'RuPaul's Drag Race': How 'Precious' was Stacy Layne Matthews last night?

Last year on RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the best episodes of the season was when Ru introduced The Snatch Game, a riff on the ’70s and ’80s staple The Match Game. You fans likely remember, but the episode very memorably saw queens like EW fave Pandora Boxx imitate Carol Channing and Tatianna take on Britney Spears. Last night was this year’s edition, and we saw Shangela take on Tina Turner, Delta Work do Cher (kinda poorly), Manila Luzon put on her best Imelda Marcos, Raja channel her inner Tyra Banks, and so on.

But, if you can imagine, this season’s queens topped last year’s, and mostly because of — get ready to be shocked to the core — none other than Stacy Layne Matthews. Yes, I’m going there! Last night’s episode was insane and beautiful and offensive because one of the most questionable contestants in Drag Race history — yes, I’m talking about SLM! — made it so by perfectly doing a drag impersonation of Mo’Nique circa Mary, the actresses’ character from 2009’s Oscar-winning movie Precious. See the screen grab above for all the evidence you need.

Just like Mo’Nique so embodied her character in Precious, SLM so embodied Mo’Nique. I was absolutely mesmerized when she was on screen. I viewed the episode with a friend, and we found ourselves rewinding the scenes of the episode that featured SLM as Mo’Nique several times. Besides the spot-on makeup, hair, and sweat suit, SLM most magnificently managed to nail every single one of Mo’Nique’s ticks, like that nasty, snorty grunt she’d always cough out.

The truth of the situation is that no one else besides SLM — and there were flashes of brilliance with other impressions, specifically from Raja and Manila and Yara — was even close to deserving to win the challenge. So I was beyond elated to see SLM fittingly take home the crown. I did, too, find myself asking the question: Am I only stunned by SLM’s brilliance because she’s been so not-brilliant most of this season so far? And then I thought: Who cares either way. She was brilliant, independent of how else she’s performed up until now.

Do you agree? Did you think that SLM was amazing, too? Dare I say, Precious? How devastating would it have been if SLM had gone with her original plan of sending up Anna Nicole instead? The horror!

Also worth talking about: Was anyone else dying over Raja’s fierce warrior look on the runway? Or dying, instead, over Mariah’s exit? Sorry I didn’t delve into that offing more, but it seems sadly inconsequential at this point. But if you have strong feelings about that — or anything else from last night’s episode — sound off with them in the comments below. And then: Discuss heatedly, please!

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

More from EW.com:
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race': Does Raja have this season locked up already?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: It’s all about the big girls this season
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Is any show on TV more cracked out than this?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ season premiere: Can you believe RuPaul brought [spoiler] back?!?
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Q&A with America’s Next Drag Superstar Tyra Sanchez
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ sashays into third season
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on PopWatch

Comments (85 total) Add your comment
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  • justsaying

    Why is the industry making this man wealthy when they can find strong positive examples for the African American don’t think this going unnoticed people are watching we were put down for obvious reasons and someone should give us a hand to be lifted up is that too much to ask for thousands of years of being stepped on its kind of hard to get up don’t you think. MORE AFRICAN AMERICANS on TV and is too much that I ask to pay less for cable.

    • xxx

      Shut up.

    • Kat

      LOL Thousands of years of being stepped on? I don’t mean to minimize African struggles, but I think you’re exaggerating just a bit there. Also I’m not sure if this is what you’re suggesting, but it kind of seems like you’re implying that since you are (presumably) African American, you shouldn’t have to be pay as much for your cable? LOL again.

    • Tanisha

      It’s really not about ethnicity but sexuality…duh.
      1000 years? Re-read a history book and understand what the ancients actually thought of the Africans. It was positive. In truth, the present concept of ‘race’ is a modern one and it was the ARABS who started the whole enslaving black people biz anyway. In general, why are you waiting for the tv to ‘represent’ you? ‘Represent’ yourself.
      Lastly, are you even black? Reading your comment…I don’t know.

    • Your_Precious

      But if you don’t pay you won’t be watching tv….lol

  • Jack

    Given the nature of Mo’Nique’s character in Precious, I was actually a little uncomfortable about this portrayal, I have very, very, very large limits, but something about making light of parental physical and sexual abuse made it all a little uncomfortable. There is no denying though that SLM hit it out of the park. Why does everyone forget that she delivers far more often than not!?!? She was amazing in the space video, as well as the work out.

    • Nick

      While obviously high camp, then where does Joan Crawford circa Mommy Dearest fall into that queasiness? This is something we laugh at all the time, but it is no less horrifying case of physical abuse.

      • Bobby’s Robot

        Joan’s actually more horrifying because it’s true.

      • Jen

        No it isn’t. Christina Crawford was a liar.

  • Jay

    @justsaying

    Some of us WOULD consider RuPaul a positive role model for any community. He celebrates diversity and the show breaks down the stereotypes of being a drag queen. Someone who isn’t afraid of offending people and breaking down barriers is someone to look up to in my book.

    • whatevs

      Did you really just say that RuPaul breaks down stereotypes?

      • Bobby

        Agree 100% Jay! RuPaul is a positive role model because he’s fun, proud, and not afraid to be himself or conform to society’s expectations. He/She’s awesome!!

  • Kevin

    I was incredibly unimpressed with the queens on last night’s challenge, especially compared to last year. Not unimpressed in general, just with their impersonations.
    I was definitely not a huge fan of Pandora Boxx last season, but her Carol Channing had me in stitches. Raja and Stacy maybe got a chuckle out of me last night.

    And I have to say, I’m completely done with Shangela trying to make Manila into a racist, and say she was offended by her accents.

  • Gary

    You’re right — SLM was spot on with Mo’Nique. That said, when Ru asked why she didn’t go through with her Anna Nicole impersonation, I really wish she had given credit to Shangela. That would have been the classy thing to do!

    • Melly

      Yeah, ITA. I love Shangela and think she is turning into a great performer/mentor.

  • Joe

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It was HILARIOUS! So hilarious that I googled SLM to see if someone agreed with me I guess you do too.

    effin’ hilarious!

  • Stacey

    So glad to see Santino!

    • TRUTH

      ew, why? He never offers any poignant criticism other than “she looked so fierce on that runway”.

  • TRUTH

    Um, did anyone catch Untucked? I can’t stand Shangela and her envious behavior. Her fake-y ghetto southern accent (Hallelu-STFU) is getting on my last nerve.

    • Rose

      I agree with you 110%!! I am just about ready for Shangela to sashay away!

      • AdamA

        Not a chance. I despise Shangela too–and she’s clearly the “user” Raja says she is–and that’s exactly why she’s bound to crack the top three.

  • someone had to say it.

    STOP TRYING TO MAKE HALLELU HAPPEN, SHANGELA, IT IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

    • ATLgroove

      It already has happened. I know so many queens and gay boys that say it all the time.

      • Belle

        My friend has a summer house in PTown and also goes there once a month in the winter, he said this summer you will be seeing Halleloo tshirts on people. I said it at my local Starbucks as a joke and the person making my coffee started to laugh. Naturally we started to bond over Drag Race and who was our favorites. It was like a code word because none of my friends watch.

      • TLynn

        And straight girls.

  • ceebee

    So glad that SLM won last night…she deserved it…the dollz this season aren’t up to par with last season…I’m missing Pandora, Jessica & JuJuBee…also…Raja is getting on my last nerve…I’m disappointed in Delta…you can tell that she is very jealous of SLM…actually Shangela doesn’t bother me that much….but she does like to stir the pot… :-)

  • I’m glad Stacey won, too. Manila is getting repetitive, Raja was underwhelming (if you know the woman you’re impersonating, you have to do that much better and his impersonation was very one-note), Alexis was okay.

  • January13

    I thought it was smart to stick to well known Tyra-isms rather than to drag out anything that could be misunderstood, misused or misquoted. It would only take a little deviation into “new” territory before there would be stories like “Tyra Banks Shocker! Raja from RPDR revealed…” or “According to Raja from PRDR Tyra Banks is…” floating around on the internet in milliseconds. Since he works with celebs regularly I’m thinking one toe over the line could be a potential career killer for a makeup artist. Given the circle he works in it made sense to choose someone he knows well enough to parody in a way that was unlikely to offend her or land her in hot water. A little safe? Sure, but damn smart in the big picture.

    • AdamA

      Raja is to the rest of the queens as Einstein is to me. She may not have the best impersonations, but she’s miles smarter. It’ll get her through in a pinch more than once.

  • UGH

    EW, why do you recap garbage instead of real quality television shows like Southland? A great gem like that deserves the attention more!

    • Scott

      Don’t hate. Some of us like both Drag Race AND Southland. Wait… just me? Nevermind.

      • Blame Leno

        Nope not just you! I LOVE both shows. I didn’t need to put down other shows to show my love. Now Jersey Shore does not deserve a recap cause it isn’t clever or inventive. I won’t trash those who enjoy it but dang it I’d rather Southland replace that in Recap land. Ah well, I’m sure Jeresy Shore fans don’t want that recap to go as much as I’d have a fit if they touched this one.

      • Angel

        omg!!! I cannot wait for tonights episode.. I want to marry the gay cop though!

      • Theo

        boo! not just u!! i love both so much

  • Josh

    I was looking forward to this episode. Now I miss last season even more thanks to the forgettable queens this season.

  • gee

    Delta work and Raja create the likeness that takes away the fun of the show. Part of the show is knowing how to play to your strengths and it seems all these two know how to do is tear everybody down. I have not heard one positive thing out of their mouth. They are single handedly taking the positive energy from the show. This is not to say there isn’t some serious cattyness going on but that is part of the show. But at least there is some positive from the other contestants.

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