Welcome to my review, recap, and power rankings of the fourth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15 – a supersized version of Snatch Game, the Drag Race game show challenge of impersonation, comedy, and quick wit.
I think we had more than one potential Hall of Fame performance in this Snatch Game, which is always exciting to see! The first round of the game was more all-around entertaining, but the second round had had a trio of standouts.
Maybe this solidifies the argument for front-loading the season with Snatch Game as well as a Ball challenge within the first few episodes. We really ought to see a queen make it through these Drag Race fundamentals before she sashays away.
Surprisingly, this episode may have also made an argument in favor of the tight 40-minute edit of this season’s episodes. We never saw Ru’s walkaround where he attempts to undermine the queens’ characters choices, insisting that everyone would be funnier if they did Cher. It doesn’t add anything to the show. I much prefer to watch Snatch Game unfurl without a preview of how Ru might be biased for or against any of their choices.
Of course, Snatch Game is the one Drag Race challenge that has such a straightforward format where you can easily cut minutes out of the process of explaining it and it still turns out the same. Next week we’re due for a design challenge, and I fear that we’ll see very little of each queen as they design and construct their garments.
Did the crowd of strong Season 15 Snatch Game performances shake up my power rankings from last week? We had a major fall and a major lift, but not too much jostling between them.
Readers, start your engines! And, may the best drag queen win!
Reminders: I typically refer to Drag Race artists with their drag names and with she/her pronouns even when they are not in drag, which is the convention of the show. Some performers may have different personal pronouns. Drag is inherently brave, political, and artistic, and all drag is valid. It’s also hard to do. I’m commenting on drag artistry in how it comes across in relation to this specific television program, but the reason I’m commenting at all is because I celebrate all drag!
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15, Episode 4: Season 15 Snatch Game Power Rankings
This episode’s runway was “Beautiful Nightmare,” which proved to be a tricky brief for many of these queens to fill.
Before we get to that, let’s deliberate over Ru’s look. I wasn’t a fan. There was too much going on between the patterns and the protruding feathers to see its shape. It came off looking like a weird grey box that obscured Ru’s cinching.
#1 Sasha Colby (was #1, 5, Pre-Season #1)
Sasha Colby continued her dominance of the season with a subtly hilarious Snatch Game character and a runway that was equal parts creepy and sexy.
Sasha Colby didn’t get much screen time as Jan Crouch in Snatch Game, but I was obsessed with every second of her performance. Sasha managed to take Crouch’s real life dragged up style even further – after all, the higher the hair, the closer to heaven!
Even with limited screen time, Sasha toed the line between sweet and sassy in the way Jan Crouch does in many of her classic clips. It wasn’t a perfect imitation, but it was entirely hilarious. Maybe her edit was so brief because the rest of her answers were boring, but I’ll live in my fantasy that everything was as good as her saying Ross Matthews was “100% a sodomite.”
Sasha absolutely slayed in her scary runway. Her nude illusion witch who was also her own broom was an unqualified success. It was high fashion and also highly weird. Her runway walk and thin-lipped paint sold how scary it was.
Once again, this week Sasha showed that she’s a different kind of pageant queen. She’s not tied down to serving high glamour and face-beauty-face all of the time. Instead, she is a seasoned performer who has comfort, stage presence, and camera awareness
#2 Loosey LaDuca (was #5, 14, Pre-Season #8)
This week, Loosey LaDuca proved her high placement for playing a heavenly version of Dolly Parton wasn’t a fluke as she delivered a Snatch Game master class with a devilishly funny Joan Rivers.
What can I even say about Loosey LaDuca’s Joan Rivers that would be better than simply rewatching it? I thought it was pointless to revisit this character after Jimbo’s terfific version on Canada Season 1, but I was sorely mistaken. Loosey’s performance went beyond a mere impression. She was CHANNELLING Joan.
Everything she said sounded like it could have come from Joan’s own mouth. It was well-rehearsed, but not memorized – she was clearly volleying live. I suspect Loosey has her own version of Bianca del Rio’s “Rolodex of Hate” and can riff off of it endlessly. That just egged Ru on to throw her extra lines – like the “rocket scientist” and “you’ve flown for years” volleys. Loosey scored every time.
When she dug into the bit about her husband it felt like Snatch Game had been paused and we were watching her own one-woman show. That’s some Monsoon-level Snatch Gaming.
Loosey LaDuca delivered by far the best runway of the evening. The deconstructed dark denim take on Friday the 13th was utterly chic and definitely creepy. It reminded me of something Victoria Elizabeth Black might wear for a glamour challenge on Dragula. I don’t have a single note on it.
Loosey LaDuca has already made up for her week one Talent Show flop with two strong comedy performances. Beyond that, I think she’s proven that she’s not only a bar queen – she has real star potential. I’m fascinated to see where her edit goes from here. If she can survive a design challenge and later redeem her singing even further by winning a Girl Groups challenge she might turn out to be even bigger competition for Sasha than Anetra is!
#3 Anetra (was #3, 1, Pre-Season #2)
Anetra had a respectable middle-of-the-pack performance in Snatch Game. It’s hard to say if she showed a lot of nerve for her outlandish choice or lacked the nerve to make a riskier one.
Anetra performed one of my Snatch Game pet peeves – making up a fictionalized female version of a famous man. She played “Gorgena” Ramsey rather than Chef Gordon Ramsey, and… why? Why couldn’t we just have Gordon Ramsey? He could easily be dragged up a bit and he has a deliciously over-the-top personality to parody.
Anetra was so quick to jump on Ru’s introduction to clarify her character that she stepped on a potential joke. She settled down a bit afterwards, and managed to laugh at herself while making Ru laugh. Poking fun at yourself in good humor is an easy path to safety in Snatch Game, but I can’t help but wonder how much better it might’ve been if she took an even bigger risk and simply played Gordon.
While Anetra’s slinky black widow drag wasn’t a game-changer, it came at the perfect time for her after two weeks of caped catsuits. The creepy long fingers and startling white accents in her makeup gave it enough of a scary edge without going full horror. However, I wasn’t really feeling the vestigial spider abdomen floating behind her. It was almost comedically tiny. I think she might’ve looked better with out it.
My takeaway from this episode is that Anetra is unflappable. The early flub in her introductory chat with Ru might have sent some queens spiraling, but she hung in and found a way to be in on the joke. Between that and the diversity of her runway look, she feels like a queen who has actually cracked the code of how to prep well for Drag Race.
And, it didn’t hurt that her “walk that fucking duck” catchphrase was re-used repeatedly by others throughout the episode. I think we’ve found this season’s “Miss Vanjie” moment.
#4 Mistress Isabelle Brooks (was #4, 2, Pre-Season #6)
Mistress Isabelle Brooks continued to wield her considerable charisma to make her mark on the competition. She’s compelling and easy to talk to, and that means that the camera loves her – and Ru loves whoever is loved by the camera.
Mistress Isabelle Brooks played a Rosie O’Donnell that was funnier than it was accurate, which is a fine place to be on Snatch Game. Mistress Isabelle performed Rosie approximately, but she had a lot of snappy comebacks and rolled with whatever Ru tossed her way. It was a very successful Snatch Game! Her answer about Michelle Visage in London was an all-time great Snatch Game punchline, and then she topped it with the unprompted “I thought we were walking the fucking duck?!” in response to Malaysia’s unfunny answer to the same question.
I felt like this was an All-Stars-level Snatch Game performance – not necessarily a winner, but a queen who is totally comfortable and can make any moment all about her.
(I was lost when Ru and Mistress bantered about her slipping into Abby Lee Miller. I watched some clips of Abby Lee, and I wasn’t getting that from Mistress at all.)
Mistress Isabelle Brooks had a fashionable runway look, but I’m not so sure what about it was meant to give me “nightmare” or “spiders.” She was a showgirl wearing a hip cage. It was beautiful, but there simply wasn’t anything “nightmare” to it.
I think Mistress Isabelle’s unflappable try at Rosie O’Donnell got RuPaul to notice her after a pair of middle-of-the-pack episodes. Ru loves a queen she can play with, and MIB proved herself in Snatch Game. That should give her an extended life even if she flubs the design challenge, but I’m curious to see what challenge she can win to set herself up for a trip to the finale. I’m thinking it could be scripting acting or makeover, because that face is flawless.
#5 Luxx Noir London (was #2, 6, Pre-Season #3)
Luxx Noir London delivered a subtle but proficient Snatch Game. It was never going to be a winner, but it also was never going to put her at risk. She remains one of the most consistently-exciting queens in the competition.
I appreciate Luxx Noir London taking a big swing at Amanda Lepore. Trinity The Tuck’s Season 9 version was a terrific impression, but not as packed with punchlines as any of her All Stars Snatch Game characters.
I think Luxx was solid, but was too focused on answers and not enough on volleying. Which, curiously, was similar to Trinity’s take. Amanda Lepore is a character who chooses her words carefully, so she’s not going to have as much success interjecting as Rosie O’Donnell or Tim Gunn.
This runway was the first misstep we’ve seen from Luxx Noir London in the style department. It turns out Luxx isn’t as infallible on style as I thought. Her drowned woman wasn’t the best look of the night. In fact, it had some problems. Namely, the smallness and plainness of her dress and the different colored legs compared to the top of her look.
Enough queens flopped in the Snatch Game that Luxx could’ve walked the runway in a potato sack and wound up safe. I wonder if this plain look might hint at future runways that feel less fully-developed than her first two. I’m curious to see what she will turn out entirely on her own in next weeks’ design challenge. At some point she’ll need to score a win if she wants to solidify a spot in the top four – and the three queens between her and Sasha are incredibly tough competition.
#6 Marcia Marcia Marcia (was #7, 4, Pre-Season #10)
Marcia Marcia Marcia slayed the Snatch Game – if this ranking was on Snatch Game alone I’d have her at #2! Unfortunately, she delivered runway that felt too tiny when the theme begged for something massively monstrous.
Marcia did Snatch Game the right way. As Tim Gunn she had her stock catchphrases, but she wasn’t playing out a memorized bit. She knew how to volley in real time while working in Gunn’s familiar vocab. Her opening line was about the Pit Crew’s speedos, which was something she thought up on the spot and then ornamented with her rehearsed “scandalous!”
The way she snuck in a response on top of Mistress’s response to Salina’s Virgin Mary intro was brilliant, as was as her later redirect to Salina. I also loved her wisdom to front-load Tim Gunn’s answers with all of the jokes before revealing her card, because Ru generally won’t cut you off before you reveal your answer.
(Unless you are Miley Cyrus. More on that later.)
This wasn’t just Marcia weaponizing her BFA as an astute impressionist. It obvious she prepped not only a character but a Snatch Game strategy. That allowed her to be present and engaged in the game, similar to Denali on Season 13. That’s how it should be.
Where was the “beautiful” and “monster” in Marcia Marcia Marcia’s runway look? Heck, where was the DRAG!?
Granted, she gave the judges an exaggerated eye to show that she has listened to their make-up critiques, but the look itself was just a belted lab coat over tights with some nails. It needed to be prettier, scarier, and draggier!
Marcia’s well-studied Snatch Game was a step in the right direction towards showing Ru she has something to offer as America’s Next Drag Superstar. She should do well in next week’s design challenge as someone who routinely makes her own outfits. Her best strategy would be to take advantage of the situation craft something huge in comparison to most of what’s in her suitcase.
Whether or not it was apparent to her in the competition at the time, right now it is critical Marcia Marcia Marcia needs to prove that she is a more exciting queen than at least two of the queens ranked higher on this list. She has all of the skills and talents to do that, but a limited number of chances to make her case.
#7 Jax (was #11, 3, Pre-Season #4)
Jax bounced back slightly from her bottom placement last week, proving that she’s a brainy queen in addition to being a gymnast. Her mental gymnastics might be a little too brainy for Drag Race based on this pair of choices, but I think they prove that she’s more than just a potential lip sync assassin.
Jax’s choice to play the Mona Lisa was unexpected and clever, but the way she dressed for it was peculiar.
Jax had the fundamentals of a good Snatch Game, but existing as a face poking through a painting felt like it was holding her back from participating actively. Why not just get dressed as the Mona Lisa and then frame yourself with an empty frame? Mona Lisa is going to mostly be a subtle character, so you shouldn’t rob yourself of being able to use your body language for comedic effect.
Despite that, I was impressed with this choice and Jax’s performance of it. Playing Mona Lisa risks either going so subtle that you’re practically asleep OR trying to make it as broad and goofy as Salina’s Virgin Mary. Jax carefully navigated between those two poles.
I have a pet peeve about runways where someone dresses up as a thing and they are also decorated with that same thing. Like, Jax is a snake-woman so she has snake appliqués on her skin-toned bodysuit. What?!
With that out of the way: This look was otherwise very clever. Jax is a high-fashion medusa (or maybe a naga?) carrying Perseus’s head (as a “purse”… get it?!) rather than the other way around. I think she simply fell short on the styling. If she had lost the appliqués and maybe done her draped dress in a more scaly green color I think she would have more-effectively sold us a serpentine fantasy.
This is the second week in a row where Jax delivered a smart runway that was over-thought in some ways and under-thought in others. Is it a coincidence we got both of these cosplay-style looks back-to-back, or is it indicative of a theme that will continue to recur on her runways?
I don’t mind runways that lean towards being costume-ish. I liked last week’s look, and this one was only a few tweaks away from being great. However, Ru and Michelle historically don’t have my level of patience for these sorts of things. If Jax’s looks stay in this geeky and brainy lane, eventually she’ll catch some heat about “never delivering true glamour.”
Jax remains virtually invisible in the edit, but as a middle-of-the-pack performer and a strong lip sync artist it feels impossible that the show would send her sashaying away on her first trip to the bottom… unless she has the misfortune to wind up there against one of the half of the cast above her in the ranking.
Basically, I think she has a 50/50 shot to win a lip sync if she gets sent to the Bottom Two next episode, so she occupies the middle spot on the list.
#8 Salina EsTitties (was #8, 7, Pre-Season #12)
Salina EsTitties came out swinging on Snatch Game, but she over-scripted what could’ve been a lively and silly performance if she had just let it flow.
Salina EsTitties came so close to Snatch Game gold with her Virgin Mary. Her look was perfect. The way she shattered her serene image in her introduction to banter brassily with Ru was a great bit of comedy. And, I loved the idea of her playing Mary with an absurd virgin/whore dichotomy.
All of that was great! Salina should’ve just rolled with those elements instead of trying to force a “Jesus’s birth” narrative to happen with a bunch of planned pregnancy bits. It wasn’t just the bit where she went into labor, but also the way she stepped on Ru’s contrite apology to asking about her virginity to insist she was completely sex-crazed.
I feel like hitting that beat so hard so early deflated some of Salina’s later answers, like “She’s a sinner, right?” about Kandy Muse. There was nowhere for her arc to go; she told the whole story in her intro. It would’ve been funnier if we gradually realized how horny she was. We also didn’t need to see Mary’s pregnant stomach or watch her give birth. We already know that’s who Mary is.
Queens who have a pre-planned arc for their character never feel like they’re participating in the same Snatch Game as everyone else, even when they’re funny. You can have those bits locked and loaded if you want, but it’s better to live in the moment. I think there was a successful game to be played with Virgin Mary, but Salina never quite got there.
Salina’s runway was horrific in more ways than one, but that’s better than the tragedies we’ve seen from her so far.
I enjoyed this stitched-together skin dress. It’s hard to top Lawrence Chaney’s take on the same concept, but I think Salina pushed it away from serial killer and towards slutty zombie. However, she detracted from the impact of her look with all of the buffoonery on the runway. If she had simply walked it with confidence that it was drop-dead fashion she would’ve scored higher marks.
I identify with Salina. I too am the kind of person who does something over the top and then says, “I was good at [X] because it was the most over-the-top example of that thing that has ever been done.” I mean, hello, these recaps? My comic book guides? We share a high-achiever aesthetic.
However, you don’t win Drag Race by earning gold stars for putting in the most-overt effort. At some point, Salina needs to stop trying so hard so Ru can see that being great at drag comes easy to her. That’s the only way to become America’s Next Drag Superstar.
#9 Malaysia Babydoll Foxx (was #12, 9, Pre-Season #5)
Malaysia Babydoll Foxx rose in the rankings purely because other queens plummeted. Despite coming off as one of the more “old school” queens in this cast, she’s struggling to adapt her humor and fashion to the Drag Race stage.
Malayasia came out of the gate in Snatch Game with a good opening volley as Saucy Santana, but she didn’t seem to have anywhere to go from there.
She made the worst Snatch Game mistake on her Michelle Visage answer: hurrying into revealing her card with no preface. Malaysia didn’t have a chance to deliver a subsequent punchline when Ru didn’t take the bait from her answer (because he clearly didn’t know the reference).
It’s a curious thing when queens impersonate these new stars who are supposedly “SO HILARIOUS.” Almost every time it winds up as a memorization game of trying to explain their greatest hits to Ru, rather than a game of tennis where they keep swinging at everything to create volleys with Ru.
Malaysia reminded me of early-season queens who were totally in over their head trying to perform a live improv challenge. Remember Morgan’s P!nk? Except… that was more than ten years ago. I expected a lot better from a queen with such a confident voice outside of this challenge.
As with last week, it feels as though Malaysia repurposed an existing outfit for the runway with a minor tweak to fit the prompt. It just so happens the existing outfit is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING GORGEOUS, but adding scary clown lips and pastel Maleficent hair to an otherwise gorgeous look didn’t make it scary enough.
Also, upon closer inspection this look has the same proportion problem as last week’s: all of the stuff on it is centered on Malaysia’s torso and then it just stops. The disparity isn’t as noticeable this week as it was last week since the dress itself has a lovely luminescence, but I never expected Malaysia’s runways would lack drama after she entered the workroom dressed as a glamorous fox!
I believe that Malaysia Babydoll Foxx has the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to excel on Drag Race, but so far it feels like she’s playing things incredibly safe. She needs to swing bigger and get stupider if she wants to make her mark on the competition. Right now, it’s hard to picture Ru keeping her in a lip sync against most of the cast.
#10 Amethyst (was #13, 15, Pre-Season #13)
Amethyst got to redeem her flops in the past two challenges with a broadly amusing Tan Mom in Snatch Game. She came close to outplaying Mistress Isabelle’s Rosie O’Donnell for a top spot, but Amethyst’s too-literal runway wasn’t enough to to get here there.
Amethyst’s Tan Mom was such a caricature that you didn’t even need to be aware of the character to chuckle along with her.
This was a perfect study in how to take a minor media personality and make them relevant to Snatch Game. The pack-a-day cigarette voice. The subtly racist joke about tanning to Ru. The wise use of the “tanning the card” bit for the answer about the Pit Crew’s pre-show routine. The quickness with which she concocted the answer that would lead to the punch line “My son?”
It was all well-observed and well-performed. Ru was clearly having fun playing with her, too. That must have felt great to Amethyst after two weeks of struggle.
Amethyst lost her chance at a top spot with a spot-on “Lady Gaga at the VMAs” runway. It was a terrific Gaga impression, but simply repeating Gaga’s own bloody gag while doing a good Gaga impression on the runway is going to get you in trouble on Drag Race.
Why not copy a highly-recognizable Gaga look but make it a more overt “little monster” as Nina Bonina and Trinity The Tuck did back on Season 9? Or, why not do a non-Gaga look with the blood gag intact?
I had a feeling that the live energy of Snatch Game would work in Amethyst’s favor and I was right! However, Snatch Game strikes me as a “must win” challenge for her – or, at least, a “Must be in the top and get positive critiques” challenge. With Amethyst failing to notch that achievement, are there other challenges she can win to stay in the game? I think a Girl Group challenge might be up her alley as a TikTok pophead, but first she’ll need to stay safe in next week’s design challenge. There’s no way she can survive another lip sync.
#11 Robin Fierce (was #9, 10, Pre-Season #7)
Robin Fierce continued her trend of being invisible in the edit. After four episodes, I think it’s less about her being a dark horse in the competition and more about her being a competent mid-out without much of a storyline.
I hate that for her because, as we’ve established, I am becoming a Robin Fierce superfan.
In Snatch Game, Robin played Real Housewife Karen Huger.
I’ve never understood why people watch a show about rich people fabricating drama so they can get richer. If I go by Snatch Game impressions of the cast it’s the dullest thing on TV. It never feels like there’s enough to these women to actually parody, even when they’re well known as walking catch-phrase machines. Robin delivered a solid opening exchange, but Ru was giving her total neutch there and on her answers.
(That’s short for “neutral.” I blame Willam.)
Robin Fierce’s runway may have been the most straight-down-the-middle take on “Beautiful Nightmare.” Is she beautiful? Yes. Were the spider-legs emerging from her abdomen kinda creepy? Yes.
Check and check – another week survived!
I appreciated how super-sized her spider-legs were! An animalistic look like this one can seem absurd if you don’t get the scale of the extra appendages right. Vestigial abdomens and tiny tails look silly. As with all things Drag Race, it pays to go big (or else you’ll sashay home).
I suspect Robin is probably the queen who was most hoping for this week to be a Ball challenge and not a second comedy performance challenge in a row. I hope she gets to show off next week in the design challenge so she can finally notch a high placement. If not, I think the edit is sending a clear message about her final placement in spite of her obvious skills.
#12 Spice (was #6, 8, Pre-Season #11)
Spice fully flopped this episode. She played her own inexplicable game-within-a-game during Snatch Game and wore a frilly-but no-frills Halloween costume on the runway.
I remain completely puzzled over how Spice arrived at this impression from studying Miley Cyrus.
Yes, Cyrus used to have an oddly clipped way of speaking before she settled into her raspy drawl. Yes, she is sometimes an inexplicably kooky cartoon character. And, yes, it’s a funny joke to play her as two different characters due to Hannah Montana. Yet, the sum of those parts was… nothing at all.
Not only did it feel like Spice wasn’t actually performing Miley, at points it felt like she wasn’t even playing Snatch Game! What do the Pit Crew do with each other before the show? “MY FOAM FINGER.” I’m sorry… what?!
The thing that rankles me about that answer is that Spice had the sledgehammer prop right there under the desk and it was clearly a better prop gag for Pit Crew question. “They hammer each other.” “They get out their wrecking balls.” “They just close their eyes and swing.” There’s a whole fucking song full of potential answers that go with the damn hammer prop. But, because Spice hadn’t stumbled through enough of her planned bits yet she didn’t think to use it. She had to save the hammer so she could… later mime eating it like a foot-long hoagie? I’m not even sure what was happening at that point.
Spice wore a sexy maid outfit on the runway and called it scary due to “Bride of Frankenstein” hair. I know she was trying to give us a major Monster High Doll fantasy, but those dolls really aren’t that scary.
I don’t think there was anything redeeming about this look, which doesn’t line up with Spice’s previous thoughtful turns on the runway at all! In a world filled with creepy dolls, I don’t know how she managed to turn out one that was so plain.
Spice showed promise in her Talent Show and on the runway last week, but this episode was a major low point. She’s in luck that Ru wasn’t in the mood for a punitive double sashay. However, as the surviver of her broken-up twin act, Spice likely has a few more episodes of life left in her. You don’t cast a pair of twins to say goodbye to them on two consecutive weeks.
We’ll either see a “Spice spirals without her sister” narrative or a “Spice excels once she can focus on herself” story starting next week. Possibly both.
#13 Aura Mayari (was #14, 13, Pre-Season #9)
Aura Mayari struggled through another challenge with a flat Snatch Game, then delivered her best performance so far in a high-drama runway. It was great to finally see something click for her, but is it too little too late?
In Snatch Game, Aura Mayari fell into another common pitfall for queens portraying new media stars: she thought that simply mentioning things that Bretman Rock is known for would merit a laugh.
Coconut Water! HILARIOUS!
Sometimes queens assume their relationship with and knowledge of an influencer will transfer to Ru, because they’ve seen Ru react to obscure jokes and non-sequiturs in the past. The difference is that Ru is often reacting to someone like Joan Crawford or Paul Lynde, whose meme-able moments she has been stewing on and imitating for decades. If you want easy laughs from Ru for reciting key phrases, your character should not have gotten famous later than 1999.
I won’t even get into the awkward singing. That was so cringe that I cannot bring myself to rewatch it.
I think Aura did just enough for this runway. Her exposed glitter spine was a little bit crafty, but she understood that the assignment was to take a beautiful concept and add a dragged-up terrifying element. Even with crafty execution, on concept alone I’d put her alongside Sasha and Loosey at the top of the chart for this week’s runways. It had a clear story.
Much to my surprise and delight, Aura also acted her character effectively on the runway. For someone who professed terror about a pair of comedy challenges, it turns out she has some serious dramatic chops.
Together, her outfit plus her runway performance made for her best moment in the competition so far. Was it truly good enough to make up for her crash and burn in Snatch Game? Or, was she never at risk of lip syncing because the show wouldn’t risk losing one of the twins before having them lip sync against each other?
I have empathy for Aura. It can’t be a great feeling to go Safe-Safe-Bottom in your first three weeks because you were served two comedy challenges in a row. I desperately want to see her do something well so her Drag Race journey won’t be all for naut. Perhaps next week’s design challenge will give her a chance to shine. Otherwise, I suspect Ru has already written Aura off. Ru may be keeping Aura in reserve for when she can put on a good show in a lip sync loss to make the surviving queen look even better by comparison.
Eliminated in 14th Place: Sugar (was #10, 12, Pre-Season #16)
In my Pre-Season power ranking, I placed Sugar at the bottom of the list because it felt like there was nothing in the edit that wasn’t just her talking about her sister. Was that really all she gave them to work with, or did the Meet The Queen editors simply want to telegraph her performance on the season?
Sugar tried her best as Trisha Paytas in the Snatch Game, but her rehearsed catchphrases couldn’t capture Paytas’s own over-the-top absurdity. She was too focused on pointlessly riffing with Spice (as the completely unrelated Miley Cyrus) rather than owning her own performance.
The same was true in her Lip Sync For Your Life.
Many Drag Race fans and some of the queens on this season looked down on Sugar & Spice for not having experience performing in bars and clubs. That’s less and less of a detraction on modern Drag Race, but it influenced Sugar’s approach to the season in an interesting way. Sugar treated Snatch Game and her Lip Sync as a chance to put on a sister/sister act for the fun of it. It was a larger-than-life version of TikTok.
While Sugar’s “This is easy, this is fun” mantra is a healthy way to approach a competition, a performer who had done many impersonations and lip syncs in a live setting would be more strategic about making the most of these two opportunities. Compare Sugar’s Snatch Game and lip syncs to Amethyst, who is similarly struggling at the bottom of the ranks but who has turned out all of her make-or-break performances.
Sugar’s problem turned out to be that she just doesn’t know herself well enough to be America’s Next Drag Superstar. She does drag and she is a star, but she lacked a clear perspective beyond, “I’m a living doll, just like my sister.” She’s a sweet young queen and I’m sure she’ll produce plenty of cool online content with the added exposure of Drag Race.
As many queens say, the real race is often run after the show. Even if she didn’t make it very far on Drag Race, I suspect Sugar is better equipped for that competition than most of the queens in this cast.
15th Place: Princess Poppy (was #11, Pre-Season #15)
16th Place: Irene Dubois (was Pre-Season #14)
I bet Irene would’ve been in the Top 3 for Snatch Game 😢