Each year, one of the most anticipated moments of RuPaul’s Drag Race – aside from the lip syncs, brand new catchphrases and crowning of a drag superstar, of course – is watching our queens show off their best celebrity impersonations. Over the years, we’ve had appearances from icons such as Maggie Smith, Lady Gaga, Pink, Beyoncé, Adele, Celine Dion, Cardi B, Judge Judy, Carol Channing, Little Richard, Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears (some twice). Because Snatch Game is sashaying and shantaying to Drag Race UK season two this week, we’ve compiled a list of our 20 favourite Snatch Game performances in HERstory – and no, Lineysha Sparkx’s Celia Cruz did not make the cut.
20. Naomi Smalls – Wendy Williams (All Stars 4)
After Naomi Smalls’ less than gag-worthy impersonation of Tiffany “New York” Pollard on her original season, it’s safe to say the runway fashionista was in desperate need of a rudemption. This time around, Naomi came prepared as reality personality and online troll Wendy Williams, and if she hadn’t been on Trinity the Tuck’s team, she would’ve walked away with a win. Her fainting gag was one of the most memorable moments of All Stars 4, and a gif we still use to this day. Thank you Naomi Smalls.
19. BenDeLaCreme – Paul Lynde (All Stars 3)
Despite a stellar cast, All Stars 3’s Snatch Game was one of the worst in the show’s HERstory (sorry queens). BenDeLaCreme, however, came through for us with a batshit performance of American comedian and television personality Paul Lynde. Fun fact: she became the first (and only) queen to win Snatch Game twice.
18. Sasha Velour – Marlene Dietrich (Season 9)
Season nine winner Sasha Velour came close to winning Snatch Game with her brilliant portrayal of German actress Marlene Dietrich. We’re used to camp, over-the-top impersonations for the fan-favourite challenge, so Sasha’s dry, understated performance was a breath of fresh air.
17. Trinity the Tuck – Caitlyn Jenner (All Stars 4)
After battling it out with Gia Gunn in the werkroom over who should play Caitlyn Jenner, Trinity The Tuck emerged triumphant and almost sent RuPaul and Gus Kenworthy into respiratory failure with her insane caricature of the trans icon. Manila Luzon may have won the episode, beating Trinity in the lip sync for your legacy, but The Tuck’s performance will be the one remembered in years to come.
16. Chad Michaels – Cher (Season 4)
Season four featured the messiest Snatch in the history of the show. The amount of “romper-room fuckery” caused by queens such as Jiggly Caliente, Milan and Phi Phi O’Hara resulted in a furious Latrice Royale, who gave up halfway through (unfortunately, she would suffer a repeat of this in All Stars 4). Thank god for Chad Michaels! Her incredible performance as her idol Cher featured three wig changes, and not only did she look the part, but she brought the comedy. “I’m Cher bitch!”
15. Alexis Michelle – Liza Minelli (Season 9)
We waited so long for a queen to do Liza, and Alexis Michelle’s manic, over-the-top impersonation did not disappoint, leading to her first and only win of the series. The producers need to recruit Alexis for a future season of All Stars, because we have a feeling her second edition of Snatch Game would be less Tatianna (All Stars 2) and more DeLa (All Stars 3)
14. Bob the Drag Queen – Uzo Aduba/Carol Channing (Season 8)
The first queen to impersonate two celebrities at once, Bob the Drag Queen wiped the floor with her season eight sisters with her dual performance as Orange is the New Black star Uzo Abuda and comedy legend Carol Channing. In past Drag Race seasons, there’s often debate as to who should’ve won Snatch Game, but there’s no denying Bob triumphed by a landslide.
13. Shea Coulee – Flavor Flav (All Stars 5)
Shea Coulee finally got the crown that fans had championed years for on All Stars 5, after narrowly missing out on season nine due to a rose-petal extravaganza from our 18th entry. The multi-hyphenate stormed her way to the $100,000 after embodying the essence of Tiffany Pollard’s ex Flavor Flav, complete with gold gnashers, a purple suit and – of course – that large clock necklace. How has Shea not reprised the role for some kind of SNL sketch? The disrespect, honestly.
12. Gigi Goode – Maria the Robot (Season 12)
“I understand your concern, but I do not share the same concern,” are the immortal words that led to one of the most daring Snatch Game choices of all time. As Maria the Robot, Gigi Goode received praise from the panel for her stiff, robotic clumsiness and witty comebacks, as well as her willingness to break out of her ‘fashion queen’ label. With quippy retorts such as, “Oh yes, I’ve got quite the USB port for it” and “How about your mind your own fucking business,” it came as no shock when Gigi triumphed over comedic talents such as Jackie Cox and Sherry Pie.
11. Baga Chipz – Margaret Thatcher (Season 1 – Drag Race UK)
When Baga Chipz was announced as a competitor for the very first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, we had a feeling she would leave her fellow queens shaking. After all, she is a legend in the British drag scene and is well-known to UK queers thanks to her weekly stint as a judge at Heaven’s popular Porn Idol contest. But who knew she’d leave three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep shaking too? As former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Baga showcased a terrifying, demonic-like impression and delivered some brilliant one-liners such as, “REDUNDANCY!” Several months later and we still see her face every time we hear the word, which is quite often because… corona.
10. Kennedy Davenport – Little Richard (Season 7)
As soon as Kennedy Davenport sashayed into the Drag Race werkroom, fans pegged the star as a “pageant queen” due to her embellished, rhinestoned runways and legendary title as the ‘Dancing Diva of Texas’. She proved us all wrong, huh? Her performance as Little Richard was a risk, as the first non-female celeb, but she exceeded expectations every single time she deployed one of the glam rocker’s signature howls. Her response to Batman and Robin converting their cave into a “bathhouse with a dark room and gloryholes” left her fellow competitors quaking in their boots, and it cemented her status as a massive frontrunner for the crown.
9. Tatianna – Britney (Season 2)
The season two contestants had no mothertucking idea what to expect when Mama Ru announced the first ever Snatch Game. Queens such as Morgan McMichaels and Sonique didn’t mock their pop star characters (P!nk and Lady Gaga) out of respect and simply looked the part, which was fairly dull. Tatianna however, took the complete and utter piss out of her idol Britney and showed her Drag Race sisters that she can be as funny as she is glam. It set the bar for future Snatch Games, basically.
8. Aquaria – Melania Trump (Season 10)
Aquaria surprised just about everyone on season 10 when she revealed her sharp comedic talent as The First Lady of the United States: Melania Trump. Despite comedy heavyweights sitting next to her on the panel such as Miz Cracker, Monét X Change and Eureka O’Hara, Aquaria managed to steal the spotlight and make RuPaul cackle without desperately vying for attention. She even revived her impersonation last year to deliver an important message about the global coronavirus pandemic and to the surprise of no one… it went viral. C’mon World of Wonder, let’s get that spin-off. Please?
7. Katya – Bjork (All Stars 2)
In all seasons of Drag Race, there has never been a queen with a personality as eccentric and demented as Katya (calm down keyboard warriors, we say that in a positive way and we’re sure she’d agree). Her impersonation of Icelandic singer Bjork was an inspired – and genius – choice, as it gave the self-described Russian hooker the opportunity to tap into her inner sociopath and wreak havoc on the panel and her fellow contestants. To this day, “remove their testicles” is one of the only quotes in the HERstory of the show that’s made us spit out our Tic Tac lunch.
6. Ginger Minj – Adele (Season 7)
After decimating the first six challenges with her brand of old school camp and glamour, all eyes were on Ginger Minj to deliver season seven’s best Snatch Game impression – especially because the season was chock-full of fashion queens. Thankfully, she lived up to expectations and triumphed as an egocentric-version of beloved British icon Adele, answering all of RuPaul’s questions in a wonderfully bizarre Cockney accent – fake cigarette in hand. Season seven is often blasted by fans – even fellow Drag Racers – due to the overabundance of scripted comedy challenges, but facts are facts: it boasted one of the strongest Snatch Games ever.
5. Jujubee – Eartha Kitt (All Stars 5)
Does anyone have the number to the complaints department at The Louvre? We only ask because it’s nearly been a year since Jujubee uttered the words “a sensible 74” as Eartha Kitt and there’s still no confirmation as to whether the moment will be immortalised in their Snatch-related sector. We demand justice! Anyway, Jujubee killed this, and that line arguably rivals DeLa’s “excuse me, we originated the language!” as the most entertaining Snatch Game comeback.
4. The Vivienne – Donald Trump (Season 1 – Drag Race UK)
Thanks to Baga Chipz and The Vivienne, the first Snatch Game on Drag Race UK was a roaring success and the best instalment of the iconic maxi-challenge in years. Although the two secured a joint win, it was The Vivienne’s eerily accurate impersonation of Donald Trump that stands at the finest performance from the challenge, and possibly even the whole first season of Drag Race UK? The star, who subsequently won the series, has since been hailed as the best Donald Trump impersonator in the world. She even secured her own series on World of Wonder with Baga as their characters, titled Morning T&T. Now we need one with The Vivienne and Aquaria…
3. Jinkx Monsoon – Little Edie (Season 5)
Although Jinkx Monsoon had an experienced background in comedy and theatre, her fellow competitors (especially Lineysha Sparkx and Coco Montrese, who bombed hard) underestimated her comedic prowess heading into the show’s staple challenge. Before Jinkx impersonated the fashion model and cabaret performer – who rose to fame with her appearance on the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens – a lot of younger fans weren’t… in the know. This made Jinkx’s performance that much greater, that she managed to deliver a pitch perfect impersonation and educate viewers on the bougie socialite in the process.
2. BenDeLaCreme – Maggie Smith (Season 6)
BenDeLaChrist may have missed out on the top spot, but “excuse me, we originated the language!” and “libations flavoured with citrus” stand as two of the wittiest comebacks in any Snatch Game. The terminally delightful performer was possessed by Dame Maggie Smith’s Emmy Award-winning Downton Abbey role, because the queen did not break character, even for a second. Oh, and her back and forth with RuPaul? Utter perfection. There’s just one queen who did it better…
1. Alaska – Mae West (All Stars 2)
Whew honey, Alaska came for blood on All Stars 2 didn’t she? The star’s impersonation of American comedian Mae West showed her fellow competitors that she was red-y for the crown, marking her first historic win of the season (out of four). Her performance won unanimous praise from the judging panel for her quick wit, snappy comebacks and complete commitment to the character. “Why don’t you come up and fuck me in the ass sometime?” Ladies, this is how it’s done. Will any of the UK season two queens topple Alaska from the top of our list?
To hear our thoughts on the brand new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, subscribe to Snatched! an original podcast from GAY TIMES. Each week, we dissect all of the drama and conflama of the latest episode and chat with the eliminated queen, who spills all the T on their exit and time on the series. Snatched! is now available on all streaming services including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.