Drag Season 10 Episode 7 Review: SNATCH GAME!
4 May 2018, 14:16
The competition is blown wide open after a surprising Snatch Game
It's the moment you've all been waiting for: Snatch Game!
This week is Drag Race's watershed challenge, and not just for the girls. After a run of relatively lacklustre Snatch Games, the competition's best-loved challenge has been at risk of irrelevance. But thanks to a good crop of characters and a complete absence of Drag Race alumni from the challenge (thank goodness!), Snatch Game felt fresher than it had done for quite some time. But before we get ahead of ourselves with the Maxi Challenge, let's go back and see what had happened in episode seven of RuPaul's Drag Race season 10.
The girls have said goodbye to Blair St. Clair and are back in the werkroom to let off some steam following last week's elimination. Having suffered the double blow of being in the bottom two and lipsyncing against a friend, The Vixen is a little deflated... until Eureka suggests that she puts the bear into hibernation once in a while so the queens who look up to her back in Chicago can see a more positive side of The Vixen. The Vixen makes the point that people look up to her because she's so fiery, but, as Asia points out, you can't let anger fuel your entire existence.
Next up to air their grievances is Monique. She brings up a point that, as Drag Race continues to grow, will only become more important - money. Having sewn her outfits together at the last moment before the runway due to lack of funds, Monique complains that her financial situation is holding her back. She's right to point it out, but it's unfortunate that the conversation reached a head on the week that her performance, not her outfit, tripped her up.
The library is open
This week's mini challenge is simple. Read your competitors to FILTH. There's usually one queen who can't land good shade during the reading the challenge, but this season everyone was at least pretty good. Miss Cracker's dig at Aquaria ("people don't appreciate how much money you have to spend on makeup... when you're covering two faces") was a personal favourite, and Monét's scalping of Miz Cracker was equally entertaining, but Eureka winds up winning. Go figure.
Winner of season six, fan favourite and Snatch Game icon Bianca Del Rio returns to the werkroom to teach the girls a thing or two about comedy as they prepare for Snatch Game. For the most part, the queens seem to be making good character choices, with a spread of contemporary faves and camp classics. The secret to Snatch Game is to do what you know, so it's baffling that Asia and The Vixen choose to play Beyoncé and Blue Ivy, respectively. Not only did neither of them prepare these characters, they're also incredibly hard ones to pull off. People say that Beyoncé isn't a good Snatch Game character because she "doesn't have a personality," but I think that's unfair on Beyoncé; there's a lot of comedy in Beyoncé's persona, because she's simultaneously a humble, shy, Christian girl from the south and a ferocious, over-confident, sexual superstar. Play on those contradictions is where you find the funny in Beyoncé, but so far no queen has been able to go deeper than surface-level with her. And Blue Ivy barely talks so I've no idea what The Vixen was thinking.
The Snatch Game
It's finally time to play! We're joined by Kate Upton and the endlessly talented Audra Macdonald, who must surely be an isncredibly intimidating person to perform in front of. So how did the queens do? Let's rank.
8. Asia O'Hara as Beyoncé: It was better than Kenya Michaels' Beyoncé, but that's not really saying much. Pulling out one characteristic of a character might work if that characteristic is funny, but just playing the bitch note throughout made for a really boring and unconvincing performance. I applaud Asia's bravery in taking on such a difficult character, but it was really horrible.
7. The Vixen as Blue Ivy: The Vixen made the fatal mistake of basing Blue's personality on the hilarious but unrealistic memes about her that float around Twitter, and as a result her Blue wasn't fleshed out at all.
6. Monique as Maxine Waters: This was a hard watch, because you could see Monique losing confidence as Snatch Game progressed. Not pulling out "reclaiming my time" until the very end was a huge misjudgement, and her makeup looked more like an elderly Francine from "Hey! Arthur" than Congresswoman Waters.
5. Miz Cracker as Dorothy Parker: If you're doing a character who's not that well known, you have to sell the living daylights out of it. While Miz Cracker had some good zingers, I feel a sad energy around her that stops her from being as funny as she could be. I can't help but think of Delta Work, another quick-witted queen whose demons held her back. Cracker revealed a few episodes ago that she struggles with self-love, and perhaps that's stopping her from going all the way with it.
4. Kameron as Chyna: The dearly departed legendary WWE wrestler was an inspired choice for Kameron, given his muscly built. I actually thought he was pretty funny, but either through a lack of speaking or some shady editing choices, we just didn't see enough of her.
3. Eureka as Honey BooBoo: This week Eureka proved that there's nothing wrong with an obvious choice, if you do it well. Honey BooBoo is the perfect choice for Eureka, and she was completely committed to the character, as always. It was maybe a little one-note, but the note was very funny.
2. Monet X Change as Maya Angelou: Now this, Chi Chi DeVayne, is how you do Ms. Angelou. Not only did Monét have the characterisation down to a tee, she also engaged with contemporary pop culture and reacted to her competitors and the questions in the way we all imagine Maya would. Monét might not have shown herself to be the most versatile queen this season, but when she knows what she's doing she's super strong.
1. Aquaria as Melania Trump: I didn't have high hopes for Aquaria's Snatch Game, but she really pulled it off. Melania is a perfect choice because everybody on earth knows who she is, but credit to Aquaria for making some really smart choices with her characterisation. From the "help me" sign in the Tiffany's box to calling RuPaul "Barrack," she made some very brave jokes about the First Lady that take guts to say and brains to land. Snatch Game tests a queen's knowledge of Pop Culture, and who is more of the Zeitgeist than Melania? This was a big win for Aquaria.
Back in the werkroom
It's elimination day, and everything we once knew is a lie. Aquaria is hurtling towards the most important win of the season, Asia is at risk of going home, and Monique's trademark confidence is broken. Luckily, fans of consistency will be pleased to see that Vixen is, as always, pressed. She accuses Eureka of unprofessionalism and shouting over other queens to get her character across in the Snatch Game, but this is entirely fabricated. Monét and Aquaria were able to hold their own despite Eureka being larger than life, and if Vixen chose a better character she may have been able to as well. Vixen has made good points throughout this season, but this drama is a complete reach and a sign of panic.
Bring it to the runway
This week's runway category is Mermaid eleganza, which I naively thought meant mermaid dresses until I saw the queens being rolled out in wheelchairs, a nod to Bette Midler's 1980's character "Delago," which was famously ripped off by Lady Gaga in 2013. I'm not really blown away by this category, in fact the only queen who really gagged me was Aquaria, who's oil-drenched mermaid look gave me environmentally aware high-fashion.
Asia's dress was beautiful and her point of view was original, but I would have liked the mask to have looked a little more realistic. The Vixen's Mermaid look is my least favourite, for no other reason than the inexplicably placed breasts. That's not where those go, The Vixen!
This week, mother Ru asks the dreaded question, "who do you think should go home and why?" Eureka absolutely wimps out and chooses Asia because she's allegedly "her biggest competition" while the rest of the girls throw Vixen all the way under the bus. To be honest, The Vixen is great for TV but besides her feather's look her runways have been consistently crunchy, and she's failed to stand out in most of the challenges.
A panicked Vixen then tries to desperately drag Eureka down with her, but Eureka is not having it. The Vixen really disappointed me here; she prides her self on keeping it one hundred with the girls, but accuses Eureka of being unprofessional for doing the exact same. The Vixen accuses Eureka of being childish and loud, which is absolutely correct, but those are the qualities that are helping her excel, so it's unfair to call her out for just playing to her strengths.
Did the right girl win?
Aquaria is this week's winner, and she's more than worthy of it. Her Snatch Game was well acted and stuffed full of jokes, and her runway was stunning. Aquaria's looks have been really impressive throughout this competition, but at this point in the competition proving yourself in other ways is vital if you want to go all the way. And what better challenge to prove you're not just a look queen on than Snatch Game? Aquaria has now marked herself out as a serious contender for the crown, and with runways that nobody can hold a candle too, if her performances in the challenges continue at this level there's a strong possibility that Aquaria will be America's next drag superstar.
The bottom two
Monique and The Vixen are in the bottom two this week. Asia was very lucky to avoid lipsyncing this week and if I were RuPaul she would have been for that dreadful Beyoncé impression alone. Luckily for her, Monique and The Vixen had really awful runways.
Lipsync for your life
Monique, Monique, Monique. Sis what happened? Cut To The Feeling is a contemporary gay anthem, there was no excuse for not knowing the words. Monique has been a favourite since episode one so this was heartbreaking to watch. But you could tell from her runway critique that poor Momo had lost the will to fight at this point.
Did the right girl go home?
If she'd known her damn words Monique would have sent The Vixen packing, but alas. Monique definitely brought more to the competition than The Vixen in terms of entertainment value, so I would have preferred Monique to stay.