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Snatch Game

A woman waves to the crowd on a red-carpet
Beyoncé (pictured in 2016) is the most impersonated person on "Snatch Game", a frequent challenge on RuPaul's Drag Race and its spin-offs. She was portrayed by Tyra Sanchez, Kenya Michaels, and Asia O'Hara in seasons 2, 4, and 10, respectively.

Snatch Game is a challenge held each season (starting with the second)[1] of the American reality competition television series RuPaul's Drag Race, as well as its all-star and spin-off series RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars and Thai counterpart Drag Race Thailand. The challenge is a parody of the game show Match Game, except in season four of All Stars, when the format was changed to parody the game show The Dating Game. The challenge tests the contestants' skills at celebrity impersonation and improvisational comedy. It is normally staged approximately halfway through the season, although the number of contestants still in the race at the time of a Snatch Game challenge may vary from season to season.

Snatch Game is commonly perceived as one of the most important and memorable challenges of the show and, in RuPaul's own words, the challenge separates "the basic bitches from the fierce-ass queens."[2] It is rare, although not unprecedented, for a queen to win the entire season without having placed at least high in the Snatch Game challenge: only three contestants have ever won the season after not receiving any critiques (i.e. being safe) in the Snatch Game episode, and only two contestants have ever won a season after being placed in the bottom for their Snatch Game performance.

Due to the show's format, impersonated celebrities are usually female, although there have been several instances of contestants choosing male celebrities whose public images were sufficiently flamboyant to fit in with a drag aesthetic;[3] one contestant chose to create the character of a male public figure's fictional twin sister, and several contestants have chosen to impersonate other people directly associated with the show, such as other past or present contestants, Michelle Visage or even RuPaul himself.[4] For copyright reasons, queens cannot officially choose film or television characters,[5] although some have selected real-world actresses while actually basing their portrayal on one of the celebrity's film or television performances rather than her real-world personality.[3]

RuPaul's Drag Race

Season 2

Tatianna won for her portrayal of Britney Spears (pictured in 2013).

The second season was the first to include the "Snatch Game" challenge. Alec Mapa and Phoebe Price were the guest celebrity contestants. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Jessica Wild RuPaul SAFE
Jujubee Kimora Lee LOW
Morgan McMichaels Pink BTM2
Pandora Boxx Carol Channing HIGH
Raven Paris Hilton SAFE
Sahara Davenport Whitney Houston SAFE
Sonique Lady Gaga ELIM
Tatianna Britney Spears WIN
Tyra Sanchez Beyoncé SAFE

This edition of the "Snatch Game" marked the first time that Beyoncé was impersonated; she remains the most impersonated celebrity in "Snatch Game" history.[6]

Season 3

Stacy Layne Matthews won for her portrayal of Mo'Nique (pictured in 2010).

The guest celebrity contestants for the third season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Amber Rose and Aisha Tyler, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Alexis Mateo Alicia Keys HIGH
Carmen Carrera Jennifer Lopez SAFE
Delta Work Cher BTM2
Manila Luzon Imelda Marcos SAFE
Mariah Joan Crawford ELIM
Raja Tyra Banks HIGH
Shangela Tina Turner SAFE
Stacy Layne Matthews Mo'Nique[a] WIN
Yara Sofia Amy Winehouse LOW
  1. ^ played as her character Mary Lee Johnston from Precious.

Season 4

Chad Michaels (left) won the challenge in season 4 for her portrayal of Cher (right).

The guest celebrity contestants for the fourth season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Loretta Devine and Ross Matthews, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Chad Michaels Cher WIN
DiDa Ritz Wendy Williams SAFE
Jiggly Caliente Snooki SAFE
Kenya Michaels Beyoncé ELIM
Latrice Royale Aretha Franklin SAFE
Milan Diana Ross BTM2
Phi Phi O'Hara Lady Gaga LOW
Sharon Needles Michelle Visage HIGH
Willam Jessica Simpson HIGH

Season 5

Jinkx Monsoon (pictured in 2013) won the challenge in season 5 for her portrayal of Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale.

The guest celebrity contestants for the fifth season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Julie Brown and Downtown Julie Brown, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Alaska Lady Bunny HIGH
Alyssa Edwards Katy Perry SAFE
Coco Montrese Janet Jackson SAFE
Detox Ke$ha BTM2
Ivy Winters Marilyn Monroe LOW
Jade Jolie Taylor Swift SAFE
Jinkx Monsoon Little Edie WIN
Lineysha Sparx Celia Cruz ELIM
Roxxxy Andrews Tamar Braxton HIGH

Jinkx went on to win the season becoming the first contestant to win both "Snatch Game" and the show.[7] Alyssa was criticized by RuPaul for her performance as Katy Perry, but was safe due to immunity she had gained the previous week, and RuPaul made her tweet an apology to Katy Perry.[8]

Season 6

BenDeLaCreme (left, pictured in 2014) won the challenge in season 6 for her portrayal of Maggie Smith (right, pictured in 2007).

The guest celebrity contestants for the sixth season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Gillian Jacobs and Heather McDonald, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode.[9][10] The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Adore Delano Anna Nicole Smith HIGH
BenDeLaCreme Maggie Smith[a] WIN
Bianca Del Rio Judge Judy HIGH
Courtney Act Fran Drescher SAFE
Darienne Lake Paula Deen SAFE
Gia Gunn Kim Kardashian ELIM
Joslyn Fox Teresa Giudice SAFE
Laganja Estranja Rachel Zoe BTM2
Milk Julia Child LOW
Trinity K. Bonet Nicki Minaj SAFE

Season 7

Ginger Minj (left, pictured in 2018) and Kennedy Davenport (right, pictured 2015) won the challenge in season 7.

The guest celebrity contestants for the seventh season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Tamar Braxton and Michael Urie, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Ginger Minj Adele WIN
Jaidynn Diore Fierce Raven-Symone BTM2
Katya Suze Orman HIGH
Kennedy Davenport Little Richard WIN
Max Sharon Needles ELIM
Miss Fame Donatella Versace LOW
Pearl Big Ang SAFE
Violet Chachki Alyssa Edwards SAFE

This edition of the "Snatch Game" marked the first time that there were two winners of the challenge, Kennedy Davenport and Ginger Minj. It was also the first time that a male character (not in drag) was impersonated when Kennedy portrayed Little Richard.[11]

Season 8

Bob the Drag Queen (left, pictured in 2017) won the challenge in season 8 for her portrayals of Uzo Aduba (right, pictured in 2016) and Carol Channing.

The guest celebrity contestants for the eighth season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Gigi Hadid and Chanel Iman, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Acid Betty Nancy Grace ELIM
Bob the Drag Queen Uzo Aduba[a] & Carol Channing WIN
Chi Chi DeVayne Eartha Kitt SAFE
Derrick Barry Britney Spears HIGH
Kim Chi Kim Jong-un[b] SAFE
Naomi Smalls Tiffany Pollard BTM2
Robbie Turner Diana Vreeland LOW
Thorgy Thor Michael Jackson HIGH
  1. ^ played as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren of Orange is the New Black
  2. ^ played as a fictionalized female version named Kimmy Jong-un

This episode marked the first time a contestant portrayed two different celebrities as Bob played both Uzo Aduba and Carol Channing, Bob went on to win the season and became the second queen to win "Snatch Game" and the show.[6]

Season 9

Alexis Michelle (left, pictured in 2017) won the challenge in season 9 for her portrayal of Liza Minnelli (right, pictured in 1997).

The guest celebrity contestants for the ninth season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Candis Cayne and Denis O'Hare, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Aja Alyssa Edwards SAFE
Alexis Michelle Liza Minnelli WIN
Cynthia Lee Fontaine Sofia Vergara ELIM
Farrah Moan Gigi Gorgeous LOW
Nina Bo'nina Brown Jasmine Masters HIGH
Peppermint NeNe Leakes BTM2
Sasha Velour Marlene Dietrich HIGH
Shea Couleé Naomi Campbell SAFE
Trinity Taylor Amanda Lepore SAFE
Valentina Ariadna Gutiérrez[a] SAFE

Season 10

Aquaria (left, pictured in 2018) won the challenge in season 10 for her portrayal of Melania Trump (right, pictured in 2017).

The guest celebrity contestants for the tenth season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Audra McDonald and Kate Upton, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Asia O'Hara Beyoncé LOW
Aquaria Melania Trump WIN
Eureka Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson[a] HIGH
Kameron Michaels Chyna SAFE
Miz Cracker Dorothy Parker SAFE
Monét X Change Maya Angelou HIGH
Monique Heart Maxine Waters ELIM
The Vixen Blue Ivy Carter BTM2

Aquaria went on to win the season and became the third contestant to win "Snatch Game" and the show.

  1. ^ from the TV show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Season 11: Snatch Game at Sea

Silky Nutmeg Ganache won the challenge for her impersonation of Ts Madison (pictured in 2017).

For season 11, the challenge was called "Snatch Game at Sea".[12] The title change reflected a branding agreement with advertiser Vacaya, a cruise ship tourism operator, but the format of gameplay remained unchanged from a regular Snatch Game.[13] The guest celebrity contestants for the eleventh season's installment of "Snatch Game" were Clea Duvall and Tony Hale, both of whom served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
A'keria Davenport Tiffany Haddish SAFE
Brooke Lynn Hytes Celine Dion BTM2
Nina West Harvey Fierstein & Jo Anne Worley HIGH
Plastique Tiara Lovely Mimi[a] SAFE
Shuga Cain Charo HIGH
Silky Nutmeg Ganache Ts Madison WIN
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo Danielle Bregoli LOW
Yvie Oddly Whoopi Goldberg BTM2

This episode marked the second time a contestant portrayed two different celebrities as Nina played both Harvey Fierstein and Jo Anne Worley, and the first time the eventual winner of the season, Yvie, placed in the bottom two following "Snatch Game". This was also the first time that nobody was sent home in a Snatch Game episode, as Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yvie Oddly’s Lip Sync For Your Life to Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” was considered so good that RuPaul chose to keep them both in the competition.

  1. ^ from the television series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars

Season 2

Alaska (left, pictured in 2017) and Katya (right, pictured 2015) won the challenge in season 2 for impersonating Mae West and Björk, respectively.

The guest celebrity contestants for the second season's installment of "Snatch Game" were former RuPaul's Drag Race contestants Jujubee and Raven. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Alaska Mae West WIN
Alyssa Edwards Joan Crawford SAFE
Detox Nancy Grace BTM3
Ginger Minj Tammy Faye SAFE
Katya Björk WIN
Phi Phi O'Hara Theresa Caputo HIGH
Roxxxy Andrews Alaska BTM3
Tatianna Ariana Grande ELIM

Alaska and Katya were named the top two All Stars of the week and after lipsyncing for their legacy Alaska was declared the winner of the episode giving her the power to eliminate a member of the bottom three and she chose Tatianna.[14]

Season 3

BenDeLaCreme won "Snatch Game" for the second time during season 3 of All Stars. Shangela (left, pictured c. 2017) also won the challenge in season 3 for her portrayal of Jenifer Lewis (right, pictured in 2008).

The guest celebrity contestants for the third season's installment of "Snatch Game" were RuPaul's Drag Race judges Carson Kressley and Michelle Visage. In addition, Kristin Chenoweth joined the drag queens as an additional panelist, portraying herself. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Queen Impersonation Result
Aja Crystal LaBeija HIGH
BeBe Zahara Benet Grace Jones SAFE
BenDeLaCreme Paul Lynde WIN
Chi Chi DeVayne Maya Angelou ELIM
Kennedy Davenport Phaedra Parks [a] BTM3
Shangela Jenifer Lewis WIN
Trixie Mattel RuPaul BTM3
  1. ^ from the television series The Real Housewives of Atlanta

BenDeLaCreme and Shangela were named the top two All Stars of the week and after lipsyncing for their legacy they were both declared the winner of the episode giving them the power to eliminate a member of the bottom three and both chose Chi Chi.[6][15][16][17][18]

Season 4: Snatch Game of Love

Manila Luzon (left, pictured in 2014) and Trinity the Tuck won the challenge in season 4; Manila Luzon portrayed Barbra Streisand (right, pictured in 2007).

For the fourth season's installment, the format of the challenge was changed and was titled "Snatch Game of Love". Instead of parodying the television show Match Game as in previous seasons, this installment parodied the television show The Dating Game. Gus Kenworthy and Keiynan Lonsdale played as bachelors looking for love, and each interviewed four celebrity contestants (who were actually the queens doing celebrity impersonations). The bachelors could not see the celebrities as they were separated by a wall. After reading a series of questions and hearing their responses, each bachelor selected the celebrity of his choice. The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:

Celebrities interviewed by Kenworthy:

Queen Impersonation Result
Monét X Change Whitney Houston SAFE
Naomi Smalls Wendy Williams HIGH
Trinity the Tuck Caitlyn Jenner WIN
Valentina Eartha Kitt BTM2

Celebrities interviewed by Lonsdale:

Queen Impersonation Result
Gia Gunn Jenny Bui ELIM
Latrice Royale Della Reese LOW
Manila Luzon Barbra Streisand WIN
Monique Heart Tiffany Haddish SAFE

Kenworthy chose Jenner (portrayed by Trinity the Tuck) and Lonsdale chose Streisand (portrayed by Manila Luzon). Kenworthy and Lonsdale served as guest judges during the main stage competition later in the episode, where Trinity and Manila were named the top two All Stars of the week. After lipsyncing for their legacy Manila was declared the winner of the episode, and she eliminated Gia Gunn.[19][20]

Drag Race Thailand

Season 1

The following table shows the contestants, who they elected to impersonate, and the result of the episode:[21]

Queen Impersonation Result
Amadiva Cherprang Areekul SAFE
Année Maywong Lukkade Metinee BTM3
B Ella Leena Jung [th] HIGH
Dearis Doll Jintara Poonlarp SAFE
JAJA Nicki Minaj BTM3
Natalia Pliacam Sumanee Gunakasem WIN
Petchra Amy Winehouse ELIM

Natalia Pliacam won "Snatch Game" and the runway challenge, while Année Maywong, JAJA, and Petchra lost the challenge with Petchra being eliminated.

Season 2

Queen Impersonation Result
Angele Anang Vatanika [th] WIN
Bandit Ornapha Krisadee [th] HIGH
Srimala Sophia La BTM2
Tormai Thapanee Ietsrichai [th] ELIM
Vanda Miss Joaquim Cardi B LOW

Tormai won the snatch game. Srimala lost the "Snatch Game". The bottom two, however, were Srimala and Tormai. Angele won the runway challenge. The winner of the "Snatch Game", Tormai, was eliminated.

Most frequent impersonations

Beyoncé is the most impersonated person on "Snatch Game", being portrayed 3 times. Other 15 celebrities have been impersonated twice in RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars and Drag Race Thailand.

Impersonations Celebrity Queen Season Result
3 Beyoncé Tyra Sanchez Season 2 SAFE
Kenya Michaels Season 4 ELIM
Asia O'Hara Season 10 LOW
2 Alyssa Edwards Aja Season 9 SAFE
Violet Chachki Season 7 SAFE
Amy Winehouse Yara Sofia Season 3 LOW
Petchra Thailand 1 ELIM
Britney Spears Tatianna Season 2 WIN
Derrick Barry Season 8 HIGH
Carol Channing Pandora Boxx Season 2 HIGH
Bob the Drag Queen Season 8 WIN
Cher Delta Work Season 3 BTM2
Chad Michaels Season 4 WIN
Eartha Kitt Chi Chi DeVayne Season 8 SAFE
Valentina All Stars 4 BTM2
Joan Crawford Mariah Season 3 ELIM
Alyssa Edwards All Stars 2 SAFE
Lady Gaga Sonique Season 2 ELIM
Phi Phi O'Hara Season 4 LOW
Maya Angelou Chi Chi DeVayne All Stars 3 ELIM
Monét X Change Season 10 HIGH
Nancy Grace Acid Betty Season 8 ELIM
Detox All Stars 2 BTM3
Nicki Minaj Trinity K. Bonet Season 6 SAFE
JAJA Thailand 1 BTM3
RuPaul Jessica Wild Season 2 SAFE
Trixie Mattel All Stars 3 BTM3
Tiffany Haddish Monique Heart All Stars 4 SAFE
A'keria C. Davenport Season 11 SAFE
Wendy Williams DiDa Ritz Season 4 SAFE
Naomi Smalls All Stars 4 HIGH
Whitney Houston Sahara Davenport Season 2 SAFE
Monét X Change All Stars 4 SAFE

Reception

The "Snatch Game" challenge has been called the most signature challenge on the show.[22] Kevin O'Keeffe from Into discusses that the challenge isn't only about the celebrity impersonation and RuPaul looks for accuracy, humor and the idea of the character. He also states that the challenge tests a lot of different skills, such as the queens' ability to put on a different look from their signature one, and also their ability to be "funny on a dime".[23] RuPaul states each year, as the challenge is introduced, that the cardinal rule of the challenge is to make him laugh.[4]

Writing for Vulture, Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers state that "Snatch Game" is "the mother of all comedy challenges on a reality show" despite the varied results over the years.[6] On a more critical reception of the challenge, Josh Lee, for PopBuzz, argues that while the annual challenge has given viewers some of the best moments from RuPaul's Drag Race, it is starting to feel stale overall. He comments that recent celebrity impersonations in the challenge have been lackluster and the show should adapt and retire "Snatch Game" in future seasons of the series.[24]

References

  1. ^ "Where Are Your Favorite Queens from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 1?". TV Guide. February 2, 2019. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' episode 6 recap: Which queen won Snatch Game?" Archived 2019-04-19 at the Wayback Machine. Mic, April 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The 10 Tightest Snatch Game Characters on RuPaul’s Drag Race" Archived 2019-03-27 at the Wayback Machine. Vulture, May 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Bob the Drag Queen on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 9's Snatch Game". Teen Vogue, May 1, 2017.
  5. ^ RuPaul, "Characters are copyrighted. RT @SickeningHunty: Why are "characters" not allowed in Snatch Game?". Twitter, April 12, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Every Snatch Game Impersonation on RuPaul's Drag Race, Ranked". Vulture. May 3, 2018. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Rezsnyak, Eric. ""RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 5: Snatch Game Wrap-Up". City Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  8. ^ "Alyssa Edwards Tweet". Archived from the original on 2019-04-14. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  9. ^ Reid, Alexander Abad-Santos, Joe (2014-03-25). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Power Rankings: The Snatch Game Edition". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  10. ^ Petersen, Sven (2014-03-25). "'Drag Race' Aired The Best Episode Ever. But Did It Go Too Far?". www.queerty.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-17. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  11. ^ Carpentier, Megan; Rushe, Dominic (2015-04-14). "RuPaul's Drag Race recap – season seven, episode seven: Snatch Game". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  12. ^ Megarry, Daniel (April 4, 2019). "Drag Race season 11 is doing Snatch Game with a twist…". Gay Times. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "A stellar lip-sync bails out RuPaul’s Drag Race’s rocky “Snatch Game At Sea”" Archived 2019-04-19 at the Wayback Machine. The A.V. Club, April 18, 2019.
  14. ^ O'Keeffe, Kevin (September 1, 2016). "'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2' recap: Snatch Game returns and two queens rule". Mic. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  15. ^ Oliver, Isaac (February 16, 2018). "'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars': Get Out of My Station". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  16. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3' Episode 4 Recap: Who Won Snatch Game?". HuffPost. February 16, 2018. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  17. ^ Crowley, Patrick; Lynch, Joe (February 16, 2018). "'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Season 3, Ep. 4: 'The Snatch Game' & Thorgy's Ghost". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  18. ^ Munzenrieder, Kyle. "RuPaul's Drag Race Power Rankings: Is Snatch Game Broken?". W Magazine. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  19. ^ Kulzick, Kate. "Drag Race's latest twist pays off as the All Stars play the "Snatch Game Of Love"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  20. ^ Guerra, Joey (December 29, 2018). "'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' 4: Ranking the Snatch Game of Love performances". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ O'Keeffe, Kevin (September 9, 2018). "What Makes for a Great 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Snatch Game?". Into. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  23. ^ "Snatch Game, The Kiki Ep 5". intomore. September 9, 2018. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  24. ^ Lee, Josh (September 21, 2018). "I'm Sorry My Dear But It's Time To Retire Snatch Game". PopBuzz. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.