Snatch Game of Love is an odd challenge. The format simply doesn’t work as well as the mothership’s Snatch Game, but it’s also more challenging, giving the queens less time to prepare punchlines and placing them on a set where it’s much harder to hide their props (and themselves). When a queen succeeds, it’s still a lot of fun, but even the most memorable successes are somehow muted. But when a queen fails hard, it’s every bit as viscerally mortifying as it is on Drag Race proper—and while we get some highlights in “Snatch Game Of Love,” we also get a flop for the ages.
Trinity K. Bonet is having a great run on All Stars. Despite falling flat on her face this week, that remains true. Her Whitney Houston look is great, but to call her performance a stumble would imply that she’d ever gotten on her feet. Yet what an entertaining failure it is. Because she brings her straightforward and steady werkroom energy on stage with her, Trinity somehow fails delightfully. Everyone knows it’s happening! It’s not hidden! She doesn’t try to pretend otherwise! Put Trinity’s disastrous Whitney in the Drag Race Hall of Fame next to Yara Sofia’s Amy Winehouse, Utica’s standup routine, and Monica Beverly Hillz in the children’s TV challenge. I loved every minute of it. And apparently so did she: “I feel like I should feel bad, but I don’t, because I enjoyed myself and I had a good time.”
Trinity sure is lucky that a) she’s on a hot streak and b) someone else stumbled too, even if the gap between the worst performance and the second-worst isn’t particularly small. But most of all, she’s lucky that Pandora obviously doesn’t enjoy herself, and does not have a good time.
“Speaking of choking,” Kylie says to Trinity (a wonderful response that typifies the good-natured shit-talking vibe that’s emerged between these queens), but if anyone chokes here, it’s Pandora. Pandora’s stumble is nowhere near as epic as Trinity’s. She’s prepared, she lands some punchlines, and her timing remains spot-on. But there’s a lot going on with her, and it bleeds through in the performance. Pandora is so fun, and her Kim Cattrall just isn’t fun.
It’s understandable that Pandora would feel a lot of pressure for this challenge. Her first (and until today, only) Snatch Game performance is a classic, and as Ginger proves in her bottom-two chat with Pandora, she hears about it all the time. How many fans say “scurvy” to her? How often is she asked about not winning that Snatch Game? Throw her episode-opening fraught exchange with Eureka in the mix, plus that stressful elimination tie, plus her understandably flustered reaction to Eureka’s Divine (very well done, but wow, a lot) and you’ve got a bunch of not funny stuff swirling around in the ether. No wonder her Kim Cattrall falls so flat.
But at least Pandora has one advantage on Trinity: she’s not sandwiched between two top-tier Snatch Game performances, each good on their own and better together. This would have been the perfect time for a double win, but Ginger squeaks past Kylie with her excellent Phyllis Diller and typically sharp punchlines. A solo win for Kylie would also be appropriate and welcome, because she benefits from the “exceeds expectations” boost, a la Alexis Mateo as pregnant butch Alicia Keys and Tatianna’s Pandora-besting Britney. Her Dolly Parton looks incredible, she lands nearly as many jokes as Ginger, and the “song” she writes for Cheyenne Jackson and plays on her nails is a total delight (and will be “available on iTunes, eventually”).
But while Kylie and Ginger are the clear top two (and Ginger just as clearly the winner of the lip-sync—sorry about the wig, Heidi! Love you!) it’s possible that the biggest laughs of the night arrive courtesy of Ra’Jah’s LaToya Jackson. It’s not a legendary performance, but it’s an incredibly savvy one, as Ra’Jah plays to an audience of one. The number one goal for any Snatch Game is not to make everyone laugh. It’s to make RuPaul laugh. And Ra’Jah certainly does. (Her beat was perfect, too.)
After a good-not-great runway (too similar!) the queens head back to the werkroom for another of the frank, funny conversations that have come to define this season of All Stars. This is a room of adults talking trash and having fun, and while it may not be rife with conflict, it’s certainly entertaining. It’s reality television that feels much more like actual reality than the werkroom chats typically do, offering a glimpse into what it might be like to be backstage with these excellent entertainers, all waiting to go to work (and werk) and kiki-ing with their heels off. It’s a vibe that suits Pandora, who surely gained some new fans thanks to this top-six run on All Stars — if only for her episode-ending response to the stale-as-breadcrumbs game-within-a-game reveal. Let Pandora have sex, people! Bring on the twist so a legend can get it on in peace.
- Kate’s Corner: “Snatch Game Of Love is not my favorite, but it definitely puts the All Stars through the wringer. On regular Snatch Game, with a few extra seconds to think and write answers, TKB may have been alright. Here, she was the clear weak link, while Pandora was the Latrice of the group, thrown by the answers of the other queens. Everyone else had a pretty solid night and Kylie straight up slayed. I was happy with Ginger’s win, though, and if this prompts viewers to seek out Phyllis Diller, all the better. This is a strong, competitive top five—hopefully the season will stick the endgame!”
- Untucked: The downside of this season’s werkroom vibe is that Untucked isn’t always riveting. Ah, well.
- Might be editing, but wow, Eureka is not feeling Pandora’s vibe, huh?
- “There’d be a lot less glitter in my anus.”
- My gif-t to you: