GPCD Fan Pool: RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under S1, E2

May 8, 2021

Snatch Game on Episode 2?! CRIKEY! The nine remaining queens were shocked when RuPaul announced that they would be engaged in arguably the most iconic challenge of the season so quickly. But bear in mind, there’s only 8 episodes — we’re already 25 percent done with this series — and it’s Australia, so everything’s a bit topsy turvy. I suspect, having seen the results of said Snatch Game, the producers might have regretted pulling that trigger quite so quickly…

But first: Kylie Minogue. The pandemic has taken so much from us. But one thing I will never forgive it for is relegating Queen Kylie to a shitty Zoom segment or two on the premiere season of Drag Race Down Under. Like Taika Waititi before her in Episode 1, Kylie didn’t even get to interact with the cast — it was all prerecorded footage. Her fabulous sister and fellow pop star Dannii Minogue DID get to kiki with the queens in Untucked, but none of this is sufficient. Kylie is Australian pop royalty and needs proper representation on this show, so I will be filing a petition to get her to come back in person when we get (IF we get) a Season 2. Please and thank you.

So. Snatch Game Down Under. Rumors had been swirling for months that this was the worst Snatch Game of all time. And I think the show really wanted us to believe that was the case. Honestly, I don’t think that’s true. I still consider US Season 4 to be the worst actual Snatch Game, with the Romper Room Fuckery (™ Latrice Royale) in the front row, some totally forgettable performances by half the others (Latrice herself, Milan), and only Chad Michaels, Sharon Needles, and Willam giving us ANYTHING to latch on to. Season 11’s Snatch Game was also, in my opinion, worse than this. When Silky Nutmeg Ganache can win for essentially playing herself, and basically everyone else was either forgettable or fully bombing? That’s worse than what we got here.

Which is not to say this was good. It wasn’t. But I say this every time: viewers have a tendency to retroactively inflate how good Snatch Game is from previous seasons. The truth is, most times you’ve got 2-4 really good performances, 2-4 awful performances, and a thick band of meh in the middle. And honestly I think that is precisely what we got this time. I also think that, as mentioned, it was a huge mistake to do this challenge in Episode 2. The girls are just getting their footing here. The first challenge was all about looks — they haven’t done any performance challenges, aside from the throwaway mini in the first episode — and to put them into this pressure cooker so fast? It’s like taking a 9 incher without any lube. Been there. Done that. Do not recommend.

Let’s break down how each queen did in the Snatch Game, from top left to bottom right.

Karen from Finance as Dolly Parton: Look was solid. Performance was a whiff. True story: Dolly Parton is the person I have most wanted to see on Snatch Game, and if I were to ever do it myself, that’s who I would do. She IS a Snatch Game character in real life. And Karen brought none of her quirks or charm to the table. There were a few weak stabs at improv with Ru, but this was really disappointing, especially since you know that Karen loves Dolly. (And so does Ru, which is maybe why nobody has attempted her before now.) 

Art Simone as Bindi Irwin: I’m not super familiar with Bindi, aside from the fact that her father died and she became an immediate child star in his wake. Art looked good — she always does — but the delivery of the jokes (I’m using that term very broadly) was…terrible. Long-winded, nonsensical stories with no punchline. And the truly worrying thing is, Art thought she did great. This was deeply disappointing, and you could see that in Ru’s reaction at judging. More on that in a second.

Coco Jumbo as Lizzo: Or, Coco Jumbo in a Sailor Moon outfit with a flute. There was no Lizzo in that performance. Coco took a DNA test and found out she’s 100 percent NOT that bitch. Coco admitted that she froze and couldn’t get out of the fog. I feel for her, but based on what we’ve seen thus far she’s simply not at a level to be competing on this show.

Anita Wigl’it as Queen Elizabeth II: A delight. We have seen “old lady with a foul mouth” multiple times on Snatch Game — Blu Hydrangea’s Mary Berry stands out as the best example — but Anita elevated it by including lots of subversive references, including a joke referencing the death of Princess Diana that was so dark I’m almost shocked they left it in. This was a great week for Anita and I’m falling in love with this quirky, brilliant queen.

Scarlet Adams as Jennifer Coolidge: Scarlet was also initially planning to do Bindi Irwin. I wonder if that would have been any better than Art’s version. Given her Coolidge, I doubt it. There just wasn’t much there — repeating Stifler’s Mom/Legally Blonde quotes and eating is not exactly thrilling. Also, a note to all queens gearing up to play Snatch Game: the “my character is fat so I’m going to eat food” thing is so LAZY and TIRED. Please stop doing it. 

Elektra Shock as Catherine O’Hara (as Moira Rose): I literally could not remember who was in this seat, which tells you a lot about the performance. I think part of my issue is that I just don’t care about “Schitt’s Creek” (*ducks*), so I have a hard time gauging how successful the impersonation was. Certainly I’m familiar with Catherine O’Hara from her many other legendary roles, and I didn’t think the “Home Alone” gag was anywhere close to Catherine O’Hara. But at least Elektra had energy, which is more than I can say for…

Maxi Shield as Magda Szubanski: Man, this was a bummer. Maxi started strong enough with an answer relating to “Babe,” and then went absolutely nowhere with it. She was stuck in Park. Much like eating, smoking a cigarette is not enough for a Snatch Game character, folks. You have to volley. You have to be playful with Ru and the “guests.” There was none of that here. I think Maxi was so committed to this very narrow character that she left herself no place to go.

Etcetera Etcetera as Lindy Chamberlain: This was probably the most shocking choice for a Snatch Game character I’ve ever seen. I won’t be surprised if Etcetera gets a lot of pushback in her home country for making fun of a woman who either — depending on what you believe — had her daughter stolen and eaten by dingos, or deliberately killed her daughter and tried to cover it up. This shit is DARK. It was also…really funny? Etcetera milked that choice for every laugh she could. But was it in poor taste? We haven’t had a queen this subversive since Sharon Needles, and I’m living for her.

Kita Mean as Dr. Seuss: I don’t know why you would take Snatch Game, which is already challenging you to think on your feet, and add an additional, brutal hoop of answering each question with a rhyme. But that’s what Kita did. I give her points for guts, because her other option — Carole Baskin from Tiger King — would have been easy and made for cheap laughs. This was a real stretch, and at first it seemed like a massive miss. But Kita did get better as she went along, and you can’t say she didn’t push herself. Still, in the end, it wasn’t great. Merely serviceable.

At judging, Ru’s disappointment with the cast was almost palpable. Anita was called forward as the clear winner of the challenge, and Etcetera and Kita were subsequently called safe. (I suspect that Etcetera’s controversial character choice meant she had no shot at the win — that would have been a PR nightmare for the show.) The six remaining queens were all Low and up for elimination. That seems a bit harsh to me, as I thought within that group there were some who were clearly stronger than others (Elektra and Karen were nowhere near as bad as Art and Coco, for instance). But I really think this served two purposes: 1) it was to put the queens on notice that they were not living up to expectations, a la the infamous six-way lipsynch in S11, and 2) to create a narrative.

That narrative was, “Art Simone is too big for her britches and needs to be brought down a peg.” For those who don’t know, Art Simone is a big deal in Australian drag. Not the RuPaul of Australia. Not at Courtney Act’s level. But Art is a cornerstone of Aussie drag and came into this competition a HUGE contender. The fact that she flopped Snatch Game, and then was sent home by losing a lipsynch to Coco Jumbo in Episode 2? That is shocking. It’s borderline demoralizing for Art, and you saw it in her post-elimination reaction. The producer said to her, “But you got here,” and Art immediately spat back, “That means NOTHING!” 

This is a very big deal and it opens the competition WAY up for the rest of the queens. And for Art, who performed very strongly in Episode 1 and was a favorite to win the whole thing, it was a real gut punch. I can see putting her in the Bottom 2 for this episode, but there were other, more “disposable” queens who could have easily taken her place there. And if anything, I thought that lipsynch (to RuPaul’s “I’m That Bitch,” not even an Aussie song, which is another sign they have no budget) was a tie, with neither one of the really gagging me. They could have just as easily sent home Coco, who has not really brought much of anything to the competition. And yet, they deliberately chose to cut Art. That is very curious. And that’s all I’m going to say about that — but I’ll be very curious for your opinions. So leave those in the comments!

We are back with G’Day Runway, our fashion review! See what myself and co-host Curtis Creekmore thought of the Sea Sickening runway here:

And how are you doing in our little pool? We have updated standings on the scoreboard! BTW Curtis and I opted not to do a fashion review video for Episode 1, since it was so late (and frankly the looks were not that impressive). But together we went through and graded those looks. That’s where the point values are coming from.

Next week: looks like a girl group challenge, and we get some fiery moments between Kita Mean and Elektra Shock. That should make for some fun career advancement discussions once they return to their home bar!

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments