes to celebrity impersonations. After all, this is someone who has made her life’s work being the best goddamn Cher impersonator there is. The reinventions via wig reveals, the casual profanity, and yes, the voice were all here, cultivated to Goddess of Pop perfection. This Snatch Game might not have been worth putting on La Mer, but Chad very easily walked away with the challenge win. Of course she did. She’s Cher, bitch!
2. Jinkx Monsoon as Little Edie Beale (Season 5)
Had anyone else walked away with the Snatch Game victory on season five, it would have been “quite the scandal, actually.” We should have known that comedy and theater queen Jinkx would absolutely slay this reference to Jackie Kennedy’s odd cousin, who resided with her mother for years in a barely habitable, dilapidated house in the Hamptons and was the subject of the documentary Grey Gardens. Those familiar with Little Edie have to be blown away by the attention to detail Jinkx provided here, not only nailing the costuming (the revolutionary costume for today!) and accessories (the magnifying glass, even!), but also that bougie yet still Long Island accent. It’s the most lived-in, commemorative portrayal that Snatch Game has ever seen, while also managing to make us laugh so hard we get “siezures (sp?)”
1. Alaska Thunderfuck as Mae West (All Stars 2)
The platonic ideal of a Snatch Game performance, full stop. There was not a moment wasted, not a joke missed, not a dip in the commitment to the character, nothing. “Why don’t you come up and fuck me in the ass sometime?” You’ve got to be kidding. No other platform in today’s fragmented media landscape could facilitate a gem of a one-liner like that, and Alaska claimed that platform as her own to give us as tight of a comedic performance as we’ll see on television. Ru himself couldn’t get enough of Alaska’s Mae West, and he may have even been caught a little off guard at how ready she was to absolutely smash every assist he threw her way. “You don’t beat around the bush, do you?” Ru asked, but before he even finished the question, Alaska swooped in with a “Whaddaya mean? I beat around the bush all the time!” The tiny moans, the snatched vintage look, the drooping tongue, it was all perfect. Comedically, it’s Old Hollywood meets raw Alaska humor, and so it bears repeating: It was all perfect. This was, plain and simple, the Alaska Show, and it gave us the single best Snatch Game showing yet.