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RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 15 Episode 4: Supersized Snatch Game

Drag Race goes big on Snatch Game, but short on runtime

Following last week’s heavenly infomercialsDrag Race brings its most iconic maxi challenge and supersizes it with this week’s Snatch Game!

After being in the bottom for the first two challenges, all eyes are on Amethyst — with a few of the queens being openly surprised that she’s still here. Snatch Game has always been a test of mettle when it comes to Drag Race, and if Amethyst underperforms, there will be no excuse for her to remain in the competition at this point.

RuPaul arrives to the werk room to let the queens know that this season’s Snatch Game will be done in two rounds, with the queens divided into two groups based on how they lined up when he came in. For the uninitiated who may have recently come out from under a Drag Race rock, the Snatch Game competition pits the queens against each other while doing their best celebrity impersonations in a Match Game format, requiring them to have witty volley with Ru and the two guest judges (or, the Pit Crew for this season) who are playing the game, hoping to match the celebrity responses in fill-in-the-blank questions.

After the first week’s talent show and last week’s comedic infomercials, this season of Drag Race is working overtime to have the cream rise to the top by placing Snatch Game so early. What’s needed next will be a ball challenge to really show who’s the most well-rounded queen — whether it’s comedy or fashion.

As Sasha Colby points out, “It is a known fact that Snatch Game happens every season,” but that of course doesn’t stop some of the queens from being terrified at the daunting challenging. After doing a hilarious impersonation of Dolly Parton in last week’s infomercials, Loosey LaDuca doesn’t seem worried that she’ll need to repeat herself to find success, proclaiming that, despite how good her Dolly was, she’s even more well-known for her impersonation of Joan Rivers.

Twins Sugar and Spice fittingly plan to bring a more millennial approach to their Snatch Game character choices, doing Trisha Paytas and Miley Cyrus respectively. Sugar worries about bringing Paytas’s larger-than-life internet personality and translating it to Snatch Game, with the show’s history of having internet celebrities underperform.

For the first group’s Snatch Game, fans get to see Bruno and Calix from the Pit Crew play the game (the first time Snatch Game contestants are wearing nothing but lots of body oil and pink underwear…!) For the celebrity performers, Marcia Marcia Marcia is Tim Gunn from Project Runway fame, and she’s quick to point out the pink speedos on the Pit Crew as the ‘fashion trends’ Tim Gunn is watching. Luxx Noir London brings Amanda Lepore to Snatch Game, an interesting choice that will need to perform well, considering All Stars winner Trinity the Tuck performed as Lepore on a previous Snatch Game.

Malaysia Babydoll Foxx brings rapper and makeup artist Saucy Santana to Snatch Game, with Mistress Isabelle Brooks performing as Rosie O’Donell. Both manage to get laughs from RuPaul with their introductions — Mistress especially so, quipping that it’s nice to see a fellow lesbian in a suit when saying hi to Ru.

Things start to look a little shaky after that, though, with Anetra’s genderbent Gordan ‘Georgina’ Ramsey looking like it will need a lot of explaining, and Robin Fierce’s housewife Karen Huger seemingly taking the character too seriously (or just having poor comedic timing.) Luckily, Salina EsTitties is in the legendary last spot (which has had legendary performances like Chad Michael’s Cher and Ginger Minj’s Adele.) EsTitties brings The Virgin Mary to the Snatch Game panel, proclaiming to bring a horny and pregnant version of the religious icon that she proclaims will be ‘blasphemous, but not too blasphemous.’

The Virgin Mary immediately gets the panel lively, with Rosie O’Donell and Tim Gunn both having remarks about her appearing on the panel. Once the first game gets going, it becomes apparent who the strong contenders are. Mistress Isabelle Brooks’s Rosie O’Donell is a knockout, quickly recovering even when she fumbles her character and sending Ru into hysterics while doing it. Salina EsTitties’s Virgin Mary also leads the panel, with Marcia Marcia Marcia as Tim Gunn being a less in-your-face and more refined top spot as well.

Luckily for the other queens, the rest of this batch of Snatch Game don’t perform terribly, just not memorably — except for Anetra’s Georgina Ramsey, which is just a fumbled mess from start to finish. From the bad accent and flat answers, Georgina just doesn’t manage to take off, especially being stuck in the middle between the larger than life Rosie and Virgin Mary.

After just one round, Snatch Game moves on to its second batch of celebrities. While past episodes haven’t really felt too crunched, despite Drag Race‘s new, shorter runtime, this one definitely feels like it would’ve made good use of the 90 minutes.

The second round brings in new Pit Crew members as well as new queen contestants. Loosey LaDuca starts the panel with her Joan Rivers, with an impeccable look and voice impersonation. Sasha Colby brings Jan Crouch to Snatch Game and immediately establishes good character rapport with Joan beside her. While Crouch isn’t the most modern choice, it’s a smart one for Colby, with the chance to be as memorable as Jinkx Monsoon’s Little Edie from season five.

While Jax’s character choice may not have been as insane as Salina’s, deciding to be the Mona Lisa for Snatch Game was still pretty out there. What really elevates Mona Lisa to drag levels of absurdity is Jax’s choice to be wearing a huge portrait of the painting, with just her head and arms cut out.

As smart as Sasha Colby’s Jan Crouch was, right from the introductions alone, it becomes apparent that Sugar’s choice of Trisha Paytas wasn’t a smart one. While a personality like Jan Crouch is one that today’s younger Drag Race viewers won’t recognize like they would Paytas, Crouch is right up Ru’s wheelhouse, and he’s able to throw back and forth with Crouch more so than Paytas. This is evident even from introductions, when Ru just awkardly thanks Sugar for the compliment she gives him and moves on to Amethyst’s Tan Mom character.

Tan Mom is just wild and out there enough to really shine on Snatch Game, and it’s certainly a chance for Amethyst to redeem herself. Luckily for her, she was also sat between Sugar and Spice — and it also becomes obvious early on that Spice’s Miley Cyrus would quickly become tiring with her over embellished Southern style laugh. It’s reminiscent of a Snatch Game impersonation of another Disney Channel star — Raven Symone — where things relied too heavily on one gag to sell the character.

Lastly, Aura Mayari nails Bretman Rock’s look, but first impressions seem too concerned with keeping character than keeping the laughs flowing. The show’s transition from Mayari to LaDuca as Joan River’s shortly after really shows how being able to perform well on Snatch Game is just an innate quality that performers will either have or not have. Ru tosses Joan a quip about rocket scientists, and immediately and 100% in character, Joan hits back about having a team of rocket scientists working on her face for years. This level of quick wit is something you can’t really learn before you come on the show, unlike other Drag Race must-haves like sewing.

Spice’s Miley Cyrus flounders on the first question, desperately going for an outfit change and writing down an answer that doesn’t even make sense in the question. Amethyst continues to redeem herself while the twins jettison themselves on either side of her, with her Tan Mom performance having a great back and forth with Ru.

The bottom row of this round of Snatch Game (but for Tan Mom) is just dead on arrival, with Amethyst having to do all the heavy lifting here. Mayari’s Bretman Rock does another Snatch Game sign of desperation, breaking into song where it just doesn’t even make sense — even Ru seems to cringe at this. Sugar tries to cut into Jax’s time to answer as Mona Lisa, failing to even recall the phrase ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words,’ to which LaDuca sharply puts her in her place as Rivers, refusing to let this round go completely off the rails.

With round two, Joan Rivers is miles above everyone else on the panel. Jan Crouch is also a strong Snatch Game performance, though she wasn’t really given enough screen time to shine properly, considering the show had to really showcase how poorly the twins and Aura were doing. Despite the first round of Snatch Game being more evenly matched, the second round had higher highs with Joan and lower lows with Trisha & Miley — making it much more memorable.

With Snatch Game over, the runway for the week is ‘Beautiful Nightmare’, with RuPaul joined by Michelle, Carson, and guest judge Amandla Stenberg.

Marcia Marcia Marcia begins the runway with what looks like Darla from Finding Nemo — a wicked character with a mouth wide open. Luxx Noir London hobbles down the runway with a cinderblock attached to her leg, looking like a drowned lady. It’s a simple look that leans a bit too heavily on effects, but it’s still well executed. Malaysia Babydoll Foxx leans more into the ‘beautiful’ part of the theme, going for an elegant lavendar showgirl ensemble paired with a horned wig and spooky makeup.

Mistress Isabelle Brooks brings a red and black spider look to the runway that’s more nightmare than beautiful. It’s immediately bested right after by Anetra’s similar concept; Anetra’s latex look, from head to toe, is just more polished, despite the two immediately having the same idea at their core. Anetra makes up for an otherwise lackluster Snatch Game performance with this black widow feast.

Salina EsTitties brings a mix of zombie / leather mix and match to try and emulate a gown of human skin — a similar concept to one that you could argue that Drag Race UK winner Lawrence Chaney already executed better.

Robin Fierce does another spider inspired look, also paling in comparison to Anetra’s, looking more like something you’d find at a cheap Halloween outlet. Loosey LaDuca stuns as a dragged out version of Jason Vorhees, showing a new side to her that truly captures the Beautiful & Nightmare theme. With this look and her Snatch Game performance, the winner is apparent before the runway even ends.

Sasha Colby stuns in a sheer, sexy Witch outfit, while Jax brings Medusa to the runway, complete with snake face prosthetics. Sugar brings a bubblegum blue and pink look that really only reads ‘nightmare’ because of the creepy doll she’s carrying — even the makeup, which tries to look scary, doesn’t really read ‘beautiful nightmare.’ Spice mirrors Sugar’s look but in black and white, which makes it more nightmare-ish, but while Loosey’s runway made it clear who the winner would be, Sugar and Spice’s runway cemented who the bottom two would be.

Amethyst recreates Lady Gaga’s iconic MTV performance of ‘Paparazzi’ for her runway. This definitely fits the theme of Beautiful Nightmare, and because it’s Snatch Game week, it’s even fitting for Amethyst to be recreating someone else’s look (complete with the shocking blood from Gaga’s performance). Still, though, it would be nice to see Amethyst shine in something more original — the only strong performances she’s given so far (Tan Mom & Gaga) have both been as other people.

Aura Mayari closes the runway by, quote, ‘showing off her acting skills’ (…) in a nice gown that fits the theme, though isn’t very inventive or groundbreaking like some of the other queen’s outfits.

With the runway finished, Luxx Noir London, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx, Anetra, Robin Fierce, Salina EsTitties, Sasha Colby, Jax and Amethyst find themselves safe for the week. With Snatch Game so early this season, some of these safe queens should be thanking their lucky stars that the sheer number of contestants remaining allowed them to be safe despite subpar impersonations and runways, while others (Colby and EsTitties) should feel rightfully shafted that their Snatch Game performances didn’t get the chance to be commented on by the judges.

Despite being read for her outfit not being dragged up enough and being challenged to push her makeup to even more extreme levels, Marcia Marcia gets positive feedback for her Tim Gunn performance. As expected, Mistress Isabelle Brooks and Loosey LaDuca get rave reviews for Rosie and Joan, with Ru remarking that Joan would be very proud.

When it comes to Sugar and Spice, Michelle is able to do a better and funnier Miley impersonation in ten seconds than Spice did for the entirety of the Snatch Game. Aura Mayari got compliments on the nice dress, but told that the Bretman Rock performance went nowhere and needed to be more fun.

Loosey LaDuca rightfully earns the Snatch Game victory with Joan Rivers, with Aura Mayari escaping the bottom two by a hair so that the Drag Race producers could have their Sugar vs Spice lip sync moment.

After an awkwardly in-sync lip sync to Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run”, Spice is victorious — probably due in part to Sugar’s shoe malfunctioning and making it difficult for her to perform. Sugar shantays away, and now it’s anyone’s guess how Spice will manage to do without her twin sister there for backup.

Next week’s Drag Race teases the reading challenge and a haute couture sewing challenge — all while teasing Spice spiraling out of control that Sugar was eliminated instead of another queen. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race on Friday’s on MTV and streaming on Paramount+.

 

Written by Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is the creator and editor of POParazzi. He works primarily in Washington, DC. You can contact him at sam@poparazzi.org and visit his portfolio at sam-bennett.com.

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