By The Lady Cocotte with purple pen by Tamara Tattles
Sorry for the late RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars recap. Drag is my first love (sorry not sorry) but the holidays belong to family. Now I’m ready to ring in the new year with an All Stars version of Snatch Game. Our recent convert Tamara Tattles tried to fill my kitten heels so keep an eye out for her delicious purple pen.
Psst. It’s me Tamara. I am not going to hit publish on this until Lady C reads it. It’s Snatch Game and that is her favorite episode. Analogy: Top Chef is to Restaurant Wars as Drag Race is to Snatch Game. I can already tell Lady C is never going to let me post this. Le Sigh. But onward I shall go. She is busy with fabulous Holiday shit. Apparently she has A LIFE. Also I don’t think y’all get emails when Lady C posts. And you will on this one. I have tried to fix that but not sure it will work. But if Lady C hits publish on this one you should.
After Farrah’s elimination, the queens do clean up. Valentina makes clear that picking Farrah was business, not pleasure. She doesn’t want your snake emojis. Sólamente rosas, sólamente rosas. Gia isn’t fooling anyone. No matter how many times she claims she was trying to make up with Farrah, the other queens have ears and eyes. They were there. We all were.
Okay I am already sad that Farrah left us with a Shine Bright Stars! Goodbye. I love Farrah Moan. Gone too soon. I am spiralling back into my depression. And at the hand of Valentina! Oh no! Valentina is getting a big head. Monét says she chose Farrah too. I think Gia is gone if she is in the bottom.
Since this is All Stars, we get all the great Drag Race challenges. Since this is All Stars, production does everything they can to screw them up. This week’s botched experiment is Snatch Game of Love, a combination of the beloved tradition and a dating game. In character, the queens try to win dates with celebrity Bachelors. Everyone in the room has something to prove. The queens that did well in their Snatch Games feel pressure to continue their legacy. The queens that bombed see a chance at redemption. No Snatch Game is complete without queens fighting over a celebrity. Gia thinks she should be Caitlyn Jenner because she’s trans. Trinity thinks she should be Caitlyn because she’s funny. Latrice Royale, still shaken from season 4’s Romper Room fuckery, is on high alert for any current chicanery. Good God Get A Grip Girl.
I don’t know Manila but I love him/her? Even Gia likes Valentina. It seems staged so that Valentina can tell her that she and Trinity are both doing Caitlyn Jenner. Who is not funny btw. I love Valentina and Manila. Gia’s back up plan is racist but it is going to be Gooooood.
Gus Kenworthy gets the cream of the Snatch Game crop. Monét X Change’s Whitney Houston is a great idea that fumbles in execution. As a huge Eartha Kitt fan, I’m blown away by Valentina’s rendition. Every detail is meticulous and right. But where are the jokes? Monotonous. Trinity the Conqueror proves she’s the right queen to play Caitlyn. Her wit is as tight as her comedic timing. Her only competition is Naomi Smalls as Wendy Williams. Although I’m not a fan of the bombastic TV host, Naomi has her number. The flared nostrils, the extraness. Her best moment comes after she loses to Trinity. Upon meeting Gus, she reenacts Wendy’s on-air collapse. I know I’m going to hell but it’s my favorite moment of the night.
I’m confused. This it not Snatch Game. Trinity is everything. I do not know who anyone else is. I hate that Wendy Williams is getting love. She was kicked off for being anti-trans.
The folly of this Snatch Game revamp becomes clear during Keiynan Lonsdale’s time in the hot seat. With only four queens in each segment, there’s nowhere to hide. And a few bad apples are enough to ruin it for everyone. Monique Heart’s Tiffany Haddish is fine. She looks fine. She does Tiffany’s handful of catchphrases. It’s a placeholder of a performance. The real trouble starts with Gia Gunn. After losing the war of wills to Trinity, Gia gives us a racist caricature with a famous name attached. She has no jokes, no material. In her desperation to be funny, she steamrolls her fellow contestants. Latrice is triggered. She’s right back in her fox hole, dodging Snooki and Beyonce with an uzi strapped to her back. She drops all pretense of being Della Reese and pouts. In comparison to those three, Manila Luzon’s kooky Barbra Streisand is the only choice to win.
To really explain how much we need Lady C in here THE SHOW IS NINETY MINUTES. I cannot be responsible for this! I don’t know who half these people are!
While the queens paint, Latrice tells her story. She’s traveled, she’s been to prison. Now she’s in love and getting married (well, got married, but you know what I mean). Latrice is a beautiful person, inside and out. She fought for marriage equality and now she’s reaping the benefit. Latrice makes me want to cry. I wish I had someone like that.
RuPaul makes Drag Race herstory with bare legs on the runway. Rupaul can’t walk a straight line. He’d get a DUI. The runway category is Boots the House Down. Monét does BMX glam. Naomi is a Viking warrior in horns and straps. Trinity comes for Valentina’s Linda Evangelista crown with 90’s Versace and a bare ass. Valentina is a vision in creamy leather. That crotch, tho? Girl. Monique Heart is Little Red Riding Hood stomping the floor, wolf-deep. Manila isn’t playing it safe tonight. She hops down the runway, a biker bunny by Tom of Finland. Gia is gorgeous in denim but I find myself disturbed by her bare chest in a way I’d never be with a male contestant. Listening to the judges gush over Latrice, I’m forced to admit her personality blinds us to her sloppiness.
Top two: Manila Luzon and Trinity the Tuck
Bottom two: Gia Gunn and Valentina
Wait what the fuck is happening here! Valentina is in the bottom and I am am not even sure who she was! EXPLAIN IT TO ME LADY C!
For the first time this season, the queens openly discuss strategy. It’s clearly time for Gia to go. She’s not good in competitions. Her unnecessary drama impacts the whole group. The fanbase finds her unlikeable. Even Gia knows it’s her time. But this is a competition. And no one else will win against Valentina. While Manila considers her options, Trinity plays shoulder angel. Beware the wrath of the drag fans. They’ll unleash a fury of snakes on your ass. Valentina is shocked to learn she’s actually in danger. When Manila offers a quid pro quo, she responds with a challenge: compete against the best to prove you’re the best. “Can you handle it?”
This show sucks.
Manila and Trinity perform How Will I Know by Whitney Houston. Manila is an 80’s baby. She teethed on this music. Her coy “girl in love” gives me the early Whitney vibe I crave. But she’s not playing. She works the runway, repeatedly blocking Trinity with the cold stare of a winner. She bops, she drops. She shows the young queens how it’s done. The only attention Trinity gets is when she plays off Manila. Her performance seems small, restrained. Winner: Manila Luzon
Manila pulls a lipstick out of her pocket. She eliminates… Gia Gunn. I can’t EVEN. OMG my heart stopped. Valentina survives for one more day and the Drag Race fandom lets out a collective sigh.