Spoilers ahead for RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season 4 Episode 3. Each new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race stands on its own. Over 10 Seasons of the regular show, four seasons of All Stars, and multiple other spinoff competitions, something new and exciting has been brought to the table with each one. But there have also been a few constant variables, one of them being the infamous Snatch Game, in which contestants show off their best celebrity impersonations in a panel-style discussion on the main stage. It’s a tried-and-true tradition queens new and old have learned to expect, so when Ru announced that the All Stars Season 4 Snatch Game would bring a surprise twist, no one was really sure how to feel. At first, the queens were elated to have the honor of participating in another timeless and fun challenge, but then, things got serious.
"For the first time in Drag Race her-story, you’ll be playing the Snatch Game of Love," Ru told the girls. "You’ll need to stay in character as you bewitch, bother, and bewilder a hot celebrity ‘snatchelor’ on TV’s hottest new dating show."
What initially sounded like a funny homage to The Bachelor turned out to be more like a romantic spoof of The Price is Right. The eight remaining queens were divided into two groups that took turns playing the game, in which guest "snatchelors" Gus Kenworthy and Keiynan Lonsdale interviewed them from behind a "sugar wall" that obstructed their view. That meant the queens had only their words to impress the man of the hour, and it left many of them obviously confused and unanchored.
Compared to the traditional version of Snatch Game, in which all of the queens take the stage, are interviewed by Ru, and are able to play off of one another in character, on Snatch Game of Love, it seemed like the queens felt isolated and unable to reach their characters’ full potentials.
Monét X Change, who nearly won her season’s original Snatch Game with her hilariously impeccable Maya Angelou act, struggled to embody musical icon Whitney Houston. Ru has warned queens against attempting the legend in the past, and Monét tried to be the exception, but she struggled to find her footing in Snatch Game of Love.
Most of the other queens endured similar uphill battles — you could tell none of them felt like they knew what they were doing in this new format. Naomi Smalls embodied Wendy Williams, and although she landed a few jokes and her impression was pretty solid, she often remained quiet to err on the side of safety. Valentina chose Eartha Kitt, and although her look was spot on, she just wasn’t funny. Trinity the Tuck stole the show with her frank and funny Caitlyn Jenner, but the other girls’ lack of performance is really what allowed her to shine.
As Tiffany Haddish, Monique Heart carried a purse and sported a high ponytail that was cute, but safe. And unfortunately, Gia Gunn’s cringeworthy take on Jenny Bui, Cardi B’s nail tech, took Latrice Royale’s focus away from her persona as Della Reese. That allowed Manila Luzon to snatch a win with her mediocre impression of Barbara Streisand — dramatically enlarged nose and stuffed dog included. Yawn.
Sure, this twist on a classic Drag Race challenge was cute, but it didn’t feel all-star worthy. These queens are the best of the best, after all. And because they didn’t get to try their hands at what fans and legends alike see as the real deal, they have the right to feel a little cheated.
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