RuPaul’s Drag Race S08E05: Madge Game

Guess what time it is?

But before the impersonations can begin, the show sneaks a bit of post-elimination drama between Derrick and Bob. It’s mostly Derrick being clueless and idiotic and not knowing the difference between reading and being a spiteful bitch. Derrick tries to come for Bob and you can practically see thought bubbles coming from all the other queens heads.

Before things can get any more embarrassing for Derrick, we cut to the next day and Ru’s “She Done Already Done Slapped Cersei” message, which is full of references to past Snatch Game characters. But when Ru himself enters the workroom, he tries to fool them by saying that the challenge will be to pick up roadkill from the side of the road and turn the pelts into couture gowns. It’s a very Katya-esque joke and makes me miss Katya.

But much as we all might like to see that insane challenge, it is in fact Snatch Game! The girls start talking about what characters they’re going to do, and it transpires that both Bob and Naomi have come prepared to be Whoopi Golberg. Seeing Naomi in her The Color Purple-inspired wig, she throws on her Sister Act look and even without makeup looks pretty much perfect.

The sad thing is that Bob has several other characters under consideration, but Naomi is scared off at the idea of being directly compared the funniest queen of the season and switches to some reality TV person named New York who I have never heard of.

Ru comes back to the workroom to check in with everybody, starting with Chi Chi who is going to be Eartha Kitt (Ru asks why and she says “I know Eartha Kitt played Catwoman, and I have two cats”; NEVER CHANGE CHI CHI). She moves on to Kim Chi, who is trying to decide between a character named Kimmy Jong Un (Kim Jong Un’s sister) and her good friend Pearl.

He heads over to Derrick and is like “So Britney, yes?” and Derrick is like “I don’t want to be just seen as Britney so I was thinking of doing this Laura Bell Bundy character who is a black woman trapped in a white girl’s body” and then gives a sample of her impersonation which is yet another instance of Derrick being blithely racist and increasing my dislike of her by a few points. Also I don’t know who this character is supposed to be because the only thing I know Laura Bell Bundy from is Hart of Dixie and her character on that show is terrible so I say bad idea. And Ru is like “Yeah ok bitch but we brought you here specifically to be Britney in the Snatch Game and nothing else.”

He drops by Thorgy’s table (where she’s preparing to be Michael Jackson, because apparently in a post-Kennedy Davenport world it’s just fine to play dudes on the Snatch Game and nobody will even bat an eyelash) and they talk a little about how Thorgy is annoyed that Bob keeps outdoing her. Spoiler alert, but that ain’t going to stop tonight, friend.

 

Without any further ado, it’s time for the Snatch Game! Models Chanel Iman and Gigi Hadid are the celebrity guests, and they both seem very jazzed to be there which makes me like them both when previously I had no opinion. Anyway, let’s evaluate the performances, starting with the queens in the top row.

Thorgy certainly has a perfect face to pull off the weirdness of later-in-life Michael Jackson, and I can’t even really ding her for the harsh nose contour because it’s very appropriate! She nails the mannerisms and has an especially funny moment involving hanging Blanket out the window.

Kim decided to go with her fictional Kimmy Jong Un character, and has on probably the least makeup she’s ever worn while in drag! I don’t know how she did because they literally only showed one of her answers. But what we saw was funny enough!

I value my time too much to know very much about Nancy Grace, but even I can tell that Acid Betty got the wig totally wrong. And I don’t know if she’s just never heard a joke before or what because she lands absolutely nothing in her answers and is basically a massive dud.

I would feel bad about comparing Robbie Turner to her fellow Seattle queens Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme if it weren’t for the fact that she’s constantly bringing them up herself. So I won’t hesitate to say that she is trying really hard to recapture the magic of those two queens’ Snatch Game characters by playing Vogue editor Diana Vreeland and falling way short. I would tell her to get some old lady makeup tips from BenDeLaCreme but she’s probably too big to be taking Robbie’s calls.

Now for the bottom row:

Again, I am not familiar with this “New York” person so I can’t say whether Naomi got the look down or not. And unless New York’s personality is like a slightly more chatty Naomi I don’t think she did a very good impersonation, unfortunately.

If you were worried about Chi Chi deciding to use her own cats as inspiration for her Eartha Kitt, you shouldn’t have been! She got Eartha’s look down, her answers were funny, and she threw in some weird shit like playing with a cat toy and licking herself. Good job, Chi Chi!

We all know that Derrick can look exactly like Britney when she wants to, so of course the look is good. Or, it’s accurate at least. It’s funny, because at the beginning of the show while squabbling with Bob she mocked her for going on the runway bald, but how much better would this have been if she had done bald Britney? This is like when Tyra Sanchez refused to try to make Beyonce funny for the Snatch Game because she didn’t want to disrespect her hero. Anyway, Derrick doesn’t even try to do a Britney voice and just awkwardly shoehorns in some Britney lyrics to her answers and is basically as middle-of-the-road as you can get.

Finally we have Bob, who does an eerily accurate impression of Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black, both in looks and characterization (the best bit being when, instead of writing an answer to the question, she writes a love poem to Chanel Iman). And because Bob loves nothing more than to show off, halfway through the game she switches to Carol Channing, and is equally funny.

The game wraps up, and instead of declaring that the winner is “Who cares?!?” like every other season, Ru named Charo the winner. And then Charo comes out and dances and shakes some maracas and everybody is like

After that fever dream ends, we skip right on ahead to the queens preparing for the Madonna-themed runway.  Thorgy and Acid Betty have a conversation at the makeup mirror about how nobody in Brooklyn wants to work with Betty and she’s all alone (do you think her attitude may have something to do with this?) and how Thorgy wants to make the kids think classical music is cool because she plays a bunch of instruments and wants to have a Thorchestra (good luck, girl). Then we get some Naomi backstory about how she was adopted by a white religious couple and has 11 siblings, which is bananas! As this is our first focus on Naomi’s life and she didn’t do very well in the Snatch Game I’m afraid she’s bound for the bottom two.

 

We move on to the runway, where Ru eschews the Madonna theme and instead comes out in an extremely sparkly dress.

The judges are Michelle and Carson (I’m starting to get worried that Carson is keeping Ross Matthews locked up in his basement at this point, since we haven’t seen him since the premiere), plus our Snatch Game friends Chanel and Gigi. And the theme for the runway tonight is Madonna, which should be pretty easy for the queens since most of them probably already had a Madonna look or two in their wardrobe before even coming to the show, and there are about a million different things to choose from with her.

Thorgy Thor

Thorgy sports a red kimono, because of fucking course Madonna wouldn’t give a shit about cultural appropriation. Anyway, Thorgy looks fine, but that wig is a little weird. Her massive dreadlocks make it impossible for her not to wear tall wigs which could bite her in the ass eventually.

Kim Chi

Kim Chi is also wearing a red kimono. Hers is prettier than Thorgy’s and her wig is a lot better. I have to say though, Kim choosing a kimono look for the Madonna challenge is a little safe and expected (and before you jump down my throat, I know kimonos are Japanese and Kim is Korean).

Derrick Barry

Derrick comes out in, would you believe it, a goddamn kimono. Although hers looks more like a hotel bathrobe with two Madonna beach towels tacked on to the sleeves. Anyway, in the Kimono Wars this is not emerging victorious.

Naomi Smalls

Poor Naomi has the dishonor of being the fourth queen to come out in a kimono so she is probably getting the brunt of the confusion and rage. Especially since hers is kind of more like lingerie than a true kimono, and pretty similar to what she wore for the roller skating challenge.

And now, a rant directed at the Kimono Girls: You all got dressed in the same workroom. You all, at one point or another, must have seen that three other girls were doing the same looks as you. There is no way on our planet Earth that you didn’t have something else in your wardrobe that could be fashioned into a different Madonna look. Failing that, you could have made something out of the fabric provided in the workroom. Coming out in a bra and panties and putting some lace cuffs on would have sufficed. The kimono thing was not even that great of a look in the first place, for fuck’s sake!

Acid Betty

I’ve never been so glad to see Acid Betty before! Because she didn’t wear a fucking kimono! This is apparently inspired by some music video where Madonna gives birth to doves I guess? It’s a creative look, and very different for Betty (who is usually wearing at least 34 different colors in any given outfit).

Robbie Turner

And now I’m back to being annoyed. Not that I don’t love A League of Their Own, but this is literally a fucking Halloween costume. There was absolutely no effort put into this look beyond taking it out of the Leg Avenue plastic pouch. It was not personalized or accessorized in any way to take it to the next level. Lazy and unacceptable!

Chi Chi DeVayne

Chi Chi takes us back to basics with the classic cone bra and ponytail look. Thank you, Chi Chi, for not failing.

Bob the Drag Queen

Bob’s outfit, like her performance in the Snatch Game, is perfect. It is an unexpected choice but fits her personality, and she looks great in it. THOSE LEGS! And bonus points for being a member of Troop 69.

 

Judging starts with Kim Chi and Chi Chi being declared safe and heading backstage for a catnap. And the critiques start with Thorgy. The judges are confused by the kimono party, but think that Thorgy’s looked good. And they loved her Michael Jackson. They appreciate Acid Betty’s runway look for being different, but hated her boring Nancy Grace. Carson immediately launches into his own Nancy Grace impression and it’s 1000x better than Betty’s so the egg is very much on her face. They were also very underwhelmed by Robbie’s Diana Vreeland (though curiously they say nothing about her lazy ass runway look). Robbie tries to make a bunch of excuses (not for the first time, you’ll recall), saying that singing the punk song last week made her lose her voice. Ru is like “Bitch we could hear you, you just weren’t funny.” Naomi gets dinged for her kimono being too similar to her previous runway looks, and she agrees with the judges that her New York was bad, saying that she’s very embarrassed by her performance. Poor Naomi! Next is Bob, who obviously they loved all around. Just for the sake of having something somewhat negative to say, Michelle tells her to watch out because she has a tendency to showboat. Fair, but if you’re going to showboat, the Snatch Game is a good place to do it!

Derrick gets her own paragraph because I have a lot of feelings! When they got to her I started rubbing my hands together and cackling with glee at the prospect of seeing the judges tear her a new one for being so mediocre at her drag trademark. But then… they all went on and on about how great she was. And I started checking the labels on all my medications to make sure I didn’t take crazy pills by accident. Here is my rant about this: Derrick wasn’t the worst this week by any means, but she impersonates Britney Spears for a living. Britney Spears is her best drag. This would be like if Chad Michaels’s Cher performance was more like Delta Work’s Cher. To come to the Snatch Game doing a character you have made your entire career off of, you had better be at least very close to the best that week. To only be so-so at your trademark should instantly put you in the bottom. Fucking Tatianna, who had only been doing drag for like four months when she came on the show, did a better Britney than Derrick!

ANYWAY! Unsurprisingly, Bob is named the winner of the challenge and is awarded $7,000 worth of handbags. I think Thorgy may have some feelings about this.

The two of them head back to safety, followed closely by Derrick. Then, despite having been fairly consistently in the bottom of the pack (excepting last week’s punk victory) and being downright terrible in the Snatch Game, Robbie Turner is sent to safety, leaving previous frontrunner Acid Betty in the bottom two with Naomi Smalls. Apparently the show blew most of the budget for the week on booking Chanel Iman and Gigi Hadid, because the lipsync song is not a Madonna hit but a Madonna song I’ve never heard of called “Causing a Commotion.”

I never thought I’d say “Poor Acid Betty” but… poor Acid Betty has to lipsync in a tent dress with a pillow strapped to her stomach. Her outfit looked cool with the birds coming out, but after she removes the birds it’s apparent how little like an actual pregnant human woman she looks. Naomi has an advantage, being able to take off her flowy kimono and perform in just a bra and panties. But she also just does a good job, working the stage and striking lots of good poses. Acid Betty prances around as best she can, and tries to get some laughs at the end by pretending to go into labor, but ultimately her performance is pretty dull. I figured that since she had been placed in the top in three out of the four previous episodes they would keep her on unless Naomi served a Dida Ritz-level performance, but surprisingly Naomi is asked to chantay to safety while Acid Betty sashays away! A surprise, but not a bad one (though despite Betty’s attitude and excessive eyerolling, Derrick has already won the mantle of season villain from her).

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4 Responses to RuPaul’s Drag Race S08E05: Madge Game

  1. collin0truckasaurus says:

    That Nancy Grace was so disappointing…sometimes I think the people who lose the Snatch Game are the ones who do an impression of someone we expect to be hilarious and fall flat. I would have also loved to see a different Brittney than expected just as a way to be a little funnier. Or she could have dressed the same way but made jokes about her future where she goes crazy.
    Bob’s boy scout outfit was amazing.

  2. flanny says:

    I can’t believe you’ve never heard of New York from hit television shows Flavor of Love, some show where New York herself tries to find love, and then another one where they make New York get weird jobs. One of the jobs is “ghost hunter”, and she is hunting around on that big haunted ship (the Queen Mary?) and she gets scared when she hears a sound and says, “Who’s there? Man? Woman? What?” Recently she was on an episode of Botched. She’s a delight.

  3. old man fatima says:

    This was not a great Snatch Game and not a great Madonna runway, and I am 100% with you in your dismay at the Britney love.

    I have been slowly weaning Fatiman onto this show, and this was the week he fully came on board. When we got to the bottom two, he said “Naomi can’t go home, she’s way too hot.” Can I just say how much I love this man? No “hot for a guy” or “I’m not into dudes but” or any pussy footing around. Just straight up Naomi is too hot to go home. He was also super into Chi Chi’s Eartha Kitt. I love Chi Chi so much. I’d love to see one of the Chis (Chi or Kim) in the top 3, but there is basically no way on earth that Bob doesn’t win this thing. It was like the season with Bianca. Adore, I love you and I hope you get runner up, but OBVIOUSLY this is going to Bianca.

  4. artdorkgirl says:

    Chi Chi’s Eartha Kitt gives me LIFE!!

    This episode was bad and everyone involved (except Bob, Chi Chi, and Thorgy) should feel bad. I don’t understand why they thought Derrick’s Britney was good, I don’t know what the hell was (or wasn’t) going through Betty’s mind, and I hope Ru has a really good reason for keeping Naomi around. BLERG.

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