Who Snatched the Win on RuPaul’s Drag Race?

Christine Fitzgerald 10 Min Read
10 Min Read
Snatch Game RPDR

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We are down to nine queens fighting for the RuPaul's Drag Race crown and this week, it’s time for the fan-favorite, often legend-making maxi challenge – and it’s also time to say goodbye to another queen. As the queens return to the werk room after Megami’s elimination, Plasma points out that the “New York Five” has become the “New York Four” with our representative from Brooklyn heading home. Mhi’ya Iman LePaige says it sucks to be in the bottom again and knows she needs to come out of her shell.

Ru enters and tells the dolls that the library is officially open…yep, it’s time for the reading challenge. The queens come in with some pretty decent barbs. Plane Jane tells Sapphira Cristal that “there’s nothing negative about you, except for your STD test,” and Xunami calls her “the Morgan Freemen of drag” and then quickly follows up with “No, that’s RuPaul.” Dawn makes fun of Nymphia Wind’s banana obsession, Sapphira talks astrology and notes that Xunami is a cancer…”of the drag community” and Plasma calls Jane a “Philly cheese mistake” The only queen who really tanked was Mhi’ya and Xunami Muse won her second mini-challenge. After announcing the winner, Ru tells the audience that we are all winners because it’s time for the Snatch Game!    

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The queens are understandably excited about the challenge and get their characters together. Nymphia decides to do primatologist and animal activist Dr. Jane Goodall, which is an interesting choice…but can she be funny? Dawn decides to do The View’s Meghan McCain because she’s fine with “reading the shit” out of the “trash goblin.” Plasma is staying on-brand and doing Broadway legend Patti LuPone (and, of course, she knows all about her). Dawn (and a lot of us) would really like to see her do something different, but I guess if it ain’t broke…Q picks Amelia Earhart, which is smart because no one really knows her, and she can give herself a lot of leeway with her portrayal. Xunami, taking a cue from Trinity the Tuck’s devil performance, comes up with the “gold tooth fairy.” Hmmm….

Ru brings a special guest into the werk room, someone who knows a thing or two about winning the Snatch Game, Chad Michaels! The pair chat with the queens about their selections. Morphine Love Dion is doing Anna Delvey and seems to have her weird, non-descript accent down. Jane is doing “the Serbian Madonna”, singer Jelena Karleuša and Mhi’ya announces she is doing Tiffany “New York” Pollard, to which Plasma asks if she’s going to do it with a megaphone. Ru and Chad suggest she do “one of her loud friends” and Chad emphasizes that the goal is to make Ru laugh, so Mhi’ya needs to rethink her choice.

Upon seeing Xunami’s wig, Chad thinks she’s doing Halle Berry from B.A.P.S. (which would have been epic) and she and Ru are surprised when they learn of this gold tooth fairy character. Ru says making up a character is like “writing a blank check” and adding that she had better cash it. Sapphira says she’s doing James Brown – who happens to be the first performer Ru saw in concert. Dawn jokes that she’s playing “the kiss ass game” with her choice but it is a good one. And while Ru thinks Nymphia made an interesting choice (and can’t stop with the banana connection), Chad fears for her. Morphine notes that Nymphia usually pretends she can’t do anything, only to end up doing something extraordinary, but this time she’s unsure that Nymphia is faking her lack of ability.  Before he leaves, Ru lets Jane know that her immunity potion is coming close to its expiration date, and she has three more chances to use it or give it to a fellow queen (like that’s gonna happen.)

It's Snatch Game time! Our contestants are the gorgeous JP and Laith from the Pit Crew. As far as the performances, Q is funny, Nymphia…has good makeup..?, Dawn looks unrecognizable without her signature makeup (although she should have done a few of Meghan McCain’s unhinged hairstyles), Plasma definitely stays in her lane and delivers exactly what you thought she would as Patti and Sapphira is a great Godfather of Soul. Mhi’ya manages to come out of her shell and gets laughs as rapper Trina’s “best friend” Shaquita – I am glad she took the notes from Ru and Chad. Jane was also hilarious as Jelena Karleuša. She made someone we didn’t know into a joke machine. Poor Xunami is tanking, as no one seems to understand her character, Morphine’s Anna Delvey is blah, and we get the biggest laugh of the game when Ru clocks Sapphira’s character shoes. (Sapphira also does the only reveal of the game, using James Brown’s iconic cape. I am sure Ru loved that.) All in all, it was a really funny Snatch Game.

As the queens get ready for the runway, both Morphine ad Nymphia snuggle up to Jane, hoping to get her immunity potion. She tells them both that they’ll be fine (just to get them off her case.) Nymphia talks a little about the drag scene in Taiwan (she says it’s the first country to approve gay marriages, but it might be Denmark – but it was an early adopter, at least), and Jane talks about wanting to go to Russia, but being afraid because of their stance on homosexuality. Sapphira talks about her adopted Dad, who was the “godfather of Texas MMA.” The pair had a strained relationship for many years but reconciled after he saw her doing drag. Sadly, he passed away due to COVID, and she missed his last phone call to her. These stories are one of my favorite parts of the show, and I love this cast.

The runway theme is “Dancing Queens” and there are some fabulous fashions on display. Q wears a pink and yellow pastel bodysuit as the robot (poking a little fun at her own robotic dance moves in the process), Xunami is back in fringe with a spicy salsa look, Nymphia is stunning in a Japanese Butoh ensemble (which will save her from the bottom), Dawn wears a traditional Polish polka outfit and Sapphira gets my vote as a majorette for Drag U (RIP). Plasma serves MFA in a pink tap dance outfit, Morphine gives Charo a run for her money in a gorgeous red and black Flamenco dress and Mhi’ya channels TLC and SWV in a red, black and yellow bodysuit. Jane also rocks fringe on the skirt of her ballroom dancing outfit.

Before the critiques, Jane is asked if she wants to use her potion, and the answer is a confident “no”. Ru declares Plasma, Q and Dawn as safe. At the top were Mhi’ya (finally), Sapphira (despite her character shoe abuse), and Jane. In the bottom are Xunami (who has a good character that went nowhere), Nymphia (who was giving “PBS vibes” and was “too cerebral”) and Morphine, who Michelle said was just boring. Side note: Ru asked guest judge Kyra Sedgwick who she would do in the Snatch Game, and she said Madeline Khan (and then did a spot-on impersonation of her from Blazing Saddles…and my heart grew three sizes. A queen needs to do this on a future Snatch Game.)

Jane won the week and Nymphia’s runway saved her, leaving Morphine and Xunami to lip sync. The bottom two decided to “give them a show,” and they did, to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” They danced together and looked like they were having a blast, but you could see Morphine fighting to stay, and she pulled out all of the stops. So, Xunami is sent packing, and I am sad because I don’t feel like she got very much screen time.   


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