Sorry, not a match: We ranked every UK Snatch Game impression

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very year, fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race patiently wait for one thing: that mid-point episode in the series when the queens play the Snatch Game.

This mega maxi-challenge has become legendary, but if you have no idea what we’re talking about, let us explain. The Snatch Game requires each of the drag queens to choose a figure from popular culture to play as a character in a gameshow. It’s basically Blankety Blank but in actual fact no one really understands what the rules are. They’re basically irrelevant anyway, because the queens are being judged on whether they make Ru and the celebrity contestants (Gemma Collins this year) laugh, or whether everyone feels awkward and doesn’t know where to look.

Making the right character choice is crucial. Get it right and do it well and you’ll go down as Drag Race royalty forever; get it wrong and you’ll be desperately making innuendos about sausage rolls in an effort to save face.

Since Drag Race first started in the US in 2009, there have been glorious Snatch Game highs, and some utterly cringey lows. From Ben De La Crème’s inspired version of Dame Maggie Smith to Kenya Michaels widely panned farting and snoring Beyonce, the queens have parodied everyone – including, sometimes, each other.

The series one Drag Race UK cast play Snatch Game

/ BBC / World of Wonder / Guy Levy

This week, it’s the turn of the Drag UK series 2 queens to try their hand at Snatch Game. As ever, there are star performances and surprise flops, so to mark the occasion, we’ve come up with our own UK Hun edition of Snatch Game performances – ranked.

14. Sum Ting Wong – David Attenborough (UK series one)

Sum Ting Wong as David Attenborough

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Stumped about which character to choose, Sum Ting Wong opted for the godfather of nature David Attenborough over the quite literally made for Snatch Game sensual goddess Nigella Lawson. It was not a wise decision. She made the schoolboy Snatch Game error and simply did an impersonation of Attenborough and his awestruck attitude towards rhinos, without adding any mischief or comedic spin, and ended up sashaying away at the end of the episode.

13. Tia Kofi – Mel B (series two)

Tia Kofi as Mel B

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Tia’s deadpan one-liners have been one of season two’s highlights (the grim acceptance of “I am serving you an adequate dress made of material that is on my body” sums up our lockdown mood nicely) so it was a surprise to see this comedy queen flounder in a challenge that should have played to her strengths. Her Scary Spice schtick relied on the same Eddie Murphy gag over and over again, leaving this impression sadly lacking in zig-a-zig-ah. Perhaps she’d have fared better if she’d stuck with Shirley Bassey.

12. Crystal – Rue McClanahan (series one)

Crystal as Rue McClanahan

/ BBC / World of Wonder

The trick to a slightly left-field Snatch Game character is that it should be entertaining, regardless of whether everyone knows the person that you’re spoofing. Crystal’s slightly niche choice to go for Golden Girls star Rue McClanahan didn’t really work on this count, plus in her attempts to bounce off the other characters she was muscled out by louder, more confident queens like The Vivienne. It wasn’t a huge surprise that she landed in the bottom two that week, but she at least deserves credit for the line “What do I know? I’m dead. Thanks, syphilis.”

11. Lawrence Chaney – Miriam Margolyes (series two)

Larence Chaney as Miriam Margolyes

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Miriam Margolyes is an absolute hoot (see any one of her outrageous chat show appearances for proof)  – and so is comedy queen and Ru Peter badge hoarder Lawrence Chaney, meaning that on paper this seemed like a match made in Snatch Game heaven.  Our Glaswegian queen captured much of the theatrical intensity of this ‘thespian lesbian’, but the anecdotes about Laurence Olivier and co seemed to drag on longer than an unabridged performance of Hamlet.

10. Sister Sister – Sally Morgan (series two)

Sister Sister as Sally Morgan

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Choosing the perfect Snatch Game alter ego is a real balancing act. You want someone who is instantly recognisable (if we don’t know the character, the punchlines can fall flat) but hasn’t been endlessly parodied elsewhere (see also: Tia as Mel B). Sister’s decision to mimic Sally Morgan, aka Britain’s ‘best loved psychic,’ felt a bit too left field to win over Ru and co, and her own accent kept creeping in – though her mid-game message from beyond the grave was inspired.

9. A’Whora – Louie Spence (series two)

A’Whora as Louie Spence

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Larger-than-life former artistic director of Pineapple Dance Studios and Dancing on Ice judge Louie Spence is ripe for parody. Fresh from her successful improv as an OTT Essex girl in the morning TV challenge, A’Whora gave this her all – but possibly went a bit too far with that over-exaggerated lisp. Still, no one ever said the Snatch Game was about understatement, and the appearance of her ‘flexible’ dancer’s legs was a great visual gag.

8. Davina DiCampo – Julia Child (series one)

Davina DiCampo as Julia Child

/ BBC / World of Wonder

One of the smartest and funniest queens of season one, Davina should have had Snatch Game sewn up. But her tendency to help out her castmates ended up backfiring big time here, when it turned out she and Baga were both planning to do Margaret Thatcher. Not only did Davina give ground but she lent Baga her own Maggie outfit. Her back-up option was American cookery legend Julia Child who, although the subject of a Meryl Streep biopic, wasn’t really known enough here for the impression to cut through. Although she played the character with subtle wit, we all know that Snatch Game is not about subtlety. “Did you enjoy Snatch Game?” Ru asked on the runway, only for Davina to reply, “er… I think enjoy is a strong word. It happened. I was there.”

7. Ellie Diamond – Vicky Pollard/Matt Lucas (series two)

Ellie Diamond as Vicky Pollard

/ BBC / World of Wonder

“Ellie, you’re not terribly funny,” said Lawrence Chaney with foreboding in the workroom. Which is probably why Ellie wisely chose to bring her well-practised Vicky Pollard impression to the Snatch Game. Although she didn’t add anything particularly new to the character, she had everything down perfectly from her ‘yeah-but-no-buts’ to Pollard’s three shades too dark lip-liner. We’ve seen stronger queens flop at the Snatch Game for choosing the wrong character, and Ellie’s decision to stick with what she knew was a smart one.

6. Blu Hydrangea – Mary Berry (series one)

Blu Hydrangea as Mary Berry

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Blu’s Snatch Game tactic was classic for queens who aren’t quite sure what to do with their character: just make everything they say ludicrously filthy. While Mary Berry was an inspired choice – although, like guest judge Alan Carr, we’re not quite sure why she gave her a hump – there’s only so many times we want to imagine our beloved cake baker using the word ‘poonanny’. “Maarrr-yyy!” gasped outraged guest contestant Lorraine Kelly to one of her answers, which is too rude to repeat in a family newspaper.

5. Cheryl Hole – The GC (series one)

Cheryl Hole as Gemma Collins

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Meme queen and ultimate hun Gemma Collins is one of the most quotable women on British telly, making her perfect Snatch Game material – and who better to take her on than Essex’s finest, Cheryl Hole? Cheryl nailed (seriously, look at those talons) the telltale GC mannerisms we know and love, but her hair definitely looked like it’d been near some straighteners –  and we all know the GC only uses heated rollers, babe (“straighteners are what f**king weirdos use on their hair.”)

4. Tayce – Jane Turner (series two)

Tayce as Kath and Kim star Jane Turner

/ BBC / World of Wonder

Tayce’s cheerful, catchphrase-laden take on Aussie comedy star Jane Turner (aka Kath of Kath and Kim fame) felt effortlessly funny, especially compared to some OTT turns from  her fellow queens. Her ‘chooky neck’ spiel, complete with chicken impression, was comedy gold – and as for Tayce somehow still managing to look radiant in a blonde bubble wig, patterned shell suit and green eyeshadow? We can only say: the cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity and the gumption. 

3. The Vivienne – Donald Trump (series one)

The Vivienne as Donald Trump

/ BBC / World of Wonder

“No collusion – especially not with Russia and definitely not with Chyyy-na!” Eventual series one winner The Vivienne’s impression of the 45th President of the United States was uncanny, from the grimacing pronunciation to the upward-pointing fingers. Unafraid to go off-script, Viv ended up forming a hysterical – and completely terrifying – right-wing double-act with Baga Chipz’s Iron Lady, volleying one-liners and double entendres across the studio. That said, we’d have loved to see her give that uncanny Kim Woodburn impression some more air time – perhaps one for the inevitable UK All Stars series?

2. Baga Chipz – Margaret Thatcher (series one)

Baga Chipz as Margaret Thatcher

/ BBC / World of Wonder / Guy Levy

With red demon eyes, buck teeth and a cross-eyed stare, Baga’s turn as the lady who’s not for turning made her Snatch Game royalty. Every answer was perfect, from “Belgrano Spice – like the ship, she likes to go down” or, quite simply, “REDUNDANCY!” Knowingly on the nose – “we must bugger the miners! More money for the rich, and less for the poor!” she declared with glee – and deliciously over the top, it was 100% Baga, gloriously too much and still we wanted more.

1.Bimini Bon Boulash – Katie Price (series two)

Bimini Bon Boulash as Katie Price

/ BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy

Never underestimate The Pricey. Or should we say The Pwicey. Bimini nailed Katie Price’s voice, her look (no one else wears a tiara and a tracksuit together) and her personality, effortlessly combining her ability to be both no-nonsense and come-hither all at the same time. She picked the most British of icons and wiped the floor with the other queens, uttering lines like “you know what they say Ru… the eyes are the nipples of the face” that left everyone in the room howling with laughter. It was… pwerfect. The Pricey would be proud.

A new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is released on BBC iPlayer every Thursday at 7pm