There’s a lot to unpack here, not least of all the sketch of what looks like a Victorian baby crying tears of blood.
It is of course Snatch Game and once again it mostly led by a heaving bosom and a threat of nipple.
Making Your Kase
Due to the fact nobody won the last challenge and none of the queens seemed particularly heartbroken or surprised to see the back of Charity, the pre-episode sofa chat rapidly turns into a good old fashioned Drag Queen Bitch Session with River of all people kicking it off by asking if anyone thought Charity didn’t deserve to go home. Most of the queens agree that Scarlett won the lipsync however River apparently just wanted to watch the world burn and said she thought it was a tough call between Scarlett’s Miranda Priestly Cabaret Act and Charity Kase in a goblin costume being forced to give nothing but Babadook realness to a Shirley Bassey banger.
There is more to it all because Scarlett was still in a foul mood after the queens told her she had a really bad attitude after the last challenge and subsequently just about everyone wanted to Survivor her ass. She’s still a little confused about quite why everyone thought she had a bad attitude when Charity was the one moping about – as though she hadn’t thrown a near embarrassing little strop over the exclusion of her Joan Crawford joke on the runway… In front of the judges
Ella does try to explain that the almost unanimous offering up of Scarlett as Sacrificial Lamb of the Week wasn’t personal – River’s face suggests every bit of it was personal
it’s your last episode, you might as well be the harbinger of chaos.
But Vanity wasn’t going to let River have all the fun and decided to come for Choriza because she feels like Choriza is coasting on her comedy, which is a brave tactic coming from someone who has been in the bottom 2 twice, has a low placement and only won as part of a group challenge. Not that Choriza has the most glittering track record – I still think she should have been in that Winners Lipsync in episode 1 though.
Burn After Reading
With it being Snatch Game, it of course has to be preceded by the Reading Challenge which at least gave Scarlett an outlet for the rage that was simmering beneath her teddy bear clad exterior
her reads weren’t particularly… reads, she mostly just shouted insults at people with the affectation of a read and hoped for the best – granted it wasn’t quite Utica’s Roast levels of bad, but it was equally as uncreative and unendearing. Although I did love her little back and forth with Vanity during Vanity’s read about Scarlett using the word “like” too often
it’s honestly shocking that RuPaul didn’t then go on to use the word “volley” three billion times as he forced just about every queen to change their Snatch Game options.
The trend of the challenge was everyone having fun with Kitty’s name – I think Krystal’s “Kitty Scott PORES!” being my personal favourite – her “River Meh-way” was a little less funny given I think every person with incorrect opinions on Twitter has made the same joke at some point during season. Speaking of Kitty, she didn’t get nearly as much screentime as you would think a comedy queen would get during the Reading Challenge – maybe her references were, for once, too obscure. Instead it was Choriza and her supposed only talent that took the challenge with her reads that at once read everyone else and Krystal’s general blandness. Also, I’m just glad SOMEONE called out Ella’s terrible wig game.
Snatch and Grab
Having made the mistake of not proof-reading Kitty’s Six Page Storyboard of Very Obscure References in the last episode, RuPaul was making sure to vet each and every single one of this year’s Snatch Game offerings, and also mostly twist the arms of every queen to change their characters, the outcome as usual being that anybody who didn’t was put in the bottom two – not that I think Choriza doing Cher’s long lost Spanish twin El Chero would have panned out any better than a rather middling performance as Margarita Pracatan, which I didn’t think was a bad performance. I think her biggest sin was the fact she didn’t teach us anything about Margarita Pracatan, which is kind of the point of doing someone that the audience at large might not be very familiar with. Her look however was pretty damn spot on
and a welcome relief every time it cut to her right after we had been shown Krystal Versace dressed as Charity Shop Sue but looking every bit like someone had carved a statue of a Chucky doll out of the finest Calacatta Marble
and I don’t think she made a single joke the entire run? Except for when she managed to get a match with Nadine Coyle and decided she won
which might have been funnier if Kitty hadn’t made the exact same joke 5 minutes earlier but with all the committed verve of someone who has spent years in their bedroom training to become Gemma Collins
and while I might rag on RuPaul essentially forcing some of the queens to change up their characters or face a stint in the bottom, I am somewhat relieved we didn’t have to sit through Kitty’s comedy Cilla teeth
silver linings and all that jazz.
Kitty hit all the beats you would expect from a Gemma Collins performance, which are also all the beats Cheryl Hole mostly missed in the first series. There was a little bit of Alyssa Edwards-ing it going on in that a few of her answers didn’t really make sense, granted it never hit the transcendentally unhinged that Alyssa reached. I think my favourite part of the whole thing was the fact Kitty had chosen to make applying bronzer her thing to fill in the time she wasn’t answer questions and the steady progression of her becoming more and more orange over the course of the game was sublime
it’s little things like that that make a Snatch Game performance successful to me, and River Medway who was playing TOWIE rival Amy Childs could have really used a similar gimmick because her Amy Childs just felt a little undercooked and the sort of performance of Amy Childs that I, someone who has no familiarity with Amy Childs beyond her hating every second of being on Celebrity MasterChef in 2016 would have been able to do. It just wasn’t an interesting performance and it didn’t really go anywhere, not that having Kitty breathing down her neck and ready to pounce on any sign of weakness could have been helping. Had the two of them maybe been a little more forward thinking, they could have arranged to have some pre-planned exchanges to elevate both of their performances because River came across as incredibly weak and Kitty at times seemed a little overbearing. Which almost certainly handed Ella Vaday the win on a silver platter with her pitch perfect Nigella Lawson that everyone has been gagging for since the UK version of the show began
she did come in with the added bonus of the Microwave Meme still being fresh in everybody’s minds and nothing brought me more joy during this Snatch Game than her pronunciation of Nadine’s name as “Nadine Coy-AL”
I’m choosing to believe there’s a butchering of the word “flour” somewhere on the cutting room floor because I refuse to believe that nobody did it.
Speaking of Nadine, I did love that her introduction on Snatch Game made absolutely NO mention of Girls Aloud and instead focused on her stint on I’m a Celebrity and Nadine very much looked like nobody had cleared this with her
that’s your global legacy now Nadine, that’s how every Drag Race viewer in America knows you now. As the woman who ate a cow’s anus.
The other guest being Judi Love who was looking particularly phenomenal
her role being mostly to explain any sort of Jamaican slang that Vanity Milan answered with to RuPaul who was indeed once again drawing the game to a crawling halt to have the phrases “pum pum” and “batty riders” translated – which really weren’t hard to work out from the context and are just generally pretty common phrases, no? I was slightly worried about Vanity’s performance going in to this, mostly because she was of course playing Jocelyn Jee Esien’s character Miss Kingston and playing someone else’s character is never particularly funny, which the show does at last seem to be calling out and attempting to put an end to – I imagine Elektra Shock’s Moira Rose on Drag Race: Land of the Cursed was the turning point. I was also a little worried that she was going to Tia Kofi it and answer every question with “Dirty Rice” but, RuPaul’s terrible interactions aside, it was actually not a bad performance and made me laugh a few times. Although several of those times were Ella Vaday’s Nigella spring boarding off her answers with recipes for Dirtier Rice and Pum Pum Potatoes.
And lastly we have, what I personally believe might be the most cursed Snatch Game performance of all time with Scarlett Harlett playing the game as 10 year old Macaulay Culkin looking uncannily both like him and a K-pop boy band e-fit
and just about the entire performance being… well, this
her original plan was to play as Danny Dyer which somehow would have resulted in an equal amount of unhinged screaming as Scarlett continues to work through her bitter, bitter rage. Of course she changed once RuPaul told her that she should trust “her intuition” and by “intuition” RuPaul absolutely meant “Rupaul’s advice” because I can almost guarantee that if Scarlett had come with Uncanny 10 year old Macaulay Culkin as her first choice, this performance wouldn’t have been as well received as it was.
One of my favourite things to do during Drag Race is try to work out what the runway theme might be based on the makeup looks the queens are putting together during their Scheduled Deep Chats
I can safely say, I hadn’t landed anywhere near fruit.
First up to show off their fruity wares was Choriza May who was brave enough to attempt a Carmen Miranda inspired look despite the fact it would be the most likely to cause another Madonna’s Kimono Incident
I think she looks great and I can fully understand her frustration about the fact the judges seemed fairly dismissive of the look – especially because that custom built headdress must have cost her a fair bit of cash and some serious neck strain. The only thing about the outfit I would really change is the neckline, which I think is a little low on her but I’ll forgive it as a fellow practitioner of the dramatic sleeve.
Krystal Versace was next and very much putting the drag into Dragon Fruit
it is once again, an incredibly polished look – it is also once again a very well modified Morph Suit and while I think it’s completely unfair to say “you wore the same silhouette twice” when one of them was an outfit she made on the show, in an unconventional materials challenge
I do think the whole thing kind of bares a resemblance to a couple of her previous looks
Queen really bought the entire Morph Suit multipack, huh?
Fair enough, some might say it’s “an aesthetic” but when Charity Kase gets the critique of not branching out of her own drag style, and then you have Krystal getting a gentle nudge to not wear another corset over a bodysuit while still being exalted as the next coming of Drag Christ by Ru, it’s a little glaring as to who can and who can’t coast on the runway. At least Krystal had the decency to be a little bit embarrassed about RuPaul basically performing a full paean in her honour
just the most unemotional “wow” – it’s this part of Krystal that I’m obsessed with: just a beautiful uncanny android.
Scarlett Harlett was next and Lord knows what she was doing
it’s like someone juiced Mike Wazowski, or Ginny Lemon’s Toxic Avenger Kate Bush came back for revenge
She was apparently aiming for limes and very much landed in salad, had each of the ruffles been decorated to look like a slice of lime? Yeah that would have worked – I also think she needs about 30% less ruffles, or have the ones around her shoulders in a different fabric that isn’t so heavy looking because she really did look like she was having to walk this runway as a penance.
And then we have River Medway and this was just a little bit sad
I will say, I quite like the fridge magnet chest and think that idea could have worked very well on the runway had it gone into a flowy silk skirt in matching colours and not a wobbly inverted hoop skirt coconut that very much looks like nobody learned a single lesson from Tia Kofi’s ice cream duvet
but you know, if the two of them want to do a nationwide tour in which they only wear those two outfits, I will buy tickets to each and every single venue.
Ella Vaday followed River and this outfit is a journey because she really felt like she needed to sell the whole watermelon fantasy so she came out shielding herself like a bedazzled sea cucumber
which she did then drop to reveal her watermelon dress, which really didn’t need the train to get that across
and I really like this – it’s certainly her best runway look so far and I think it fits into that kitsch aesthetic that she suits so well. However, the train looked pretty awful from just about every angle
just a massive arse weight.
I did like that she didn’t go too literal with her eye makeup too
that purple with the shock of lime green is a big yes from me.
The penultimate queen to walk the runway was Vanity Milan in a look that I think is very nearly there
I think the fit of the dress could be a touch better – even if she had just added a belt instead of the necklace but I think the flare on the hem could have also been bigger to kind of match the sleeves, which are quite frankly EVERYTHING. And I really did love the hair braid fruitbowl – it’s a fairly simple but quite effective look.
And lastly we have Kitty Scott Claus in a frantically repurposed Halloween costume
Hey, you have to put together about 20 looks for this damn show, corners have to be cut!
So this was absolutely once upon a time a Zombie Red Riding Hood costume, yes? Or at least that’s how I’m explaining the vascular illusion netting. She could really have done with a bigger hood and cape to both give the look a little more drama and to sell the Red Riding Hood-ness of it all because the teeny tiny hood and the creeping cherry vines (not how cherries grow, Kitty – DING! I’m Botanical Sins! Like, share and subscribe on YouTube) do kind of make the whole thing look like she’s a discarded garden gnome out for revenge, which I’m 90% sure is an actual Goosebumps story.
As disparate the look was, it was nice to see Kitty being a little more adventurous and conceptual with a look.
A Feeling Fruity Runway Ranking
- Ella Vaday sans Train
- Krystal Versace’s Modified Morph Suits
- Choriza May is Feeling Peachy
- Vanity’s Fruit Balance
- Kitty the Lost Garden Gnome
- Scarlett’s Lime Penance
- River Medway’s Fruit Boot
the win was very much a two horse race between Ella and Kitty – it really could have been a joint win given the fact nobody won the last episode but ultimately I do think Ella had the more polished Snatch Game and cohesive runway look, which did ultimately garner her the win.
As for the bottom 2, it could have been a grab bag from anyone else in all honesty – River was going to be in there no matter what, her Snatch Game was ill-prepared and unelevated. I would have put Krystal in the bottom 2, purely because it was quite obvious that River was going home whatever happened – I don’t really see what the judges saw in the Charity Shop Sue performance but in the end she’s safe and it’s Choriza May joining River in the bottom two after a perfectly safe Snatch Game and a safely top 3 runway look – Drag Race maths is a law unto itself.
So… this lipsync huh? First of all, I can fully appreciate that Choriza couldn’t really lipsync with the precarious fruit hat on her head and production should have let her have a wig change rather than need her to frantically take the hat off and shove a wig on her head BUT, she really could have grabbed any wig but she just had to opt for Ella’s unused Mystic Meg wig?
and the fact she hadn’t been given the opportunity to secure it properly meant the damned thing just slipt further and further back making her look like Lord Farquaad from Shrek had suffered a sheering incident
and River had runway clangers of her own to shed, de-bowling herself as elegantly as possible, which is to say like Truth coming out of her well to shame mankind
HANG IT IN THE LOUVRE.
And for a while, it looked like River might stay, she was at least doing something – not that the uncanny Barbie nudity made her jazzercise routine look particularly dancerly
and then after about the second time she did the little Check The Nails bit she started to run out of steam and you could see the cogs turning as to what she could do next
the answer being to dip into a rickety demi-splits
it’s certainly a lipsync for the history books.
I was going to be sad to see whoever got eliminated but to have BOTH of my UwU Cinnamon Roll Favourites eliminated at the same time, well… that might need therapy
should have played Snatch Game as Thomas Waghorn, huh River?
And so, we’re suddenly down to the Top 5,
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