RPDR S4,E5: The Snatch Game-Carol Channing is never there when you need her.

Let’s break down this whole Snatch Game thing and see what it’s all about, shall we?

Scurvy!

Pandora Boxx’s Carol Channing was the Gold Standard. Tatianna was good–very good. But any Drag Queen that plans on being in future seasons needs to use Pandora’s performance as a textbook example of the genre. What a blast it would be to have her–along with other stand-outs from the present, and previous seasons–be a part of a “Fantasy Snatch Game.”

The Queen’s Drag Race Fantasy Snatch Game Cast:

Pandora Boxx
Chad Michaels
Sharon Needles
Willam
Tatianna
Stacy Layne Matthews
Jujubee
Manila Luzon

You know what bothers me about that list? There’s only one FBQ on it. The black lady boys always seem to have a problem with this challenge. As your Self-Proclaimed Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent Coach, let me give you future Drag Race sistahs a few tips:

  • 1. When picking your character, don’t just choose your favorite artist, choose someone that the audience can identify easily–through appearance, vocal and physical characteristics.
  • 2. Find at least three catch-phrases, vocal traits and/or mannerisms your celebrity is known for. If you can’t think of at least three–pick another celebrity.
  • 3. Don’t think that just because you create a flawless visual look you’ve automatically won the game. The top contestants are usually the ones who can also come up with character based answers to RuPaul’s questions. It’s not important that you match the real celebs answers. It IS important that your answers parody the celebrity you are playing.

If you want to get on the show, you should be practicing these things at home at this very moment. If not, you will probably end up in a run down of the also-rans. Like this one:

Jiggly Caliente

This queen could do SO much better in this competition if she would simply separate herself from some of the more lackluster dolls *cough*Phi Phi O’Hara*cough*, and hang with the REAL drag queens in the race. Latrice could help her get a much more feminine big girl shape, and Sharon and Chad could teach her how to define her overall personae. Instead, she probably does what she does in the NYC drag scene: chooses to hang with the girls she sees as “popular.” So her runway looks always blend into generic pretty. I’ve never condemned myself to the Ninth Circle of Hell and watched Jersey Shore, but I have seen Snookie in interviews. It seemed as if she got the look right, but she didn’t use the Queen’s rule about finding identifiable characteristics and interesting Snookie-like answers. Bottom line is that girl has GOT to grow up before she’s ready for this competition.

Milan

I have nothing to say. This is a competition for Drag Queens–not second string Chorus Boys. Milan, read my tips above and get the hell off my TV screen.

Willam

Beeotch was brilliant. From the name card, to the cardboard cutout of Simpson in the out takes, he was the embodiment of the Queen’s tips. Maybe Willam will weigh in (if he can), but the cutout proves that the contestants are given a head’s up of the kind of drag they’ll need to bring. Which means that they have time to prepare a character. Which means these other girls had no excuse for the dreck they brought to the table. I’ll give you that Willam is an actor–and funny as hell–but that still doesn’t explain some of the other lady boys’ choices. His runway look was SICKENING.

Phi Phi O’Hara

“Well, I do Gaga a lot. And I’ve been hired all over the United States to impersonate her.”

*Sigh*

Okay Phi Phi…let me break this down for you. Assuming you’re telling the truth, and the gigs are not your niece’s and nephew’s birthday parties, chances are that you are simply lip syncing to Born This Way. That isn’t the same as doing a true impersonation. Loving the way she performs, and being able to parody it are two separate things. We won’t even talk about your tired runway and fucked up eye makeup. Get your head out of your ass. It smells terrible up there.

*claws retract*

Dida Ritz

She really does make a very striking girl when she gets the drag right. The outside is finally beginning to match the inside. I really think with the right guidance (and a few spelling lessons) this diva could be the real deal. The Queen thinks she was on the right track with her impersonation, and even handled the shenanigans going on around her quite well (“This is worse than when I had Omarosa on my show!”). She was also smart enough to pick a great celebrity, since Wendy Williams IS a drag queen. All she needed were a couple more catch-phrases and mannerisms, and she would have been even more fun to watch.

Sharon Needles

There really are no words. Everything Milan isn’t, Ms. Needles is. She is the real deal. An artist who is “about something.” She knows what she wants to say and is meticulous in her creation of a fully realized character. I know that there are constant comparisons to Raja, but my understanding of Raja’s drag is that it’s more about gender-fuck than true runway. Sharon is always female. And it freaks Bianca and I out that even in the shock drag–she still looks glamorous!

Latrice Royale

I have to admit: this episode soured me a bit on our Mascara’d Matron. Maybe the bitch was just hungry and didn’t have time to eat, so she decided to incorporate her lunch into the character. She could have had so much fun with the Queen of Soul, but instead she turned out a one dimensional character that resembled Ms. Franklin about as much as Kenya’s Beyonce or Milan’s Diana Ross. Right now all Latrice has going for her is being a glamorous diva on the runway (…and her runway drag looked more like Aretha than her Snatch Game drag), and a wonderful personality and grounding force offstage. Without someone like Max Mutchnick telling her what to do, she really doesn’t seem to have much of an imagination of her own. And I hope she realizes that giving up and letting someone else’s performance have such a profound effect on you, that you let your frustration show onstage, is about as unprofessional as it gets. Step it up girl. Prove me wrong (because I know my opinion matters so much to you).

Who would be in your Fantasy Snatch Game cast?

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16 thoughts on “RPDR S4,E5: The Snatch Game-Carol Channing is never there when you need her.

  1. I know I’ve said this….oh, elsewhere somewhere….but I keep marveling at how inventive Sharon’s runway is, like that she’s holding that syringe exactly how you’d hold an elegant cigarette holder, or that she apparently has liposucked herself so much that she has gone beyond Madonna wearing lingerie on the outside and is wearing her own ribs over her lingerie! And yet, you’re right, she looks totally glamorous.

    Phi-Phi, on the other hand, looks like she got that Gaga outfit …. from Party City!

    • “Phi-Phi, on the other hand, looks like she got that Gaga outfit …. from Party City!”

      I don’t know why they keep doing Gaga. From what I’ve seen of her, she’s pretty monosyllabic with monotone to match. Music and performance are one thing but off-stage she’s seems to be suffering from a perpetual state of ennui which certainly doesn’t make for good entertainment.

  2. I’d have to add Alexis Mateo’s butch Alicia Keys. *purr*

    “I know that there are constant comparisons to Raja, but my understanding of Raja’s drag is that it’s more about gender-fuck than true runway.”

    Truer words were never written. My love was adamant that Raja failed her lesbo-attraction litmus test time and time again. I was always reminded of a club kid with great legs.

    • ROTFL

      Long ago, when I was a broke-assed actor, my roommate (who was a waiter in a trendy, five-star restaurant) asked me to dress up in drag with him for Halloween and hang out in the Village. Having money, he went all out: the best makeup, outfit and wigs. But like Cinderella, I had to get pumps from Payless; his wig cast-off; makeup from Duane Read, and an outfit from Conway’s.

      Long story short; when we got to the Village, with all the boys in dresses, no one looked twice at his expensive look.

      I got hit on by two lesbians.

      It was one of the biggest compliments of my life.

      • Love it! You must have been workin’ those Payless pumps, girl! LOL! (Are there any photos of this occasion that you’d care to share???)

  3. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the big girls incorporate food in their impersonation. It just seems the worst kind of artistic laziness, to use something that is an obvious cliche as a character definer is a poor plan, in my opinion. I am LOVING this blog as I am drag-queen obsessed.

    Snatch game ideas….how about Manila as Joan Crawford to wipe out all memory of the undead version of Joan Mariah attempted.

  4. My fantasy cast is pretty much yours. The girls have got to stop trying the Beyonces, the Gagas, the Mariahs–people who are too visual or restrained in public to really do a good parody of.

    Willam’s runway reminded me of Brigitte Nielsen in her heyday.

    • THAT’S IT!!!

      I was trying to figure out who Willam reminded me of on the runway! Brigitte Nielsen! Thank you!

      Oh…and hellkell? Our age is showing..thank god! LOL

    • See, I think that most of today’s celebrities are too PR trained to be interesting enough for Snatch Game. I think that the trick to picking a celebrity is for snatch game is that they have to be either out of f**ks to give (Michelle Visage, Cher, Jess Simpson now, Mo’Nique), or completely unaware (Brittney, Jess Simpson). Or some combo of the two (Imelda Marcos)

      That said, I think Mariah would be an inspired choice (Think Cribs, TRL, Dem Babies Mariah. Not Tommie Mottola, Vision of Love Mariah). Add to the list of celebrities I’d like to see done (well) on Snatch Game: Celine Dion, Old Crotchety Dionne Warwick (think Apprentice, calling Nicki Taylor a hussy), Sherri Shepard, mayyybe Oprah in the right hands, Miley Cyrus, Patti LaBelle (pick any decade) and Paula Abdul.

      And now I’ve invalidated my argument about there not being enough celebrities for queens of color. OOF.

  5. What is so frustrating watching Phi Phi O’Hzzzzz is that the girl just does not seem to be able to see outside of her pageant box. The same thing happened last season where the pageant queens (Alexis, Shangela) talked smack about the other girls who were not the norm (Raja, Manilla). It is rather sad that Phi Phi is so insecure that she has to trash every threat around her. She is aggressively being mean and bitchy and she sure as shit should know that Ru hears all.
    Here is hoping that Phi Phi as the rumoured winner is all talk.

  6. Just found your site….love it. Between us, Phi Phi is a twat without the skills to back up the twattiness. If she’d won a main challenge, then I could see her being a little snatchy, but, she has not won one. Furthermore, am I the only person who thinks her drag looks like Jackie Stallone from her Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling days?

  7. Since I just had this conversation with a friend, I’ll share my thoughts. As a woman of color, I too, think it’s troubling that there aren’t as many FBQ’s on the all-stars list. But I also think that as a FBQ, particularly a large FBQ, the choices of celebrities to parody are much more limited. That is not to excuse Latrice’s Aretha. It was already pretty flat pre-romper room. But while Aretha does have loads of personality she might be too poised for Snatch Game.

    Actually, I think that the romper room might have saved both Latrice and Dida. Dida had the start of something there with an inspired choice, but I don’t think she really had an idea of where to take it past “how you doing?”

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