Canada’s Drag Race: Screech | Snatch Game

Posted on November 06, 2021

Girl, we’ve got a metric shit-tonne of drag to process between the two episodes of Canada’s Drag Race we’re about to recap and the one episode of Drag Race UK we are concurrently recapping. We think our heads might fall off in a couple of weeks when Drag Race Italia premieres and we’ll briefly be recapping Drag on three different continents at once. No time for small talk, so let’s get down to it.

Screech

This is a perfectly lovely and entertaining group of queens and we have absolutely nothing bad to say about them collectively. Despite Drag Race’s overselling of itself, the individual franchises still manage to shake out some fun, game, campy or glamorous queens to put on their little shows for us. But we have to be honest here: Canada’s Drag Race remains the weakest of the Drag Race franchises and that’s entirely due to the mediocre hosting and judging. Brook Lynne is a fierce queen, but she’s stiff and unfunny in this role. We don’t have thoughts about Amanda Brugel either way, except we have a hard time buying her as someone with the bona fides to be critiquing drag queens (and she made a particularly silly critique this week). To our intense surprise, the one judge we actively dislike – Brad Goreski – turns out to be the one most suited to hosting the show. His over-the-top mannerisms and severely annoying fake laugh are a perfect for this setting.

 

Something really strange happened about halfway through this acting challenge. We realized that we were actually paying attention to the plot and we didn’t need to pause things once to roll our eyes or get past our discomfort. In retrospect, this was an unusually well-written sketch with characters and plot turns that, for the most part, made sense. It really drove home the point that you can’t ask queens to produce trophy-winning work when you hand them piss-poor material.

We think one of the things that really worked in the queens’ favor was the setting of the sketch. It was probably smart from a production standpoint to just set it within the world of Drag Race and use the existing sets, but we also think the queens found it easier to get into these characters because they weren’t being asked to play someone totally alien to them. Obviously, we’re not talking Oscar-winning work here, but we also can’t name any real disasters or train wrecks. It was a pretty solid piece all around.

Amanda and Brook Lynne had some critiques for the queens who were playing satirical versions of them and we suppose that’s fair, but to be perfectly blunt: expect a queen to come up with some campy version of Amanda Brugel (and then getting snippy with her because she’s not familiar with Brugel’s work) was painfully self-serving and unself-aware. You two simply don’t have enough personality for any queen to make a funny impression out of you. It’s notable that the person who won the challenge – Adriana – did so by parodying Brad pretty effectively. Unlike Amanda and Brook Lynne, he’s easily parodied because he’s full of personality.

 

The runway category was “Good Girl Gone Bad” and we think it’s a tribute to the creativity of these queens that very few of them lapsed into “slutty drag” in order to pull it off. Suki, Pythia, Kimora and Icesis were dubbed safe and waved through.

 

Eve is an annoyingly narcissistic queen, but we have to give her props: she delivered this week. She was funny in the challenge and this is a really great look.  Stephanie costume isn’t bad, but it feels like a bit of a cliche. Combined with her one-note performance, it was right to put her in the bottom. Poor Synthia got saddled with an Amanda Brugel parody character and quite reasonably had no idea how to pull that off. Her runway look doesn’t really fit the brief all that well. Gia did great in the challenge and her interpretation of “gone bad” was extremely witty and well done.

Kendall’s devil drag was cute, but very basic. Adriana’s Marie Antoinette was gorgeously creative. She earned her win this week in every way.

 

More and more, it feels like the lip syncs have very little bearing on the final fate of any queen. It’s been a while since we’ve seen one where it was clear who did the better job and it doesn’t helped that they’re edited so much that it’s impossible to tell.

 

All we can say is that Stephanie’s work as a whole has been pretty underwhelming so far and we can’t say it’s a crime to see her go.

Onward!

 

Snatch Game

Icesis won the library challenge, which was fine, but we do tend to think it’s hilarious how polite the Canadian queens tend to be when they’re reading each other. Shade just isn’t a thing that Canadians take to naturally, we guess. Not like those UK girls. Those bitches are vicious.

 

We’ll say this about Brook Lynne: Off a drag stage, he’s about as captivating as watching grass grow, but at least he doesn’t come into the Werk Room just to fuck with people, like Ru does. Granted, he doesn’t give very good advice, either.

 

It was a cute idea to open the Snatch Game with a red carpet interview and it makes us think you could put together a pretty fun main challenge based entirely on having to do on-the-fly interviews like this while looking fabulous. Like last week’s acting challenge, the results of this week’s Snatch Game were surprisingly even and non-disastrous. Rapid-fire assessments:

 

A cute idea and not particularly disastrous, but she didn’t quite stand out from the pack.

 

To be honest, while we get the reference, we don’t think it’s all that obvious that this is Leslie Jones and he did very little in the performance to remind us of her. She’s so loud and over-the-top and we can’t even remember him landing a line.

 

A great look, but he fell back on “over-sexed Latina” jokes way too much.

 

Another great look and a semi-solid take, but no real hilarious moments. She’s such a humorless figure that it might be hard to parody her.

 

Oh, Suki. We clapped with delight when you announced you were doing Yoko then sat there in disappointed silence when you didn’t look like her, didn’t sound like her, and landed no jokes. Biggest disappointment of the night.

 

This isn’t drag, it’s a Saturday Night Live sketch gone bad. The show has long settled the question on whether drag queens can portray men, but we’re just traditional enough that we think playing ragingly heterosexual guys without a hint of camp to them just isn’t drag. If you can’t do him with a little sparkle on your face, we don’t see the point of it in a drag show. We cringed a little at the choice to play Ace Ventura, since that film has won of the worst transphobic jokes of the last thirty years in it.

 

Also very much not drag. To be fair, if an AFAB queen or Drag King did either of these characters, we’d be having a different conversation.

 

How does someone with the exact same accent as Sofia Vergara do such a bad job of mimicking her? Not that being Colombian is an automatic benefit, but we find it almost impossible to believe that a Colombian drag queen can’t pull off a reasonably good Sofia Vergara impersonation.

 

We gasped when she said she was going to be doing Rachel Zoe in front of Brad Goreski, but it’s impossible to argue with the results. She absolutely nailed the voice and the character. Brad was very good about playing along (and to his credit, said nothing bitchy about his former boss). If nothing else, she would have gotten credit from us just for being so ballsy about it, but she actually gave the best snatch of the bunch.

 

The queens were asked to do their best Canadian icons for the runway (although it seemed like overkill on celebrity impersonations in a Snatch Game week). Kimora’s Deborah Cox is beautiful pageant drag (which we don’t see as much of as we used to on this show). Synthia’s Jeanne Beker is *chef’s kiss* perfect. Adriana’s Vanessa Morgan tribute was well done, although we never would have figure out who she was supposed to be. Suki Doll’s take on Sandra Oh, like her take on Yoko Ono, was just hugely disappointing. It looked cheap and it just didn’t have enough of a drag feel to it.

Gia’s Mike Myers was clever. Kendall’s Stacy McKenzie was well done, but perhaps not as interesting as it could have been. Eve’s Carrie Ann Moss tribute pretty okay, but the neon accents nearly ruined it and we agreed with Connor Jessup that her hair was all wrong. Icesis honestly should have been called out here. He claimed he was paying tribute to Sandra Oh in Grey’s Anatomy when it’s more than clear he just took a nurse costume that he already had. Sandra Oh played a doctor on that show and she didn’t have mint green hair. It’s a great look, but he was serving it with a side of bullshit. Pythia’s Moira Rose drag is GLORIOUS.

 

She more than earned her win this week. We’re glad, because it felt like she was getting overlooked a bit too much in the competition.

 

Once again, it’s nearly impossible to say who won the lip synch.

 

We wanted it to be her, but there’s no denying she failed pretty badly on all fronts this week. It sucks that the far less interesting Eve got to stay, but we suspect she’s not long for this world either.

 

 

Our book, Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, a New York Times “New and Notable” pick, praised by The Washington Post “because the world needs authenticity in its stories,” and chosen as one of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR, is on sale wherever fine books are sold!

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: WOW Plus via Tom and Lorenzo]

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