As any RuPaul’s Drag Race devotee will tell you, the Snatch Game is the one challenge every participating queen wants to win above all others.
Every series, the gameshow parody has proved to be make or break moment 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 over 10 years’ worth of Snatch Games to pick from all over the world, here are the 25 of our favourite impressions in Drag Race herstory...
25. Kylie Sonique Love – Dolly Parton (All Stars 6)
First of all, how did it take 11 years of Snatch Game for a queen to play Dolly Parton? It was worth the wait, though, and Kylie Sonique Love definitely did the country legend proud.
Her performance felt particularly strong as Kylie had been so nervous leading up to the challenge, having been sent home during the very first Snatch Game back in season two.
Best line: [singing to Cheyenne Jackson] “We did it on the bed, and we did it on the floor. We did it in the kitchen and we did it some more. I love you Cheyenne, you’re my man. Jolene, if you are out there, your ass is grass.”
24. 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.”
23. Hannah Conda – (Down Under Season 2)
While Alexis Michelle’s impression was Liza With A Z in her golden era, Hannah Conda’s take on the showbiz legend was based on her more recent years.
It’s always a risk to play a celebrity that’s already been performed on the challenge once before (regardless of whether it was done well or badly), but by putting her own spin on Liza – complete with a version of Sissy That Walk that no one saw coming – the Australian queen made a deserving Snatch Game winner.
Best line: “Now sissy that walk! [scatted beatboxing]”
22. 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.”
21. 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.”
20. 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.”
19. 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 were 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 (who you an expect to hear a bit more about later down this ranking, too).
Best line: “I’m down for anything, especially, I’d like to eat her hair, it reminds me of pastrami.”
18. Pearl – Big Ang (Series 7)
Arguably the most underrated Snatch Game performance ever 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 Snatch Game quiz answers as Big Ang, but it was her off-the-cuff moments in between the rounds that really made us howl.
Best line: “I had a rough childhood, OK? I wasn’t watching fucking Batman And Robin.”
17. Gottmik – Paris Hilton (Season 13)
Queens can sometimes run into trouble when they impersonate someone they know on Snatch Game, as they’re scared to really poke fun at the celebrity they’re in character as. Let’s just say, that was not an issue for Gottmik...
Best line: “Let me know when the cameras are rolling and we’ll kill it. [In a higher speaking voice, after being told they’re already recording] Oh shit, that’s so embarrassing, sorry.”
16. 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.”
15. 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!”
14. Jimbo – Shirley Temple (All Stars 8)
With her performance as Joan Rivers on the inaugural series of Canada’s Drag Race, Jimbo proved she was a force to be reckoned with when it came to the Snatch Game, but there was still no preparing for the spin she’d put on legendary child star Shirley Temple during her third time in the competition.
Somehow proving to be hilarious, smart, silly and slightly grotesque at the same time in her own inimitable style, Jimbo even brought some rare physical comedy to a challenge that can sometimes feel a little on the static side.
Best line: “I’m all grown up now! I’m 100 years old!”
13. 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’.”
12. 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.”
11. 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.”
10. Bimini Bon Boulash – Katie Price (UK Season 2)
It’s easy to forget that for the first few weeks of the competition Bimini had flown somewhat under the radar... but we have to hand it to her, she had us laughing out loud by the time Snatch Game rolled around.
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.”
9. 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 the phone out of the wall and carries it with them?”).
Best line: “A libation flavoured with citrus – can you imagine such a thing?”
8. 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.”
7. 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 if someone were to try them in 2022, 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!”
6. 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 the Drag Race finale that year.
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.”
5. 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.”
4. 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.”
3. 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?”
2. The Vivienne – Donald Trump (UK Season 1)
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 take on the then-president 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.
Call us biased, but we had this performance from the UK’s inaugural Snatch Game at the top of our list for some time. That is until it was finally toppled in 2022...
Best line: “I thought I’d ignore the game and just try and cover my own back. So, all tea, no collusion.”
1. Jinkx Monsoon – Judy Garland (All Stars 7)
In recent years, some Drag Race fans have questioned whether it might be time to give the Snatch Game a break, with many suggestion the recurring game has grown a little tired after more than a decade. But every now and then, a queen comes along and knocks it so far out of the park, it reminds you why RuPaul keeps coming back for more celebrity impressions.
Nine years after first storming the challenge with her take on Little Edie, Jinkx’s Judy Garland was a Snatch Game masterclass.
Irreverent without verging on disrespectful, silly without veering into chaos, scene-stealing without feeling like she was steamrolling her fellow competitors, Jinkx delivered jokes, Judy-isms, a ridiculous call-back to her own season and a suitably over-the-top rendition of Jealous Of My Boogie to play herself out. A true masterpiece of drag.
Best line: “It’s a cardboard set, darling. It doesn’t go… anywhere.”