Every season, RuPaul's Drag Race fans look forward to the fiercest challenge of them all: Snatch Game, a fake game show where drag queens are tasked with delivering a comedic impression of a celebrity. Some of the impersonations are cringe-worthy; others are innovative and hysterical. A few stars have been chosen multiple times (ladies: can we stop trying to make Beyonce funny?), while some omissions are egregious -- how is it possible that we haven't seen a queen tackle Mariah or Celine yet?!
With RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in full swing, we decided to rank Snatch Game impersonations of pop stars from worst to best. [Note: We did not include celebrities who sing but aren't primarily known for music -- sorry, Paris Hilton and Marilyn Monroe.] Read on to see which pop star impersonations had us gagging, and which queens we'd put up for elimination
29. Beyoncé (Kenya Michaels, Season 4)
Even if Beyoncé were known for her drug use, flatulence and narcolepsy, this impersonation would have felt irreverent. Not only did this caricature miss the mark, but in response to the obnoxious behavior, a visibly agitated RuPaul had to demand, “alright Beyoncé, calm your ass down.”
28. Beyoncé (Tyra Sanchez, Season 2)
“Beyonce is just like me. All I have to do is just be myself, like just smile, say nice things…,” Tyra said of her Snatch Game choice, clearly not understanding the concept of the comedic challenge. It makes you wonder: would this Season 2 queen have gone on to win if she hadn't enjoyed immunity this week?
27. Celia Cruz (Lineysha Sparx, Season 5)
Imagine your favorite uncle doing a drunk impersonation of Celia Cruz. “My favorite uncle wouldn’t know who Celia Cruz is,” you say? Well by the looks of it, neither did Lineysha.
26. Lady Gaga (Sonique, Season 2)
Sonique was correctly eliminated for this nothing performance. While Phi Phi O'Hara's Lady Gaga was over the top in a way that made no sense, Sonique's was worse -- it was just a blank slate.
25. Jennifer Lopez (Carmen Carrera, Season 3)
While Carmen Carrera's J.Lo was big on curves but flat on personality. It started with a good joke, but quickly flat-lined. It wasn't embarrassing, but it wasn't memorable. And in drag, forgettable is almost worse than bad.
24. Nicki Minaj (Trinity K. Bonet, Season 6)
Even with a couple wig changes, this may be the most forgettable impersonation in Snatch Game herstory.
23. Diana Ross (Milan, Season 4)
Diana Ross -- a flawless goddess who exudes class and elegance -- isn't a great choice for parody in the first place. And when you add in the fact that Diana is Ru's idol and top diva, Milan's choice to portray Ross as an under-the-influence whack job is even more puzzling. As fellow queen Jiggly pointed out, this is a "cracked out" version of the Alpha Supreme -- which might have worked had it been funny. Unfortunately, it was not, and Milan ended up in the Bottom 2.
22. Katy Perry (Alyssa Edwards, Season 5)
When it came time to fill Katy’s candy-coated bustier, Alyssa’s impersonation was comically sour. Ru practically handed Alyssa a joke by asking if she kissed any girls lately -- an obvious nod to the popstar’s breakout hit -- but rather than play along, Alyssa acted scandalized by the question. Luckily for her, she had immunity during this challenge.
21. Amy Winehouse (Yara Sofia, Season 3)
It’s hard to say anything bad about Season 3 fan favorite Yara Sofia, but her take on the U.K. songstress was half-baked.
20. Lady Gaga (Phi Phi O'Hara, Season 4)
There is no denying that Lady Gaga has plenty of quirks to riff on for Snatch Game, but Phi Phi’s rendition of the hitmaker felt more like a scrapped Cartoon Network supervillain than any version of Mother Monster we’ve seen.
19. Aretha Franklin (Latrice Royale, Season 4)
Latrice Royale's Aretha Franklin looked right, but we never got the full experience. Latrice was so annoyed by the over-the-top shenanigans of her fellow queens that she basically shut down mid-game. And while we agree that the Season 4 Snatch Game got wildly out of control, we can't condone dropping character just because other contestants aren't giving Drag Race R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
18. Taylor Swift (Jade Jolie, Season 5)
While it seemed like a match made in heaven -- a bubbly, sweet drag queen with an affinity for Lisa Frank color schemes impersonating a bubbly, sweet country-pop superstar -- this performance never got out of the woods.
17. P!nk (Morgan McMichaels, Season 2)
While Morgan looked the part, she struggled to inject humor into her characterization of the pop-rocker she loved. In the end, Morgan was, like P!nk, a hazard to herself.
16. Cher (Delta Work, Season 3)
Cher’s name should never be used in the same sentence as the word forgettable, and yet here we are....
15. Ke$ha (Detox, Season 5)
Detox's whisky-swilling Ke$ha looked right, but she didn't land a joke. She referenced Ke$ha's early-career urine non-troversy (the pop singer once peed in a sink because the restroom stalls were full) by fake peeing on stage, but it felt like Detox was trying too hard. Detox suffered the same problem as Morgan Michaels' P!nk -- rock-loving pop stars who DGAF are easy to idolize, but hard to make funny. Either way, it landed Detox in the Bottom 2.
14. Whitney Houston (Sahara Davenport, Season 2)
While Sahara succeeded capturing some of Whitney's mannerisms, this polite-but-dull performance made us want to dance with somebody else.
13. Tina Turner (Shangela, Season 3)
Much like Tina, Shangela is a survivor -- she's the only queen to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race during two separate seasons. (Ru must like her more than PorkChop!) While Shangela was eliminated prior to Season 2 Snatch Game, she brought Tina Turner to Season 3. The look was on-point and the mannerisms were right, but the performance wasn't terribly funny. Still, she deserves props for the reference to Nutbush, proving some deep fan knowledge.
12. Ariana Grande (Tatianna, All-Stars, Season 2)
Tatianna’s take on the “Dangerous Woman” wasn’t terrible—in fact, it was mostly accurate; the look was on point and her voice and mannerisms matched those of Grande. The problem? It was boring. And on a season of All Stars, being boring on the Snatch Game is unforgivable. While this impersonation might have kept the veteran safe on a regular season, not even a nod to the infamous Donutgate was enough to keep Tatianna from packing.
11. Alicia Keys (Alexis Mateo, Season 3)
While the characterization of Alicia Keys as a predatory lez left us scratching our heads, Alexis’ spelling of douche -- “dush” -- was good for a major giggle.
10. Janet Jackson (Coco Montrese, Season 5)
Coco's Janet Jackson was one of the best-looking Snatch Game imitations in Drag Race herstory. And Coco didn't just nail it once -- she aced it twice, pulling off a costume change mid-game and giving us Rhythm Nation realness two times on Season 5.
9. Britney Spears (Derrick Barry, Season 8)
It was no surprise that Derrick choose to emulate the dancing diva: she’s been a Britney Spears impersonator for over 10 years. Given that experience, it was shocking how unfunny her performance was. To be fair, she would have turned it out had this been a lip sync to “I’m A Slave 4 U” -- but her comedic chops could use some work, bitch.
8. Michael Jackson (Thorgy Thor, Season 8)
Everyone anticipated Thorgy slaying this challenge, so they were confused when she choose Jackson as her character a year after Kennedy Davenport won (in a tie) for her impersonation of another flamboyant male popstar, Little Richard. Though the novelty of having a male Snatch Game character was spoiled, Thorgy brought MJ’s idiosyncrasies to life perfectly.
7. Jessica Simpson (Willam Belli, Season 4)
Despite a criminal lack of screentime, Willam was able to get a few zingers in.
6. Tamar Braxton (Roxxxy Andrews, Season 5)
With "Toni's sister" written on her name card, Roxxxy Andrews was hysterical as Tamar Braxton even before she opened her mouth. When she did speak, it was even better, answering a question about Lady Gaga with, "BOOM! Who cares?" Roxxxy gets big props for making Tamar -- a singer and TV personality that not everyone is familiar with -- funny and immediately likable within moments. Considering that some queens take on stars with big personalities and never capture an ounce of what makes them great, that's an achievement.
5. Little Richard (Kennedy Davenport, Season 7)
It's risky to do male drag on Snatch Game (there's a reason "snatch" is in the title), and everyone seemed to think Kennedy Davenport was on course for disaster when she portrayed rock architect Little Richard on Season 7. But there's a reason Little Richard is an exception to that Snatch Game rule -- Little Richard is an exception to every rule. Constantly shouting "woooo!" and delivering perfect off-the-cuff quips ("She's using my EBT card!" Davenport said, nodding to Ginger Minj's Adele's pile of food), Davenport reminded the naysayers that Little Richard the Rock Star is basically a drag queen anyway (which makes sense -- prior to inventing rock n' roll, Richard did perform as a drag queen in his teens).
4. Björk (Katya, All-Stars, Season 2)
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS! While Katya seemed to hold back her weirdness through Season 7, she finally let her freak flag fly with this impression of Bjork. Her comedic timing was impeccable and even won a rave review from the Icelandic sensation herself: “I absolutely loved it, especially when she started humming to herself,” she said during a Reddit AMA. Katya also won the approval of Ru, who chose her and Alaska as the top 2 competitors in the challenge.
3. Adele (Ginger Minj, Season 7)
The Grammy super-collector doesn’t seem to have the eccentricities needed to make a good Snatch Game character, but Ginger Minj found the funny in Adele. While the songbird is hardly a narcissist, Ginger’s egocentric spin left us gagging.
2. Britney Spears (Tatianna, Season 2)
Guest judge Alec Mapa summed it up the best when he described Tatianna’s impersonation as “eerily accurate” and “kind of spooky.” Rather than resorting to song title puns, Tatianna invented her own Britney-isms: in response to Ru’s fill-in-the-blank of what she got last time she took a ride on a disco stick, Tatianna deadpanned with an earnest “lost!” She followed it up with an oblivious “am I wrong?”
1. Cher (Chad Michaels, Season 4)
Who else? Sure, putting Chad Michaels' Cher atop this list might seem like the easy choice, but sometimes the obvious choice is the right one. There's a reason his Snatch Game is one of the show's all-time best -- his Cher is his life. Literally: he makes a living off of it, and you can see why -- he manages to perfectly mimic Cher's movements and glamour without stooping to cartoonish caricature. But unlike many people who Snatch Game their idols to less-than-impressive results (See: Tyra's Beyonce), Chad wasn't afraid to have a little fun at her expense, even making a crack about plastic surgery at one point. Plus, the line "I don't know why they book me on these chicken shit gigs" will never stop being funny.