Gigi Goode Is the Robot Future of Drag

Illustration for article titled Gigi Goode Is the Robot Future of Drag
Screenshot: VH1

On RuPaul’s Drag Race—rocked by the Sherry Pie allegations, subsequent re-edits, and some bafflingly boring challenges—the always highly-anticipated Snatch Game could not have come sooner. And it sort of delivered!

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In the Snatch Game, contestants must do a prolonged impression of a celebrity in order to match answers to Match Game-type questions with a panel of two celebrities. But the real goal of the game is to see which queens are witty and which simply read Kevin Aucoin’s Making Faces enough times to paint a passable celebrity face. Some queens played it pretty safe—Jaida slipped by with an adequate Cardi B, as did Heidi with an okay-ish Leslie Jones. Others tended toward the bizarre, to varying results.

When Ru and the hilarious (just not on Snatch Game) Miss Vanjie toured the workroom to give the queens tips on how to play Snatch Game that amounted to little more than “Do a good job at it,” the pair were less than encouraging when Crystal Methyd and Gigi Goode both said they were going with robotic personas—Crystal Methyd in the form of a human person called Poppy who is not a robot but plays one on YouTube or something and Gigi as Maria the Robot, an actual celebrity robot. Ru’s concerns were the same for both queens: how does one make robotic personality traits read funny in the Snatch Game, which is all about over-the-top performances?

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When the game began, Gigi made it clear that she had answered this question long before Drag Race started filming. Maria the Robot was physical comedy gold, with Gigi inexpertly flailing her robot fingers to pick up her answer cards and at one point needing a restart that Ru played along with perfectly. But Gigi was also incredibly witty, making rote responses that sounded downloaded straight from a Drag Race wiki sound fresh and fun, as her robot character was obviously trying them out for the very first time. Crystal, on the other hand, made a real miscalculation in choosing a character most of the audience, and even Ru, couldn’t identify. Instead of coming off as brilliantly batshit in the style of Katya’s classic Björk impression, Crystal’s Poppy referenced Poppy’s real YouTube persona without actually giving her a personality.

Meanwhile, Brita has spent the past two weeks blaming her failure to showcase a personality on Aiden Zhane’s proximity but was free this week to fail all on her own with a Jennifer Holliday impression that was an insult to Jennifer Holliday, all of Broadway, people named Jennifer, and holidays. Yet much as I wanted her to prove Brita wrong, Aiden oddly chose to do the Snatch Game as Patricia Quinn, who played Magenta in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Magenta might have been right up Zhane’s spooky alley had she not chosen to do an older Quinn based on a lunch the two apparently had together during which Zhane seemingly failed to note that Quinn is Irish or ask about her work in the Picture Show, as the persona Aiden chose for Quinn was that of a retired Atlantic City barkeep who had never heard of Rocky Horror.

And finally, two other queens took their strange choices out of the purview of bad and firmly into that of offensive. Widow Von’Du switched roles from Tina to Ike Turner mid-game, and Sherry Pie’s Katherine Hepburn impression made fun of the hand tremors from which she would suffer later in life. Sherry is already being heavily edited because of sexual misconduct allegations, but what footage remained showed Ru, along with guest judges Aaron Samuels and Damien from Mean Girls (those are their legal names now, I’m pretty sure) giggling gleefully as Sherry’s version of Hepburn’s palsied handwriting made it easy for her to pretend every answer was a match. Even with the heavy edits, Sherry has come off as a bully on episodes past, and it’s impossible to parse what I know of the allegations against her from what I’m seeing in these episodes. That being said, Sherry seems fucking mean, and I’m disappointed that no one told her as much on the runway. Neither Sherry’s nor Widow’s shitty moves were acknowledged; they were simply cut down in editing, which seems to be the show’s go-to strategy this season.

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On the runway, the category was Frozen, and the queens fully embraced it. Gigi Goode served another unexpectedly cute and funny look as a Good[e] Humor girl with a giant strawberry cone and freezer-burned nose. I would like it noted that my favorite who has no chance at winning, Heidi, not only looked beautiful in her sexy-yeti-covered-in-thrift-store-broaches look, but she also made a hilarious joke about a giant muff. Jan did a pretty White Walker look that probably would have gotten more attention had her just fine Bernadette Peters impression not been overshadowed by Gigi as Maria and Jackie Cox as Lisa Rinna.

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If Gigi hadn’t stolen the Snatch Game, it would have been Jackie Cox’s night. Her Rinna hit all the right notes—her quip “I’ve seen Brandi Glanville do that a few times” in response to Maria’s meltdown was gold—and her metal snowflake/pot leaf runway look was perfectly fun. But ultimately, there’s just no stopping Gigi right now, especially with Sherry, who the judges seem to love, out of contention.

The lip-synch to Let It Go finally saw Brita face down with Aiden, and despite the fact that Brita brought sparklers, both performers were much more wooden than frozen. Aaron Samuels managed to emote more than the pair of them combined when he became visibly overjoyed at fake snow falling to the stage as the song hit its crescendo. Aiden went home, leaving my home disappointed, as we had been hoping for a double elimination

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The front-runner is obviously Gigi at this point, but Jackie is also one to watch, and I’ll never stop rooting for my little snow angel Heidi and her giant muff.

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DISCUSSION

wacarnolds
Wacarnold's

Apparently Patricia Quinn is extremely offeneded with Aiden’s impression, and claims to have never met Aiden...