“Drag Race Espana All Stars” Season 1, Episode 2 Recap

February 12, 2024

BY Eric Rezsnyak

It was already time for Snatch Game on “Espana All Stars” — the season is just six episodes, so it’s all thriller, no filler — and the Spanish All Stars rose to the occasion.


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I will be candid and say that I am unqualified to critique international Snatch Games. I don’t know any of the celebrities the queens impersonated here. I have no idea how accurate the interpretations were, and I’m confident I’m missing the bulk of the cultural humor that is crucial for many of these jokes to land. What I can say is that most of these queens seem engaged with Supremme, the Snatch Game players (more on them in a second), and the other queens. I will add that this was a very prop-heavy group of Snatch Game impersonations. Almost every queen had a significant prop — in some case, several — or dramatic make-up application. Prop Snatch Games are generally not my favorite. I often find them to be a crutch. But they largely seemed to be deployed well here.

Let’s pause for a second to discuss the two people brought in to play against the queens in the Snatch Game. Again, I’m not familiar with either one of them. But the blonde in particular was out of control. At this point we have had at least 30 Snatch Games across the various franchises. I cannot think of a single example where a celebrity (or “celebrity”) player was so aggressive in their search for camera time that they derailed the actual game. That happened here, as the blonde player had a moment where she feigned being in medical distress, and Pakita — in grotesque make-up for her character — had to come down and “revive” her. I wasn’t the only one taken aback by this messiness. The queens themselves seemed put off by the antics. And ma’am, whoever you are: if drag queens are accusing you of being an over-the-top attention whore, you need to look at your life, and look at your choices. Like seriously.

After the Snatch Game, the queens who did worse than the others — I don’t think anyone truly *bombed* — seemed to know it, and were in their feels. Sagittaria, who absolutely slayed her first Snatch Game on “Espana 1,” was unable to connect this time, and quickly imploded. Hornella Gongorra looked the part fully (is it weird that I got a little hot for her daddy character?) but didn’t land the punchlines she planned. And Onyx, who was looking for redemption after going home on the “Espana 2” Snatch Game, did not achieve her goals. Again, she looked the part and delivered a solid impersonation. She just wasn’t funny.

On the runway the category was Redemption, in which the queens got to do-over a poor look from their original season. I love this category and they should do it every All Star season. I’ll break the looks down one by one and comment on my impressions on the queens’ Snatch Games.

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*Drag Sethlas redid their Big Bad Wolf look from S2’s Beast runway, and my god, this queen did not come to play. This will go down as a Top 50 look for ANY “Drag Race” — I’m including the massive puppet and the look she revealed into — and between this and a clearly excellent Snatch Game, Sethlas is fully acing this season so far. It’s SO impressive. She should be very worried if she ever ends up in the B2, because she’s the biggest threat of the bunch. Sethlas was Top 2 for the second episode in a row.

*Onyx Unleashed redid their doll look from S2 and had the same porcelain figure encapsulated into massive robot battle armor. That’s exactly the kind of bonkers idea I have come to love and appreciate from Onyx. Regardless, due to a largely unfunny Snatch Game, Onyx was Bottom 2. Again.

*Samantha Ballentines re-did her absolutely horrifying plastic-surgery victim from S2, and made it even more disturbing. That was indeed the assignment, so congratulations. But at the same time: I never need to see that look on my television again, thank you. The judges seemed to love Samantha’s Snatch Game. I thought it was pretty forgettable. But I admit I just do not understand the allure of Samantha, so I’m certain this is a Me Problem. Samantha was High.

*Pupi Poisson did an upgraded version of her bathroom design look; it was cute and Pupi looked the most fem she ever has. I had some issues with Pupi’s Snatch Game. While she was very in character and lightning fast in her responses, she also seemed to do a lot of monologuing and grind the proceedings to a halt. Personally, not an approach I love. But everyone involved seemed to be living for it. Pupi was Top 2.

*Juriji der Klee — who SHAVED HER ACTUAL HAIR OFF during Snatch Game as part of a bit I didn’t fully understand — came out in an overhauled version of her Barbarella fantasy, with sparkler titties that then folded down to become, I think, popcorn cups. We love a queen who brings her own snacks! Juriji was so beautiful and free and that runway, it lifted my heart to see it. You could tell she was trying really hard in Snatch Game, but the judges did not seem to fully vibe with what she was putting down. Again, as an English-language viewer, I have no idea why she shaved her head. None. Juriji was Safe, and I bet she didn’t care for that.

*Pakita re-did her big-wig runway from S3, taking us back in time before her shipwrecked gal crawled out of the swamp, and instead gave us a period damsel with a laid braid. It was cute and she sold it, but for a runway that was chiefly about hair, I would argue that it was too secondary to this look. I thought Pakita was committed to her character in Snatch Game, who I took to be a sex-positive elderly woman with a surgery fetish. I thought it was fine, but I generally disliked looking at her in those prosthetics. Pakita was Safe.

*Sagittaria re-did her Rosalia runway from Season 1 and oh my god, she looked incredible here. Total Pop Star Realness, just fierce as fuck. She had a quasi-breakdown on stage, admitting that she’s desperately trying to hold it together and project strength, even though she’s struggling. Everyone encouraged her to be honest with what she was feeling, but by the end of the episode, those walls were very much still there. Sagi was Bottom 2.

*Hornella re-did her make-over look from S3, and I *loved* this. It’s such a simple concept, taking a Cinderella-esque dress with a massive hoop skirt, and having fake birds holding out a sheer overlay, to give the illusion that they’re building it/making the garment float. It’s so drag and camp and lovely. Hornella is quickly becoming a favorite this season. While she did not hit a home run in Snatch Game and landed in the Bottom 3, she was ultimately Safe.

In the Work Room, Sagi and Onyx made their pitches to Pupi and Sethlas. Kind of. Frankly, neither Sagi nor Onyx were particularly compelling here. Both of them said they wanted to be there, to show what they brought to the table — interestingly, Sagi kept saying she wanted to make the finale, not WIN — but neither really gave passion in their arguments. In truth, I think both of them were kind of resigned. Logic would suggest that whoever won the lipsynch would save their sister from their season. This is, again, why having only three seasons represented is a real issue with this format.

In the lipsynch, I expected Sethlas to have the edge. Pupi is a legend and very funny, but a great lipsyncher? And yet, I do think she legitimately beat Sethlas here. This was not a song that called for stunts, or stripping, which is primarily what Sethlas was throwing down. Pupi just focused on having a good time and playing to the judges, and it got her the win.

And, sure enough, Pupi chose to save her Season 1 sister, and Onyx was unleashed, back into the real world. I didn’t want to see either of them go. Sagi had a bad week but I believe she has way more to give this competition. I felt that Onyx was getting shafted here no matter what. She shouldn’t have been B2 in Episode 1, although she did deserve it here, compared to everyone else. I also noticed a significant shift in attitude and energy from her this episode. I think she knew the jig was up, and she was highly unlikely to ever make it to the end. I did appreciate her last-minute plea to Supremme, saying she had so many amazing runways to show. I believe that fully. Onyx is fabulous queen and a truly visionary drag artist. I’m sure we’ll see more of her in the future. Possibly leading an alien invasion force. (And you know what? Good for her.)

One last note about this episode: I enjoyed the judges universally showing empathy to these queens, and making it very clear that all of them are amazing, all of them deserved to be there, and all of them should be so proud of the art they are showing on this program. That felt genuine to me, and it seemed like a few of the gals needed to hear it. It really is a wonderful group of queens, and if this episode was any indication, every elimination is going to be hard for all involved.

Next: We’re gong to heaven, hell, and whatever is in between in the first Espana All Stars Ball!

Did you miss our recap of Episode 1? Get it here.

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