“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Episode 1504 Recap: Unsweetened

This is a recap of RuPaul’s Drag Race episode 1504. Spoilers below.

I was wrong. Last week I seemed to be the only person who was in support of the shorter format, and this week revealed why. For an acting challenge it worked, but for double Snatch Game?? Not so much.

We begin in the aftermath of Poppy’s departure. Amethyst is having an existential crisis because she’s always thought of herself as a comedy queen and she’s failing at comedy. Meanwhile, Sugar says she’s done apologizing for being too much. I guess she means apologies in the RuPaul sense of the word, because I haven’t seen them. We then get some fun back and forth between Luxx and Loosey arguing about who was second and who was third.

It’s another day in the workroom and Mistress is having some fun. Spice asks if Amethyst plays baseball because “three strikes you’re out” and then reveals Mistress told her to say it. I may not like the twins but I do love Mistress mentoring them — and using them for a joke.

Ru announces the double Snatch Game and everyone is rightfully shocked. Also a shock — Ru splits the groups based purely on where the queens are standing?? The producers must have set them… right?

The first group is Marcia as Tim Gunn, Luxx as Amanda Lepore, Malaysia as Saucy Santana, Mistress as Rosie O’Donnell, Anetra as Gordon Ramsay’s sister Gorgenia, Robin as real housewife Karen Huger, and EsTitties as the Virgin Mary.

Marcia is definitely the most solid of this first group, even if it’s all a bit expected. Luxx, Malaysia, and Robin don’t bomb but also don’t do much of anything. EsTitties is crass and loud but that’s different then being funny. Mistress is funny as Rosie but she’s not doing a good Rosie! It’s not a good impression! It’s not specific! I think my favorite of this group was Anetra?? At least, she tried for something even if she got fewer jokes off.

The second group is Loosey as Joan Rivers, Sasha as Jan Crouch, Jax as the Mona Lisa, Sugar as Trisha Paytas, Amethyst as… Tan Mom(?), Spice as Miley Cyrus, and Aura as Bretman Rock. Loosey is by far the best of this group, though like Marcia, Joan Rivers and her Joan Rivers jokes just feel so basic. I wish Jax had been funnier because, again, the Mona Lisa is a choice! Sasha does a solid job even if we don’t see much from her. Amethyst is also fine, even if she once again made me uncomfortable more than she made me laugh. (Full disclosure: no idea who Tan Mom is, even after googling.) I thought Sugar did just as fine as everyone else. Aura bombs. Spice bombs and is offensive to Miley, a person I honestly didn’t think I cared enough about to get offended on her behalf.

Remember last year when Snatch Game was so bad that Ru made ALL the queens lip sync? This was worse. Or, at least, I think it was worse, except I didn’t see enough from most of the queens to really know if it was as boring as it seemed or if it was just cut short.

Some Snatch Games have had more people bombing, but they at least had more people taking risks and being funny. The only people we see more than two jokes from were Marcia and Loosey and not one of those jokes made me actually laugh.

Thankfully, the runway is better. Amandla Stenberg is the guest judge and the theme is Beautiful Nightmare which appealed to me as a Halloween Gay.

I don’t usually write about all the looks, but I need to focus on some positive so here we go. Marcia is a child’s nightmare of what a dentist would look like. I don’t agree with the judges that Marcia needs to be “more drag” but I do think this runway had less of an impact because she’d already done a teeth bit with the braces in her talent show.

Luxx is a zombie bride who has been drowned by her husband, cinder block tied to her ankle and all. I love it. Malaysia is a show ghoul which is more beautiful than nightmare. EsTitties is in a skin suit and eating titties which is more nightmare than beautiful. Mistress, Anetra, and Robin all do spider looks and I’d rank them: 1) Anetra, 2) Mistress, 3) Robin.

Loosey’s Snatch Game and personality may not have charmed me as much as most, but her drag queen Jason Voorhees got me. As did Sasha as a Tim Burton-esque witch and Jax as Medusa with Perseus’ head in tow.

Amethyst is Gaga with blood spurting out of her chest when she presses her boob. (It’s fine.) And Aura has exposed vertebrae on her back. (It’s cool.) Finally, Sugar and Spice are both haunted dolls and it’s about as underwhelming as their collective Snatch Game performance.

The top is Marcia, Mistress, and Loosey. The bottom is Aura and the twins. Everyone else is safe. Loosey wins. (I do, in fact, think her runway is what pushed her ahead of Marcia.) And Sugar and Spice are lip syncing against each other. I love television!

The song is Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run” and surprise surprise the twins have decided to do choreo with one another. It’s somehow both chaotic and very boring. In the end, Sugar goes home and Spice stays. And honestly? I’m no longer rooting against Spice. I’ll give her a chance! Let’s see her thrive solo.

That said, watching this lip sync, I wonder if RuPaul Charles thought, “Hmm so it wasn’t trans women who ruined my show — it was TikTok.” That’s what I was thinking.

Teleport Us to Mars!! Here Are Some Random Thoughts:

+ The emotional debrief this episode is Loosey talking about being bullied for being gay and living in the town she grew up in. I’ve gotta say… I find Loosey really annoying. She deserved her win this episode, but I hope it’s the last one. Glad you’re out and proud now though, babe!

+ I’m not against people doing internet and reality TV personalities for Snatch Game. But like pop stars, they usually bomb. Open to theories in the comments.

+ Another thing lost with the time cut is no mini challenges. I’m torn on whether I care. They’d kind of lost the spark in recent seasons if I’m being honest.

+ Last thing I’ll say about the time cut is I do think it will work better as the season goes on and personally I think they should have done hour and a half for the first half the season and then gone to an hour for the rest.

+ More distressing to me is Untucked isn’t after Drag Race? I’m supposed to wait around for an hour? I have not seen Untucked. Tell me what I missed in Untucked. (Just kidding I’ll watch it when it’s streaming.)

+ Queen I’m rooting for: my three loves (Anetra, Jax, Sasha)

+ Queen I’m horniest for: this runway it was Anetra

+ Queen I want to sashay: Amethyst then Loosey then Spice if she hasn’t proven herself


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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is an LA-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. Her writing can be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Thrillist, I Heart Female Directors, and, of course, Autostraddle. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about trans lesbians. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @draw_gregory.

Drew Burnett has written 331 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. I had the feeling this Snatch Game was maybe more fun for the people actually in the room than it was for us as the audience, since I’m sure some jokes/banter had to be cut. I felt like we might’ve been able to understand some of the choices better maybe in the old format where they actually explained them a bit and there weren’t a million queens?

    I think reality/online stars don’t do well because they aren’t as familiar to everyone in the room. There are so many more ways for people to be famous now, which is cool, but if the people around you don’t know who you’re trying to be, they don’t have much of anything to ask you about in a way that leads to good jokes.

    Untucked was pretty sweet, I thought (I watched the Rich Gays of Hollywood or whatever it’s called, please tell me they swap them around next week?) – Sasha and Mistress and everyone else sort of adopted the twins as drag children/family and urged whichever of them won the lip sync to stay and fight. It sounds like the twins had a pretty bad childhood that they aren’t quite far enough away from to talk about publicly yet.

    Also, don’t they usually do the Reading Challenge the same week as Snatch Game? I hope they do it later in the season because these queens seem like they could READ.

  2. I have NO clue how Aura wasn’t in the bottom. I’m kind of glad she wasn’t because I’m not sure Spice would’ve beaten her and I like her quite a bit. Someone on YouTube (JackFed? GreenGay?) did a video analyzing past snatch games after last year’s and their conclusion was that s14’s wasn’t all that bad, almost any season’s game could’ve been edited to look that bad, and they just wanted to do the lalaparuza. I think that the editing this season has been all over the place (45 minute episodes that they didn’t plan for probably being the reason), so when hobbitoes says it may have been more fun for those in the room I agree.

  3. I really missed seeing Ru mentor/advise the queens as he usually does in the Snatch Game episode! It seems like that is usually one of the few times in the season that he interacts with the queens in the work room to give them feedback before a big challenge, and (I assume) they cut that whole thing for time. Really a bummer. Plus we didn’t hear the judges discuss critiques amongst each other after the runway? Amandla barely had any screen time!! I’m not opposed to the shorter eps in general, but for this one, it didn’t make sense.

    • Agreed! I also thought an early snatch game meant an early double elimination, but alas.

      Glad to see one of the twins go. They seem like the same personality and style in two different color swatches.

      I really do like Mistress though, and respect her decision to adopt the twins as drag daughters. I have to remind myself that sugar and spice are a product of drag in an online vacuum without much in person community and dynamics. It’s bananas how different the end product can be!

  4. Hey Drew! I just wanted to say I’m really happy you’re back recapping the show and I really enjoy and look forward to reading your takes after every episode. This episode was the first time I actually watched the show on Friday night and so had to wait to read your recap the next day (gasp!), and I realized how much I enjoy these based on how much I wanted to know your take IMMEDIATELY haha. No impatience though! Always happy to wait for what I consider to be the definitive drag race recap experience.

  5. I think with this many queens they really need to have longer episodes. I was listening to a recap of this ep where they were talking about how some of the queens were tweeting about how funny Malaysia was and was doing a perfect Saucy Santana but they didn’t show any of it (I think it may have been Race Chaser?). I know there’s often fuckery with the editing (or at least accusations of it) but I think this time it was impossible for there not to be given the time constraints. I wish they would release extended cuts online at least, though that might also share too much of said editing fuckery and cause backlash.
    I also think it did not help that they did Snatch Game so early in the season. I really think the queens benefit from having time to get comfortable being on TV and in a competition with each other and I also think they probably benefit from getting to know each other better in terms of having banter and playing off one another (and probably Ru as well).

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