Here’s a fun challenge: let’s see how far I can get in this summary 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 staggers off her season 9 sister Shea Couleé blocking her. Shea excuses it by saying she’s confident Trinity will bounce back, and Trinity finally decides to take it as a compliment. It’s unfortunate for her, however, as Snatch Game is the next challenge – a challenge in which she won All stars 4. In fact, this group of winners has many Snatch Game champions: Trinity, Shea, The Vivienne, Jinkx MonsoOH MY GOD JINKX MONSOON’S JUDY GARLAND.
hell again That was barely 100 words. Oh, well, there’s no use delaying the inevitable. This is a blockbuster episode, maybe the best snatch game we’ve seen and since must be so much I want to talk about. Unfortunately, every time I try to think of one of this week’s other great impersonations – Diana Vreeland from Raja, Mike Tyson from Monet X Change, Leslie Jordan from Trinity – I just remember, “Is that my camera?” Or : “It’s a cardboard set, darling.” Or: “Do we have time for another one?”
Jinkx Monsoon, who previously hosted a snatch game master class with her Little Edie in Season 5, manages what I thought was literally impossible: she surpasses herself. Her Judy Garland might be the best snatch game impersonation we’ve seen have, and brings the Theater Queen of Seattle to our early frontrunners for the title of Queen of Queens.
Snatch Game has an interesting little catch this season: each queen must play against two celebrities. And not in a kind of Bob the Drag Queen that Uzo Aduba and Carol Channing do, where they can switch midway: you have to play two quite separate snatch games. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s to the great credit of this group of winners that they’re doing a fantastic job.
I’ll try my best to cover the other highlights without suddenly screaming “BROOM”. (Michelle Visage absolutely loses the shit because Jinkx calls Ru, that’s about the most I’ve ever dealt with Michelle.) Trinity joins Jinkx in the top 2 for the week after a very successful Leslie Jordan — complete with little Body! – and a funny, if somewhat unoriginal, gay confrontation with the devil. Personally, I would have placed Raja up there instead; her Diana Vreeland is excellent (and eclipses Robbie Turner’s role in Season 8), while her portrayal as Madame of Wayland Flowers is incredibly impressive.
What I love about Raja’s work is that not only is she both funny, but she also pulls off two dramatic physical transformations. Trinity does that too, but we’ve seen devils and older drags before on the show. I can truly say that I have never seen anything like Raja’s Madame Drag Race. So Raja is a clear runner-up for me this week, with Trinity and a very strong Monét at the next level. (If Monét had just done Mike Tyson, I would have put her at the top, but her take on Martin Lawrence—Lawrence’s character, Sheneneh Jenkins, to be precise—is less impactful.)
Okay, those were two paragraphs that didn’t talk 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 Subject, her joke about coking Frank Sinatra’s penis – the one that will forever be remembered is her reference to #IKilledJudyGarland. For those who may not have seen Season 5, why not? Why didn’t you go back and watch the best single season of ? Drag Race? Go do it! I’ll wait.
Are you gone? Okay good. So now you know about Jinkx’s makeover challenge veteran Dave, who claimed – as a hashtag chyron recalled – that he told Judy about a new sleeping pill, which ultimately led to her overdose death. Jinkx uses a moment of their Snatch Game appearance to deliver a message to Dave: “He said he was worried he killed me. And I want to say, Dave, if you’re watching, you’re not responsible, darling. It’s all right. You are forgiven!”
It has Michelle and Ross Mathews in hysterics, I yell at my TV, it makes Ru cry – it’s just so perfect. If everything else about her Judy was fine, that would be enough to put her on top. But of course, everything else about her Judy is amazing. She even sets up the episode’s perfect ending by 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 faints laughing. Just an incredible ending to an incredible snatch game, and for that alone I understand our top 2.
As Michelle notes in reviews, the only negative thing about Jinkx’s Judy is that she overshadows her very good Natasha Lyonne from the first half of Snatch Game. She and Raja get the best average in both performances. Oddly enough, Vivienne and Yvie both do better with one character than the other (Catherine Tate for Viv, the bogeyman for Yvie), while Shea surprisingly struggles with both America’s Next Top Model Iconic Miss J and comedian Elsa Majimbo.
Jaida, on the other hand, really only plays out as The Lady Chablis — an iconic choice Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil— while opting for a hilarious off-base version of Prince for her other character. Honestly, while it’s not a great impersonation, her prince is one of my favorite performances of the day: it hits a very specific part of Jaida’s sense of humor that I enjoy. We get a few little moments where Jaida sees through it, and I hope to see more in the coming weeks.
Jinkx and Trinity sync to Adele’s “Rumor Has It,” and after Shea and Monet’s “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” it feels like a disappointment. Trinity takes a more upbeat approach that doesn’t suit the song, while Jinkx opts for a low-key, emotional take. It’s practically a wash, and by default it seems Ru rewards the challenge’s best performance: Jinkx’s. She then decides to block Shea, much to Trinity’s delight.
This is such a great episode and along with the previous one it makes me so excited for the rest of the season. More than anything else, All stars 7 evolves into a celebration of drag and Drag Race, and that feels like just the right tone. I don’t expect we’ll see a lot of drama – maybe once from a platinum plunger blocking decision, although that’s difficult to wrap up over a plunger. But overall I’m in, which feels like it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
See you next week, just remember, there’s always time for another Judy song.
Unpack our final thoughts
✨ We’re starting to see some of this season’s strategies unfold, with both Jinkx and Yvie saying they would be very willing to block queens who already have points on the board (to borrow a Boscoism), and Jinkx puts this into practice by blocking Shea. No new alliances yet, although interestingly Monét and Trinity are previewed getting Jinkx to join them. Hmmm …
✨ This is an unusually strong group for Snatch Game – hence the one we get is so good – but Yvie stands out as the one who really fought her first time. Good for her that she recognized the threat level of those who “wrote the book” on how she approaches the challenge and found her own path. She’s not the worst this week!
✨ I have to admit my ignorance when it comes to Daphne Guinness, who Wikipedia tells me is a socialite and designer. She is fine! I’m not sure why the show gave her the All-Winners Snatch Game judge spot, but hey, good for her.
✨ The quirk of this format means Trinity gets…literally nothing for winning. No star, no cash prize, no chance to block—United Kingdom Girls get at least one RuPeter badge!
✨ I love that Jinkx keeps slipping into sports metaphors in their confessionals. “For some reason, I come into this room and just keep making baseball references!”
✨ The absolute Cher-as-Jujubee energy of Jaida-as-Prince just saying, “Sup, Ru? i am sexy I’m a man.” I’m wholeheartedly here for this new era of so unconventional, it’s perfect snatch games.
✨ Speaking of Jaida’s prince, why does she switch back to that look before the lip sync? Why is Shea turning 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 3:00 p.m. EST on Paramount+ in the US. We’ll be posting recaps and power rankings throughout the season, and you can also subscribe to our drag newsletter Wig! for exclusive Drag Race Content delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday afternoon.