Welcome to my review, recap, and power rankings of the fourth episode of Drag Race Sverige (AKA Drag Race Sweden) Season 1 – “Snatch Game,” Sweden’s first try at the iconic Drag Race improv comedy challenge. It was paired with a Mitt Liv Som Tant runway, which translates literally to “My Life as an Aunt” but in the subtitles was “My Life as a Golden Girl.”
Content warning for this episode: the “Elimination Day” workroom scene after Snatch Game and before the runway includes a graphic discussion of sexual assault and sexual violence.
I get frustrated when Drag Race is an entertaining reality show first and a serious competition second. I react negatively whenever a season trends towards making things a game of random chance.
This episode combined two elements that tend to turn me off: bringing back an eliminated queen and making a surprising elimination.
Bringing back an eliminated queen doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It’s what gave us more of Trixie in Season 7. It created amazing dramatic tension with Latrice’s return in All Stars Season 4 and Silky’s battle to conquer lip sync island on All Stars Season 6.
It’s a mechanic best used when a season has seen some queens eliminated early who felt like they they had more to offer to the show – either as drag queens or as personalities. Even less notable returns from Carmen Carrera or Joe Black still gave us iconic Drag Race moments, because they brought back great characters.
Yet, on Sverige it has felt like all three queens left with reasonable justification: Almighty Aphroditey for being too green, Antonina Nutshell for struggling with the runways, and Endigo for struggling to show confidence while in drag. All three of them brought some amount of certain “not ready for prime time” awkwardness to the show that the other queens never displayed. That’s not a statement about the quality of their drag, just about how prepared they and their packaged seemed to be for the rigors of Drag Race.
As a result, we had a Top 6 who felt like the strongest competitors in this race. Even if the show had already accounted for a returning queen mechanism, if ever there was a time to hold that in reserve an episode longer this was it! No matter who left this episode, they would be someone who had more to show.
Instead, we have a returning queen who already feels hopelessly outmatched by the competition. She proceeded to bomb Snatch Game and the Mitt Liv Som Tant old lady runway, but she was kept by Robert Fux and the judges thanks to a desperate, over-the-top lip sync win against the show’s frontrunner.
I’m not arguing in favor of protecting an early front-runner who makes a stumble – that winds up just as frustrating as an unfair early elimination! However, as a viewer I feel like I’ve lost the chance to see more of the best drag Sweden has to offer.
That outcome detracts from what was a solid, entertaining first Snatch Game from Sweden! Not only did several queens deliver comedic performances, but Robert Fux was a delightful host who upheld his end of the absurd game of improv with both the queens and the Snatch Game “contestants.”
Of course, the unusual developments of this episode shook up my power rankings from last week’s design challenge. With our front-running no longer in the race it’s not only a toss-up for who will come out on top, but there’s a sudden chance for a safe queen to sneak her way into the top three of the season.
(Want to watch Drag Race Sverige outside of Sweden? For most of the world, it’s available as part with a Wow Presents Plus subscription as soon as the episode is done airing.)
Läsare, start your engines. Och må den bästa Drag Queen vinna!