‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7’ Episode 2 recap: Double Snatch

Original recipe Snatch Game returns to All Stars—but with a twist

Here’s a fun challenge: let’s see how far I can get into this recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7’s Snatch Game episode without talking about the only thing I want to talk about.

So we’re back in the workroom after the first challenge, and Trinity the Tuck is reeling from her Season 9 sister Shea Couleé blocking her. Shea excuses it by saying she’s confident Trinity will be able to bounce back, and Trinity ultimately decides to take it as a compliment. It’s unfortunate for her, though, because Snatch Game is the next challenge up—a challenge she won in All Stars 4. In fact, this cast of winners has a lot of Snatch Game champions: Trinity, Shea, The Vivienne, Jinkx MonsoOH MY GOD JINKX MONSOON’S JUDY GARLAND.

Dammit. That was barely 100 words. Oh, well, no point in delaying the inevitable. This is a blockbuster episode, maybe the best Snatch Game we’ve ever seen, and there should be so much I want to talk about. Unfortunately, every time I try to think about any of the other terrific impersonations this week—Raja’s Diana Vreeland, Monét X Change’s Mike Tyson, Trinity’s Leslie Jordan—I just remember, “Is that my camera?” Or, “It’s a cardboard set, darling.” Or, “Do we have time for one more?”

Jinkx Monsoon, who already put on a master class of Snatch Game back in Season 5 with her Little Edie, does what I thought literally impossible here: she outdoes herself. Her Judy Garland is perhaps the single best Snatch Game impersonation we’ve ever seen, and puts the Seattle theatre queen among our early frontrunners for the title of Queen of All Queens.

The second panel of celebrities in All Stars 7’s two-part Snatch Game challenge.

Credit: Courtesy World of Wonder

Snatch Game this season has an interesting little wrinkle to it: each queen must play two celebrities. And not in a Bob the Drag Queen doing Uzo Aduba and Carol Channing kind of way, where they get to switch halfway through: they have to play two entirely separate Snatch Games. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s to this group of winners’ immense credit that they do a fantastic job.

I will try with all my might to discuss the other highlights without suddenly yelling “BROOM.” (Michelle Visage absolutely losing her shit over Jinkx calling Ru that is the most I’ve ever related to Michelle.) Trinity joins Jinkx in the top two of the week after a very successful Leslie Jordan—complete with little body!—and a funny, if somewhat unoriginal, gay take on the Devil. Personally, I would’ve put Raja up there instead; her Diana Vreeland is excellent (and puts Robbie Turner’s Season 8 take on the character to shame), while her self-puppetry as Wayland Flowers’ puppet Madame is incredibly impressive.

 

What I like so much about Raja’s output is that she not only is funny as both, but also manages two dramatic physical transformations. Trinity does as well, but we’ve seen Devil and older drag on the show before. I can genuinely say I’ve never seen something like Raja’s Madame on Drag Race. So Raja’s a clear second-placer for me this week, with Trinity and a very strong Monét on the next tier. (If Monét had just done Mike Tyson, I’d have put her in the top, but her take on Martin Lawrence—more specifically Lawrence’s character Sheneneh Jenkins—is less impactful.)

Okay, that was two paragraphs of not talking about Jinkx’s Judy, so I think we can go back now. Among all the brilliant things about this performance—singing the Judy-esque covers of “Jealous of My Boogie” and the Drag Race theme, her joke about doing coke off Frank Sinatra’s penis—the one that’s destined to be remembered in perpetuity is her reference back to #IKilledJudyGarland. For those who may have not seen Season 5: Why not? Why have you not gone back and watched the single greatest season of Drag Race? Go do it! I’ll wait.

Did you go? Okay, good. So now you know about Dave, Jinkx’s veteran in the makeover challenge, who claimed—as was memorialized by a hashtag chyron—that he told Judy about a new sleeping pill, and that ultimately led to her death by overdose. Jinkx takes a moment of her Snatch Game performance to deliver a message to Dave: “He said he was worried that he killed me. And I want to say, Dave, if you’re watching: you’re not responsible, darling. It’s all right. You’re forgiven!”

It sends Michelle and Ross Mathews into hysterics, it has me yelling at my TV, it has Ru howling—it’s just so perfect. If everything else about her Judy were just okay, this would be enough to get her into the top. But of course, everything else about her Judy is amazing. She even sets up the perfect ending to the episode, singing the outdated “may the best woman win” line to the theme song. Trinity-as-Leslie jumps in with “They changed it to drag queen!” and Ru just about falls over laughing. Just an incredible ending to an incredible Snatch Game, and for that alone, I understand our top two.

As Michelle notes in critiques, the only bad thing about Jinkx’s Judy is that it overshadows her very good Natasha Lyonne from the first half of Snatch Game. She and Raja manage the best average across both performances. The Vivienne and Yvie Oddly both do better with one character than the other (Catherine Tate for Viv, the bogeyman for Yvie), while in a surprise, Shea struggles with both America’s Next Top Model icon Miss J and comedian Elsa Majimbo.

Jaida, on the other hand, truly just plays herself as The Lady Chablis—an iconic choice from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil—while she goes for a hilariously off-base take on Prince for her other character. Honestly, despite it not being a great impersonation, her Prince is one of my favourite performances of the day: it gets at a very particular part of Jaida’s sense of humour that I enjoy. We’re getting a few little moments of that Jaida peeking through, and I hope to see even more in the coming weeks.

Raja surprises with a high-concept, well-executed take on Wayland Flowers’s puppet, Madame.

Credit: Courtesy World of Wonder

Jinkx and Trinity lip sync to Adele’s “Rumour Has It,” and after Shea and Monét’s “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” it can’t help but feel like a letdown. Trinity picks a more upbeat approach that mismatches the song, while Jinkx goes for a low-key, emotive interpretation. It’s effectively a wash, and it seems like Ru just defaults to rewarding the best performance of the challenge: Jinkx’s. She then chooses to block Shea, much to Trinity’s delight.

This is such a terrific episode, and combined with the previous, it makes me so excited for the rest of the season. More than anything else, All Stars 7 is shaping up to be a celebration of drag and Drag Race, and that feels like exactly the right tone. I don’t expect we’ll see a ton of drama—maybe once from a Platinum Plunger-blocking decision, although it’s hard to get that wound up about a plunger. But overall, I’m along for what feels like is going to be one hell of a ride.

Until next week, just remember: there’s always time for one more Judy song.

Untucking our final thoughts

We’re starting to see some of the strategy of this season unfold, with both Jinkx and Yvie saying they’d be most willing to block queens who already have points on the board (to borrow a Boscoism), and Jinkx putting that into practice by blocking Shea. No new alliances yet, although interestingly, Monét and Trinity are shown in the preview pitching Jinkx to join theirs. Hmmm …

This is an uncommonly strong group for Snatch Game—hence why the one we get is so good—but Yvie does stand out as the one who truly struggled her first time around. Good on her for recognizing the threat level of those who “wrote the book” on the challenge, as she puts it, and finding her own way through. She’s not the worst this week!

I must confess ignorance when it comes to ​​Daphne Guinness, who I am told by Wikipedia is a socialite and designer. She’s okay! Not sure why the show gave her the all-winners Snatch Game judging slot, but hey, good for her.

The quirk of this format means that for her win, Trinity gets … literally nothing. No star, no cash prize, no chance to block—UK girls at least get a RuPeter Badge!

Loving that Jinkx keeps lapsing into sports metaphors in her confessionals. “For some reason I get in this room and I just keep making baseball references!”

The absolute Cher-as-Jujubee energy of Jaida-as-Prince just saying “Sup, Ru? I’m sexy. I’m a man.” I’m fully here for this new era of so-off-base-it’s-perfect Snatch Games.

Speaking of Jaida’s Prince: why does she change back into that look before the lip sync? Why does Shea change back into Miss J? I have so many questions about these lip sync costume changes!

The third episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 will stream Friday, May 27, at 3 a.m. EST on Paramount+ in the U.S. We’ll be publishing recaps and power rankings all season long, and you can also subscribe to our drag newsletter Wig! for exclusive Drag Race content delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday afternoon.

Kevin O’Keeffe is a writer, host, instructor, and RuPaul’s Drag Race herstorian living in Los Angeles, California. His favourite pastime is watching a perfect lip sync.

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