RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 8 Episode Five – Supermodel Snatch Game
So, in last week’s episode, the queens divided into New Wave girl bands and performed live. Chi Chi and her group clashed about their costumes, with Derrick refusing to wear cardboard. Robbie Turner won, and Naysha went home.
This episode starts in a sea of pink and green as the queens de-robe after the day-glo runway. Derrick notes that this is her second time in the bottom three, which starts a fight between her and Bob for no apparent reason. Maybe they were just letting off steam, but the show wants us to believe that they are deadly enemies.
The next day, Les Chicken Wings come into the Werk Room, shouting their names. Bob is very peppy, and tells everyone that he’s become a morning person because of the early start times on the show. “You’re an all-day person,” Robbie notes. Bob is always “up.” Bob attributes this to his excitement at being on his favorite TV show.
She Already Done Got Herses! RuPaul recites the lyrics to Madonna’s “Vogue,” with the names of past Snatch Game celebrities inserted. This will all make sense later. Of course, Boy RuPaul enters right after the video ends, and, of course, he’s wearing another large hat. But this time, it’s overshadowed by the crazy-colored zig-zag suit he’s got on. He announces that they’re all off on a car trip, to look for road kill on the freeway. They’ll take these pelts and make gorgeous runway gowns… just kidding! It’s Snatch Game day!
The queens are much more excited by this than they were by the road kill challenge. As soon as RuPaul leaves, they start digging in their wardrobes for character outfits. Acid Betty is going to impersonate Nancy Grace, because she’s a major bitch — just like Betty. Robbie says she’ll be doing Diana Vreeland — which seems entirely predictable for someone setting herself up against Jinkx Monsoon and Ben DelaCreme. It’s a person who will be completely familiar to RuPaul, but little more than a name to the general public. And from a by-gone era.
Or, as Bob says… Who?”
Naomi tells Kim Chi that she’s going to do Whoopi Goldberg (from The Color Purple). Bob has three, three characters ready: Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act), Uzo Aduba, and Carol Channing. He whips his Whoopi Goldberg out — and Naomi gets intimidated. She decides to switch to her Plan B character, Tiffanny “New York” Pollard. I’m old, so I had to look her up (but not Diana Vreeland).
Before you know it, RuPaul is walking through the Werk Room, asking questions and doling out advice. Chi Chi is doing Eartha Kitt, and spouts some weirdness about Cat Woman and cats. RuPaul gives the ultimate Snatch Game advice. Stay in character and make me laugh.
Since they know this show, and they know this challenge, a lot of the queens came with back-up characters. Kim Chi has the choice between Season 7’s Pearl (who is a personal friend), and “Kimmy” Jung Un, a fictional sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un. It seems like either one is risky.
Derrick, whose entire career is based on imitating Britney Spears, is leaning towards Laura Bell Bundy, Broadway and country singer. RuPaul strongly encourages Derrick to “keep it simple.” Meaning: Do Britney, Bitch!
Thorgy is planning on following Kennedy’s lead from last year, by embodying another black male drag queen: Michael Jackson. RuPaul is not averse to this, instead stoking the fires by asking Thorgy who her biggest competition is. Thorgy names Bob.
On his way out, RuPaul announces the week’s runway theme: “Night of a 1,000 Madonnas.” (See the connection?) Chi Chi is excited because Madonna has so many iconic looks! They’ve got dozens to choose from!
So, it’s Snatch Game, with guest contestants Gig Hadid and Chanel Iman. These are both supermodels in case you didn’t know (I didn’t). And they both are having the time of their lives. Thorgy has the Michael Jackson mannerisms down, and she’s making jokes about various MJ scandals — at one point she pulls out a baby doll covered in a blanket and dangles it over the bottom row. Kim Chi has settled on “Kimmy” Jung Un. Her take is cartoonish, a little disturbing, but consistent and funny. Chi Chi’s Eartha Kitt gets everything right, the purring voice, the imperious attitude, and the feline physicality. And Derrick’s Britney is cracking up the supermodels, even though I can’t help thinking that Derrick doesn’t hold a patch on Tatianna’s amazing Britney in Season 2.
On the duller side is Acid Betty’s Nancy Grace. I kind of love what Betty does with her eyes, but the character itself is much more boring than Acid Betty has been at any other time. Likewise, Robbie’s Diana Vreeland has some good silent reactions, but nothing else. I don’t even know what Naomi is doing with Tiffany Pollard, but it isn’t working.
And then there’s Bob, who does Uzo Aduba to perfection at the beginning of the match, and jumps into Carol Channing halfway through. I don’t even know how that happened, but it’s hilarious and it makes me wish Bob had gone for the trifecta and done Whoopi as well.
At the end of the game, Charo (the actual Charo) randomly shows up. Why not? It’s Snatch Game!
The next day, the queens prepare their Madonnas. Acid Betty and Thorgy talk a bit about the Brooklyn drag scene. Betty is a little sad, because no one in Brooklyn wants to work with her. She doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere, being a lone soldier for her art. Thorgy is a classical musician (violin, viola, and cello), and wants to conduct in drag. She thinks she could help make orchestral music cool for the younger generation. “I love that,” Acid Betty says supportively.
Naomi talks about her childhood. She was adopted by a white Christian family, and has about a million siblings. Her mother is completely supportive, and she knew nothing but love and acceptance. She also knew nothing about black culture. “Did you have to study it?” Bob asks. She did, while Bob was raised by a black family in a black neighborhood, and attended largely black schools. But they still have a lot in common, including getting the “you’re cute for a black guy” comment enough in their lives to be annoyed by it.
On to the runway! RuPaul wears a very classic silouhette, in classic grey, looking gorgeous as usual. Michelle wears a white blouse and a black corset, and Carson wears a crazier suit than the one RuPaul wore earlier in the episode.
Thorgy is first, in a red kimono, doing “Nothing Really Matters” Madonna. Then Kim Chi comes out in a better (more authentic) kimono. She’s also doing “Nothing Really Matters.” Derrick is “Nothing Really Matters” #3. She voice-overs that her kimono is the best, as it’s hand-painted with faces of Madonna on it. Sometimes tackier isn’t better, Derrick. And Naomi is “Nothing Really Matters” #4, in the worst kimono yet. It’s really just a sheer robe — and she poses like she’s doing a basic lingerie catwalk.
Finally Acid Betty comes out as a different Madonna. It’s “Bedtime Story” and she’s in a white wedding dress and a huge baby bump with a flock of white doves circling it. Robbie is “A League of their Own” Madonna. Her baseball uniform is perfect, but there’s something off about the hair. There’s always something off about Robbie’s hair. Chi Chi did “Express Yourself” Madonna. Finally, Bob is “2013 GLAAD Awards” Madonna, in a sexy boy scout uniform.
RuPaul tells Kim Chi and Chi Chi to step forward and strike a pose. They are both safe. Thorgy, Derrick, and Bob are in the top. Naomi, Acid Betty, and Robbie are in the bottom. I would have switched Chi Chi and Derrick, but I can’t argue with any of the other placements.
Thorgy is praised for keeping in character more than anyone else in the Snatch Game. Acid Betty is praised for not wearing a kimono on the runway, but her Snatch Game was awful. Betty agrees, but says she didn’t know how to make someone as serious as Nancy Grace funny. Carson shows her, producing a much better Nancy Grace on the spot. Okurr? Okurr!
When Robbie is told her Diana Vreeland should have been much bigger, she responds that she lost her voice after singing in the punk group. Funny, I didn’t notice any vocal problems in the Werk Room or the confessionals this week. Naomi agrees with the judges that her Snatch Game performance was embarrassing. Britney gets love from Michelle Visage for doing Britney. Bob holds a whole conversation with the judges in lieu of any criticism. He talks about Madonna taking out a cease-and-desist order against Michelle Visage, which I guess happened. Michelle calls it the proudest moment of her life. The judges are delighted with Bob’s character switch, but Michelle gives him a slight warning: Bob is bordering on showboating. Because Drag Queens never do that. :)
Of course Bob wins the week. In keeping with a strange Bob and his purse subplot for this season, Bob wins $7,000 worth of purses from Lux De Ville. Thorgy and Derrick are safe. Robbie is barely safe, and it’s Acid Betty and Naomi in the bottom, lip-syncing to Madonna’s “Causing a Commotion.”
Acid Betty threatens to make lip-sync history, but she doesn’t really deliver. She pretends to go into contractions. That’s about it. I wanted to see her give birth to doves. Naomi strips to her underwear — that is, she removes the sheer robe — and dances around a bit. It’s not the most exciting lip-sync I’ve ever seen. In the end, Acid Betty goes home.
It’s a pity. Acid Betty was a fierce, original runway queen, and her snarky presence will be missed in the Werk Room. She’s gracious and dignified in her exit, although she comments that Snatch Game sucks. She figures that making it onto Drag Race will be enough to earn her legendary status in the drag world, and she’s ready to get back to real life.
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The stagehands wait. Chi Chi and Kim Chi leave the stage. Kim Chi is amazed that Chi Chi whipped out her costume in six hours. They both have trouble trying to sit down, because of their tight corsets. Kim Chi loosens Chi Chi’s and they talk about the bottom three. They agree that Acid Betty and Naomi are definitely in the bottom. Kim Chi thinks Derrick was… okay. Chi Chi empathizes with Derrick, realizing she couldn’t be too sharp as Britney, since she can’t afford to offend the real Britney.
Kim Chi sighs that she hasn’t had a judge’s critique since the second episode. She wants some feedback. Chi Chi agrees. She wanted a chance to explain her Madonna outfit — since she had to make it herself. “You’ll have a great piece to take home,” Kim Chi says, looking on the bright side.
Neither of them has really had a chance to talk to each other yet, but they both want to make friends. They sip their drinks, then settle on food as a bonding topic. Chi Chi is amazed that Kim Chi has never eaten turkey necks. But they discuss that with gusto. “It sounds like oxtail soup,” Kim Chi says. Suddenly, she’s really hungry for turkey necks!
The others join them. Naomi raises her hand when Kim Chi asks who’s in the bottom. Bob jokes that they had to name someone to go home, and they (except Derrick) replied that “Kim Chi is very inappropriate and should go home.”
“Really?” Kim Chi cries.
“You’ll believe anything!” Bob laughs.
Thorgy says her Michael Jackson impersonation was praised, but Michelle Visage was critical of her hair “bump.” We flashback to Thorgy explaining about her waist-long dreadlocks being tucked into the wig. “That explains a lot,” Michelle says. She doesn’t look mad about it.
Derrick identifies the bottom three (Betty, Naomi, and Robbie). She points out that Robbie got the most praise of the three for her Snatch Game and runway outfit. She assures Robbie that she’s probably not lip-syncing. “You never can tell,” Robbie replies.
We time jump to Acid Betty and Naomi, alone at the mirrors, discussing the lip-sync. Neither of them really know the song. Naomi only listened to it after the Snatch Game.
Back the couches, Kim Chi recreates her runway bow by kneeling on the ottoman. Then she falls off the ottoman. Bob laughs that she’s fallen more than any queen in Drag Race history.
Video time. It’s Acid Betty’s sister, who looks like her twin. She tells Betty that she’s come a long way from putting on Halloween extravangzas in their garage. She’s proud of Betty, loves her, and can’t wait to see her again. But she refuses to cry on television, so she’s isn’t going to. Meanwhile, Acid Betty can’t hold back her tears. She explains that they didn’t always get along. However, since their parents died, they realized that they are their only family. Her sister runs the business side of Acid Betty, because, unlike Betty, she can talk to people without being an asshole.
Another time jump. The bottom three are at the mirrors, but Robbie is the only one sitting down. The other two are rehearsing nervously. Robbie warns Naomi that she’s worn a lot of robes on the runway. If she survives, she needs to start switching things up. Naomi looks to be absorbing that information — I hope she acts on it, because it’s quite correct.
The guest judge supermodels, Gigi Hadid and Chanel Iman, come backstage to visit. The queens tell them that Naomi freaked out when she heard they were guesting. They both hug her, and everyone is amazed at how much Naomi and Chanel look alike. Chanel agrees, and says that Naomi has her walk down. She does a quick catwalk to demonstrate. Then the judges are called away, and Gigi invites them all to her place for a party.
Back to nervous time. Acid Betty sits and worries. Naomi runs her fingers through her hair and stares into the mirror.
We watch the slo-mo playback from the lip-sync. Acid Betty is eliminated and walks away in solemn silence. “Acid Betty — out!”
“My Snatch Game sucked balls,” Acid Betty comments in voice-ver. “I don’t fit. I knew that, and I think I proved it here.”
“Before now, I was really kind of a lone soldier,” she continues as she packs her bags. “I was doing it myself, being Acid Betty, and fighting the power. Now I feel like I’m part of something. I mean, I had to come here. There was no other choice.”
Acid Betty was fierce, fabulous, and frankly, a bit difficult to be around. But she’s going to be missed, and I’m very glad we got to see as much of her as we did. I think she’s one I’m going to keep an eye out for in the future, because I can tell she’s got a lot more to show.