RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 13, Episode Nine (Snatch Game)
Disclosure: Back to our regular schedule, show the queens some love in social media as we begin a very slow descend into the end of this season. This recap is conjecture, opinion, fact, and fantasy, all wrapped up in passion for the art of Drag. Enjoy it in levity. Let’s go!
After much anticipation, the main challenge for the week is announced and it’s the iconic Snatch Game. The queens must bring their best celebrity impersonations and make RuPaul laugh, and on the runway the category is… Fascinating Fascinators! Gottmik impresses with her Paris Hilton illusion, earning her second win of the competition! Lip syncing for their lives we get Utica Queen and Elliott with Two Ts, with Ru giving Elliott the dreaded chop.
The Panty Ho’s & Quick Punk Drag: The Mini-Challenge!
For anyone familiar with RuPaul’s story, it is well known that the origins of his drag career began in the early 80s, with Genderfuck drag in a punk band called the Pee Wee Hole (you can catch some vintage footage of him performing at The 688 Club in 1983.
In homage to this time in his career, the queens were asked to get into quick Punk Drag and ‘audition’ for the band The Panty Ho’s, lip syncing to what seems like a remix of his 2015 song LGBT (Feat. Chi Chi Larue & Markaholic).
In a brilliantly timed effort, shout out to Drag Race UK S2 with their Masc 4 Masc Showdown; mirroring S13’s mini-challenge quite nicely and showcasing different facets of Drag!
The winner for the challenge was Tina Burner, but shout out to Kandy Muse, Rose and Gottmik for showing out. RuPaul had a short moment on the stage, performing for the queens, letting his own hair down for a cute minute, and it was fierce. He went on to announce the arrival of The Snatch Game!
The Snatch Game
Lesbi-honest, Snatch Games although anticipated with a passion are also very hit and miss episodes. It is commonly thought to be the hardest challenge of them all, in part because of its performance practicalities but mostly because of the legacy of amazing Snatch Games that precede the challenge.
BendelaCreme holds the record for winning her S6 and AS3 Snatch Game, with her Maggie Smith and Paul Lynde impersonations. A personal favourite has to be Alaska’s Mae West from AS2, and Jujubee’s SPOT-ON Eartha Kitt from AS5. But just as we have blessed performances, we have cursed ones like Brooke Lynn Hytes’s Celine Dion or Trixie Mattel’s RuPaul. Performances vary! Snatch Game is hard. But hey, this Snatch Game episode? It was actually one of the better offerings!
There were several highlights I felt, one of them being Symone’s take on Harriet Tubman, a leading abolitionist who helped hundreds of enslaved people escape to freedom. Symone played her with humour, honourably, saluting her Black ancestry and ‘educating the children’ as they say. Also a shout-out to Rose also for educating and bringing Mary Queen of Scots to Drag Race. Its dialed-up Scottish accent was a smart choice considering Ru’s obsession with saying “LAWrence CHENEy” on the UK series.
Denali keeps surprising with her comedy chops, and I found her performance of Jonathan Van Ness from Netflix’s Queer Eye to be super enjoyable; it’s already gotten some praise from Jonathan himself! Over on her IG she’s done a Drag King parody of Queer Eye I think it’s definitely worth watching too.
The crowning jewel of the night however, has to be Gottmik’s Paris Hilton. Her characterisation was so exceptional, she was making RuPaul laugh like no one else, and definitely deserved her win. I want to also point out a trajectory parallel with S10 winner Aquaria having a very similar run to Gottmik’s this season so far, having won both the Ball and Snatch Game challenge with her exceptional Melania Trump. We love a parallel.
Category Is… Fascinating Fascinators!
Rose came in with one of her most impactful looks thus far, wearing a Rose Gown by Brooklyn designer Casey Caldwell and a rose fascinator by KizhaCarr.
Also killing it was Symone’s Say Their Names Fascinator. The runway was an ode to the Black Lives Matter movement, personifying a Black angelic being, honouring all the Black lives lost (known and unknown) whose names must not be forgotten. On her IGTV this week, in collaboration with the House of Avalon, Symone released a short monologue expressing her intent with this runway; it is a gorgeous piece of art I definitely recommend watching.
Gottmik gave us a Safety Pin Fascinator by frequent-collaborator Marco Marco with a rhinestone blood drop, and a self-sprayed painted Punk-Rock Outfit by Strike Oil. The judges were head over heels with the entire vibe from the look, and Gottmik got all the praise available.
Lastly, a highlight of mine has to be Utica Queen’s Asymmetrical Picnic-Fascinator Lewk. It was another very conceptual runway by Utica that has to be commended. Also, I want to quickly commend her Bob Ross look: yes, it did look crazy, yes, she could have done an afro and not squirrels, yes her performance was bad. But! Take a hot, closer look at her Landscape Painting Make-up with pine-tree eyeliner, or her palette earrings. I do not want to fault this type of unhinged commitment, and I lived…
Lowlights of the Week
Utica’s performance as Bob Ross however. Sigh, perhaps as an after-school improv special, I could see her choices working, but on Snatch Game? RuPaul is all too ready and galvanised for jokes about [insert anything lewd here], so a slow burning quiet choice for a character isn’t likely to cut it. Also, veganism isn’t that funny, Olivia Lux’s Tabitha Brown was garbage a disappointing choice.
Of course, Elliott’s Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux from Golden Girls.Unfortunately for Elliott he contributed to a recent string of failed Rue McClanahan impersonations on Drag Race that is Crystal on DRUK S1, and Mariah Paris Balenciaga on AS5. If you are unfamiliar with The Golden Girls and Blanche, I invite you to experience joy in your life and watch one of many YouTube Montages, it’ll be worth it.
Other lowlights and their justification: Denali’s 50s Waitress Costume (fierce skating, simple lewrk), Elliott’s Flamingo Look by Calvi Marquez Jr, (what is all that fabric on the sleeve and one leg, what?!) and Tina Burner’s Horse Look (I…).
Lip Sync… For Your Lifeee!
The song this week was Fascinated by Company B, and the bottom queens were Utica and Elliott, with Olivia Lux managing a safe placement by the skin of her teeth. Utica turns it out, and shantays, but Elliott is at last defeated! After 4 separate attempts to eliminate him, he is asked to kindly sashay back to Las Vegas.
Werkroom Moment of Grace!
In the Untucked this week we had a brief conflict with Utica Queen who is accused by the other queens of biting her tongue when the cameras aren’t rolling, and being far shadier than she is coming across. She apologises, and admits she is struggling to strike the right balance between shady and kind, but the queens just tell her to what! Be herself, because that’s enough. Bless.
Quote of the Week –
“It’s not a moment, it is a movement. We need to continue to say their names: Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Brayla Stone, Trayvon Martin, Tony McDade, Nina Pope, Monika Diamond.”
— Symone on the runway spotlighting the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and reciting the names of victims of police brutality in the US.
Unseen Lewk of the Week! –
Joey Jay is turning it for our unseen lewk this week, with a Tea Set Fascinator by Rachel Frank, and shout out to Kahmora Hall (resident queen of this part of the recap) for her Blue Fas-Cher-nator Dress by Domingo Cholula.