Friday, March 11, 2022

REVIEW: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' - Only One Queen Offers the Judges a Good Time During the Latest Snatch Game in 'Snatch Game'

VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race - Episode 14.10 "Snatch Game"

The queens impersonate celebrities in Snatch Game. Drag Race royalty Raven and actress Dove Cameron play the game.

Is this the death of Snatch Game? A contingent of fans have questioned the continuing relevance of the revered challenge. It's a stable in the competition. It has been the centerpiece of each season since the second. It's the one challenge the fans remember who did well in. Winning it is a huge boost in support. It's the challenge that signals who the frontrunners of the season are. That's why it is always positioned at the midpoint of the season. In Season 14, the audience already knows who has the potential to make it to the end and who will be inevitably eliminated in the next few challenges. It doesn't take Snatch Game to make that apparent. Those expectations simply aren't there. That comes mostly from this being the tenth episode of the season. So much has already been extended. It makes it all feel agonizing and less vital. The tension of queens going home is completely gone. That comes from numerous non-elimination episodes as well as the inevitable golden chocolate bar twist. No queen goes home at the end of this episode either. Instead, RuPaul and the producers concoct a new way to punish the seven queens who fail in Snatch Queen. They aren't all lip syncing for their lives at the same time. That only happened on Season 11. That was a chaotic mess that produced one of the most awkward moments in the franchise's history. It's chaotic whenever three or more people are lip syncing on the main stage. And so, a competition is produced to prove who is most deserving of going home based on this challenge. That leaves Deja being safe. It causes everyone else to be frustrated. Daya didn't believe she did as bad as Jasmine. But it's all a reflection of everyone being a disappointment after proving their strengths from weeks of competition. It's also just a blatant way to shake up the formula.

The queens did come up with some inspired choices for their Snatch Game characters. So many of them simply didn't have any plan for how to execute them well. This challenge is all about being funny. It's not who offers the most accurate impersonation of a celebrity. Sure, they must capture their essence in the humor. The physical appearance helps. They all have to be smart with their choices. It's most disappointing to see Willow and Bosco fail. They have proven over and over again they are smart and witty. They went too conceptual here. It's a case of being too prepared preventing them from letting go and being free on set. Willow is thrown from the very first moment. Drew Barrymore and RuPaul worked together on CBS' The World's Best. That competition aired only a few years ago. Yet Willow completely skipped over it in her research. That put it in her head right away that RuPaul didn't like what she was doing. She struggled to recover. Meanwhile, Bosco showcased Gwyneth Paltrow forever as a saleswoman. She had to push the jokes far to find the satirical edge in a company already widely ridiculed. She offered the same observations everyone else has on Goop and what Paltrow offers. As such, no real humor is found. Plus, the voice served as a constant distance. These two queens prepare. They've been light on their feet before. It just doesn't happen here. Frontrunners can still flop during Snatch Game. This one happens to be a massive train wreck where Deja's Lil Jon is the only one being remotely funny. That cements Deja as a rising star waiting to achieve that precious first victory. She gets that approval here. It's a victory by default. She was playing a typical Snatch Game. Everyone else felt like they had never seen this before and didn't know what to do.

All of this stands in contrast to the attitudes the queens started the week with. They thought this Top 8 was so strong RuPaul couldn't let any of them go home yet. That was how they were feeling coming off of Jorgeous and Jasmine's lip sync. Daya is the one openly bothered by no one being eliminated. The editing is incredibly shady and wants the audience to be frustrated and annoyed with her. It seems like she has a personal vendetta against Jasmine. Even if she was great in the lip sync, she still should have gone home because it was her third time in the bottom. Daya is cutthroat and bothered. Jasmine and Jorgeous are the obvious weak links still competing. If this challenge had regular judging, they would have been placed in the Bottom 2 again. Jasmine thought she could rely on a silly accent to do Betsy DeVos, who really isn't a topical character any more. Meanwhile, Jorgeous struggles being present in the moment. She always fears what others think about her. That anxiety creeps up and distracts her. Even when she is in her own head, she struggles in listening and offering a witty comeback. That was evident in RuPaul's walk-through before the game even started. Her Ilana Glazer wasn't any better. But again, no one can escape critique here. Angeria and Daya thought some gestures could guide them to safety. They were wrong. That's all their performances amounted to. Lady Camden tried something more conceptual. She even got inspiration from RuPaul's suggestion. She's a queen who knows to listen to what the head judge is saying. That didn't stop her jokes as William Shakespeare from falling flat. Again, this episode makes it seem like these queens don't know basic joke construction and delivery. It's truly odd. Does all of that make for a memorable episode? No, it's mostly frustrating because it shows the queens failing to deliver. At the end of the day, the season relies on its cast. They are given challenges for a reason. They can't all do well. No one comes across as memorable or endearing as a result of what happens here.

Several queens hope their runway looks can safe them. "Holy Couture" is the category. It's a fun concept. Weird choices are still made. That shows how underdeveloped some girls are with their actual identities. It's fun to cast queens on the rise. That happens to showcase them at a young age. That means they don't have the lived experiences to offer meaningful perspectives. Instead, it's a showcase of whatever designs are created for them. Jorgeous' papal outfit is great but goes wildly astray with the tacked on and unembellished joint. Bosco and Jasmine have completely unnecessary reveals. It's always maddening when pieces of fabric are left behind on stage. Jasmine's second look works perfectly on its own. It actually does a much better job of showing off what astrology means to her. Bosco opted for her stunning body to once again be the sole focus. Her look offers no shape and only a minor form of perspective. Angeria and Daya go for traditional attire at church. Angeria delivers a character. It's recognizable though not exactly fitting with the prompt for couture. Daya's bridal look is poorly designed. It's tragic she fell on the stage. It mostly showcases how she struggles to model the garments she brought. She has a personality that deserves the spotlight. She doesn't always do the best job selling it. It's a lot of tongue flicking. Lady Camden's Spice Girls-inspired look needs an explanation for how it possibly fits this category. That's never good. The judges at least get that Willow is mushrooms. That's a stretch as well but is executed so well that she stands out amongst the crowd. And finally, it's just cringeworthy that guest judge Dove Cameron associates Deja's look influenced by Joan of Arc with what Zendaya wore to the Met Gala. Of course, Deja could walk the runway out of drag and still be given the victory. That's how secure her domination of Snatch Game was. The look doesn't say winner but it's perfectly fine. That's basically been Deja throughout the competition. RuPaul changes the rules to decide what to do with the Bottom 7 queens. That creates delayed satisfaction. Hopefully, she takes the opportunity to eliminate the queens who aren't measuring up. This season needs that cutthroat edge in order to pop with excitement once more.