Any RuPaul’s Drag Race devotee will tell you that, above all others, the Snatch Game is the one challenge every participating queen really wants to win.
Every series, the challenge has proved to be make or break for the contestants, with many becoming frontrunners for the crown after successfully impersonating a celebrity and – most crucially of all – making RuPaul laugh.
The question is, who provided the best Snatch Game performance ever?
Well, with 10 years’ worth of Snatch Games to pick from, here are the 20 of most successful impressions in Drag Race herstory…
20. Alexis Michelle – Liza Minnelli (Season 9)
Drag Race fans had been waiting nine long years for a contestant to impersonate Liza Minnelli, with the task finally being taken on by Alexis Michelle, whose all-kicking, all-name-dropping, all-gushing performance earned the Broadway diva the win that week.
Best line: ”Mama played the Palace and I sat right in the fourth row, Ru. She sang right to me. And to all the other homosexuals.”
19. Sasha Velour – Marlene Dietrich (Season 9)
RuPaul might not have been especially impressed by Sasha Velour’s version of this Hollywood icon (“this is going somewhere I can tell,” he commented halfway through one of Sasha’s lines that we actually found funny), but we thought this silly reimagining of Marlene Dietrich was a great choice, and a very Sasha Velour one, at that.
In fact, we’d probably have given her the win had we been on the judging panel.
Best line: ”I found this question kind of unfair because, as you know, I rarely know these new things, I rarely leave my house… and I died many decades ago.”
18. Trinity The Tuck – Caitlyn Jenner (All Stars 4)
By the fourth All Stars series, RuPaul decided to shake things up with the Snatch Game, switching the format up from The Match Game (or Blankety Blank as we know it) to the The Dating Game (or, as it was called in the UK, Blind Date).
One of the potential celeb singletons looking for love was Caitlyn Jenner, as impersonated by eventual winner Trinity The Tuck, who nailed the Olympian and reality star’s mannerisms, voice and love of all things Malibu.
Best line: ”Hurry up, sweetie, you lost.”
17. Bianca Del Rio – Judge Judy (Season 6)
Bianca Del Rio set herself a major challenge by impersonating one of RuPaul’s personal heroes, but it was one she definitely lived up to. Clearly, this performance is one of Ru’s favourites – Bianca was invited to reprise her Judge Judy role during season 10′s Snatch Game.
And while many might be surprised to see this classic impersonation fairly low on our list, it’s a testament to how many iconic performances there’ve been since the first Snatch Game in 2010.
Best line: ”Did you forget you were coming to court today? You look like a damn roll of scotch tape.”
16. Katya – Björk (All Stars 2)
Taking on an off-the-wall character like Björk allowed Katya, one of Drag Race’s most unpredictable queens ever, to really tap into her unique sense of humour and have some fun.
Not only did she give some wacky answers, there was some great physical comedy moments too – not least when she took a bite out of her question card and blew bubbles at Alaska’s Mae West (more on her later on, too).
Best line: “I’m down for anything, especially, I’d like to eat her hair, it reminds me of pastrami.”
15. Pearl – Big Ang (Series 7)
A seriously underrated Snatch Game performance was Pearl’s impersonation of the late Mob Wives star – which somehow wasn’t even ranked among RuPaul’s favourites of the week.
Pearl gave some great answers as Big Ang, but it was her off-the-cuff moments that really made us howl.
Best line: “I had a rough childhood, OK? I wasn’t watching fucking Batman And Robin.”
14. Monét X Change – Maya Angelou (Season 10)
On another series, Monét X Change would have absolutely walked the Snatch Game with her Maya Angelou impression, which saw her reading her fellow contestants, taking a quick snooze and reciting a soliloquy in the middle of everything.
Monét had some stiff competition from Aquaria during her series, but this was a performance that still holds a special place in Drag Race fans’ hearts.
Best line: ”I will not hesitate to put thou in a ditch, ’cause Maya Angelou ain’t no punk bitch.”
13. Kennedy Davenport – Little Richard (Season 7)
Playing a male character on the Snatch Game is always a bit of a risk, but it’s been successful for recent winners like Shea Couleé, The Vivienne and BenDeLaCreme.
The first to really thrive when playing a man on the Snatch Game was Kennedy Davenport, and while she did have to share her win, we think in hindsight Kennedy was the definite star of her Snatch Game.
Best line: ”Wooooo!”
12. Pandora Boxx – Carol Channing (Season 2)
It’s been more than a decade, but Pandora Boxx’s performance in the very first Snatch Game definitely still stands up as one of the all-time greats.
Her madcap version of Carol Channing brought a wackiness and irreverence many have tried to replicate in the 11 years since, but only few have succeeded to impress RuPaul quite like Pandora managed it.
Best line: “I just wrote, ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’.”
11. Bimini Bon Boulash – Katie Price (UK Season 2)
It’s still pretty fresh in our memories which is why we’re reluctant to give Bimini’s Katie Price too high a placing on this list… but we have to hand it to her, she had us laughing out loud.
The Pricey has worked with both RuPaul and Michelle Visage in the past – who were both impressed with the way Bimini nailed not just the former glamour model’s personality, but her mannerisms and very unique way of speaking, too.
Bimini – you had us at “nipples”.
Best line: “You might have heard in the press, I’ve had a hectic year. My implants got held at gunpoint in South Africa, I walked in the stables and caught my horse cheating on me again… so I didn’t have time to write anything.”
10. Chad Michaels – Cher (Season 4)
Chad Michaels is probably the world’s most famous Cher impersonator, so when the Snatch Game came around, all eyes really were on her to get it right.
Of course, series four was the year Snatch Game really descended into total bedlam, but the chaos created by her castmates allowed Chad – as Cher – to rise above the mess surrounding her, and that’s when she truly shone.
Best line: “I don’t give a rat’s ass, because this game is boring the shit out of me! I don’t know why they book me on these chicken shit gigs. I’m a fucking Oscar winner.”
9. Jujubee – Eartha Kitt (All Stars 5)
Eartha Kitt had been attempted twice before with varying results when Jujubee stormed the Snatch Game Of Love with this laugh-out-loud impersonation that may not have won the overall challenge (seriously… how?), but did inspire its own meme.
Best line: “I would sensually walk to the thermostat, and turn up the thermostat to a sensible 74.”
8. BenDeLaCreme – Dame Maggie Smith (Season 6)
Weirdly, nothing about his impression actually resembles Dame Maggie Smith or her Downton Abbey character all that much, but that’s not really what this performance was about.
It’s BenDeLaCreme’s excellently-delivered answers that really shone during this challenge, whether she was admonishing Nicki Minaj or struggling to grasp the concept of social media (“Am I to believe that one just tears one’s phone out of the wall and carries it with them?”).
Best line: “A libation flavoured with citrus — can you imagine such a thing?”
7. Gigi Goode – Maria The Robot (Season 12)
If there’s one thing Snatch Game is good at it’s singling out which of the queens are one-trick ponies, and with her performance as Maria The Robot (not to be confused with her sister, Sophia), Gigi Goode proved that was one label that did not apply to her.
Primarily known as a fashion queen until that point, Sophia Maria showed Gigi had not just wit in her arsenal, but physical comedy too.
Best line: “One second, searching… OK, here’s what I found. She’s my sister, bitch.”
6. Tatianna – Britney Spears (Season 2)
The very first Snatch Game winner is still one of the best impersonations the challenge has ever spawned. Admittedly, some of the near-the-knuckle jokes at Britney’s expense might not fly in 2021, but for the most part Tatianna’s performance is a loving tribute to the iconic pop singer.
There’s no denying Tatianna really nailed Britney’s mannerisms, too, which is what makes this impression such a stand-out.
Best line: “I got lost!”
5. Bob The Drag Queen – Uzo Aduba/Carol Channing (Season 8)
Nailing just one character on Snatch Game is hard enough, but comedy queen Bob The Drag Queen did one better and pulled off two celebrities in one. Since Bob, a few other queens have tried to maximise their time on the Snatch Game panel by switching characters halfway through, but none have managed it with quite as much finesse as Bob – or done it with two stars as vastly different as Uzo Aduba and Carol Channing.
Bob’s Uzo was pretty spot-on, but it’s her Carol Channing that earned her the win… not to mention a video from the woman herself at that year’s Drag Race finale.
Best line: “From here, I couldn’t tell if you were Della Reese or Luther Vandross. I couldn’t see, these aren’t even my good glasses.”
4. Aquaria – Melania Trump (Season 10)
Who would have thought that the fashion-forward model-esque Aquaria would not just pick Melania Trump as her Snatch Game character, but also deliver one of the most glowing performances the long-running challenge has ever seen?
Aquaria served not just brilliant rehearsed comedy and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it smart details, she also bounced off her fellow competitors and thought on her feet with hilarious results.
It’s not often we’re calling for more of anyone with the surname Trump on our TV screens, but we’d happily have watched another episode of Aquaria’s Melania.
Best line: “No wonder my husband is complaining about Chyna all the time.”
3. Jinkx Monsoon – Little Edie (Season 5)
It felt like despite her obvious success and talent, Jinkx Monsoon spent much of her Drag Race journey proving herself to some of her opponents, who questioned her abilities. Case and point: when Jinkx announced she’d be channelling Grey Gardens for the Snatch Game, many of her competitors rolled their eyes and doubted whether she’d be able to outshine any of their characters, which included pop divas like Janet Jackson, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
Suffice to say, Jinkx ended up stealing the show, and setting a new standard when it came to Snatch Game.
Best line: “Quite the scandal actually… it was in all the magazines at the time.”
2. Alaska – Mae West (All Stars 2)
The first ever All Stars Snatch Game was probably the strongest the show has ever had, with Katya, Alyssa Edwards and Ginger Minj among the queens who really shone during that year’s challenge.
Let’s be honest, though… no one could have come close to Alaska’s bawdy interpretation of Mae West, which took the star’s frequent use of innuendo and turned into something completely explicit (who could forget what Alaska did to the line “why don’t you come up and see me some time?”).
Best line: “I beat around the bush all the time, what are you talking about, ohhhhhh?”
1. The Vivienne – Donald Trump (UK Season 1)
Call us biased, but we had to have this performance from the UK’s very own Snatch Game at the top of our list. Admittedly, we were initially disappointed when we saw The Vivienne had picked Trump, as it meant we were deprived of seeing Cilla Black or Kim Woodburn on the RuPaul’s Drag Race stage.
However, there’s no denying The Vivienne’s Trump was a complete triumph, thanks to a mix of quick thinking, smart choices and a spot-on impersonation even Alec Baldwin would be impressed by – in other words, the perfect combo for any queen taking on the Snatch Game.
Best line: “I thought I’d ignore the game and just try and cover my own back. So, all tea, no collusion.”
All 13 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available to watch on Netflix, with new episodes of Drag Race UK every Thursday evening on BBC Three.