Friday’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race was a long time coming — for several reasons. Not only did it begin with Snatch Game, easily the show’s most popular recurring challenge, but it also ended with a long-awaited battle between two rival queens.
Spoiler alert: Those queens were Aiden Zhane and Brita, and their conflict started way before they hit the runway. While reacting to Nicky Doll’s elimination in the workroom, Brita said she was “shook” to find herself in the bottom, then asked how Aiden managed to be safe when the two were basically partners in the Gay’s Anatomy challenge. Aiden appeared to shrug off her biggest hater’s latest remark, but a confessional moment revealed much more anger bubbling beneath the surface. “Quiet Aiden isn’t going to be quiet for much longer.”
As we all know, Snatch Game is a make-or-break challenge, one that can separate the frontrunners from the wannabes — and boy did this year’s game do just that. Aiden’s bizarre, lifeless portrayal of British actress Patricia Quinn (Magenta in the original Rocky Horror Picture Show movie) was easily the worst of the bunch. Honestly, it might have been the worst Snatch Game performance I’ve ever seen. Not only did Aiden fail to make a single Rocky Horror reference, but she didn’t even bother doing Patricia’s accent! Ironically, Aiden’s whole reason for choosing Patricia was that they’ve met, making it all the more insane that she would fail to capture even the most basic of her mannerisms. End rant.
Brita’s Jennifer Holliday impression was also pretty underwhelming, as she inexplicably relied on one unfunny joke to carry her through the game. In fact, quite a few of the queens delivered lackluster impressions: Jan’s Bernadette Peters sounded more like Ms. Swan from MADtv; Heidi’s Leslie Jones, while funny, sounded nothing like the former Saturday Night Live star; and Crystal Methyd’s Poppy was eclipsed by another non-human in the competition. Meanwhile, Jaida Essence Hall’s Cardi B impression was simply okurr.
But it was Gigi Goode’s winning impression of robo-lebrity Sophia that will land her in MsMojo compilation videos for years to come. Not only was Gigi quick on her feet with Ru and the other queens, but her physicality as a robot was both accurate and hysterical. I have to say, I really underestimated Gigi at the start of this competition. Not only has she consistently turned in killer looks (thanks, mom!), but she has really held her own in these acting challenges. If you ask me, she has “Season 12 Winner” written all over her.
Other Snatch Game impressions included Jackie Cox’s diaper-wearing, product-slinging Lisa Rinna; Widow Von’Du’s morally questionable Tina Turner/Ike Turner combo; and, of course, Sherry Pie’s rock-solid Katharine Hepburn. (Side note: Given all that has transpired, I’m really starting to hate how good Sherry is. And you have to give credit where credit is due — she’s incredibly talented, easily Top 4 material. At this point, I’m just wondering which lucky queen will get bumped up to the live finale when Sherry’s spot becomes vacant.)
Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by this Snatch Game, which is something every fan anticipates going into each season. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to bring back Vanessa “Vanjie” Mateo to offer useless critiques to each of the contestants? (A stronger hand would have steered Jan back to Kris Jenner.)
Of course, those queens who failed to impress the judges with their Snatch Game performances still had a chance to redeem themselves with this week’s Frozen-themed runway challenge. Heidi stepped out as the “empress to the yeti folk,” Jackie took inspiration from Elsa’s crown, Jaida represented whatever’s left of the polar ice caps, Jan mixed in some Game of Thrones to portray Elsa as a White Walker, Widow gave us “Titanic survivor realness,” Gigi rocked an old-school ice cream (wo)man uniform, Aiden sported a dress inspired by the Abominable Snowman from 1964’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Brita wore something sparkly and colorful, and Crystal strutted down the runway in a pair of elegant pajamas inspired by Mr. Freeze in 1997’s Batman and Robin.
Crystal narrowly avoided landing in the bottom two, though the same can’t be said for Aiden and Brita. Brita has talked endless crap about Aiden for weeks, so it was time to put her money where her mouth is. Both queens took a relatively serious approach to the Broadway version of “Let It Go,” but when Brita made actual sparks fly out of her costume, I knew that Aiden’s time was up. Sure enough, Ru asked Aiden Zhane to sashay away.
“I am truly sorry that I have not been able to break free of the voices and the things going on in my head,” Aiden told the judges. “Thank you so much for the opportunity. And also, I will not leave this competition being the quiet bitch. So, on that note…” And then she screamed her last scream.
Was Aiden the right queen to go? Cast your vote in the poll below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on this week’s Drag Race.