Katya Zamolodchikova

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Katya Zamolodchikova
Katya Zamolodchikova 3.jpg
Katya performing in 2015
Brian Joseph McCook

(1982-05-01) May 1, 1982 (age 38)
EducationBoston University
Massachusetts College of Art and Design (BFA)
Years active2006–present[1]
Known for

Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (Russian: Екатерина Петро́вна Замоло́дчикова), often known mononymously as Katya (Russian: Катя), is the drag persona of Brian Joseph McCook, an American drag queen, actor and comedian. Katya is best known for placing fifth on the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race and placing second on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, as well as for appearing in the World of Wonder web series UNHhhh and the Viceland series The Trixie & Katya Show alongside co-host and fellow Season 7 alum Trixie Mattel.[2][3] In June 2019, New York magazine published the results from their panel of judges and writers which ranked her in the top twenty Drag Race superstars.[4]

Early life[edit]

A native of Marlborough, Massachusetts, McCook graduated from Marlborough High School in 2000. He attended Boston University for one year before transferring to Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he studied video and performance art in the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) program with a minor in psychology, and first became interested in drag.[5] [6] He has an older brother and a younger sister. He is of Irish ancestry and was raised Catholic.[7]


Early drag career[edit]

McCook created the Russian drag character Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova in 2006, taking the stage name from a combination of Russian names and one of his favorite gymnasts, Elena Zamolodchikova.[8] When creating his drag character, McCook stated that he was inspired by "female comedians and just funny interesting women like Tracy Ullman, Maria Bamford, Lana del Rey [and] Amy Sedaris."[9] McCook stated on Drag Race that the Russian-based aspect of his persona was inspired by a professor he had while studying at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, who "never left the house without a full face of makeup [with] six inch stilettos in the snow."[10] McCook is not Russian himself, but took several Russian language courses and used a cassette tape called "Pronounce It Perfectly" to master the accent.[11] In addition to speaking Russian, he can also speak fluent French and has been spotted speaking Japanese and Portuguese.[12]

As Katya, McCook hosted a monthly drag show called "Perestroika" at the Jacques Cabaret.[13] Katya became known on the local drag scene in Boston for performing songs by popular Russian artists such as Alla Pugacheva, t.A.T.u. and Glukoza.

RuPaul's Drag Race[edit]

Katya had auditioned for RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo TV four times before being chosen to participate in season 7.[14] She is seen auditioning for the show back in Season 3's Casting Extravaganza. She won two challenges before being eliminated in episode 11, finishing in fifth place. The decision to eliminate her was controversial, as she was popular among viewers.[15] During the Season 7 reunion, she was voted Miss Congeniality by fans.

On May 16, 2016, Katya appeared at the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 to crown the next Miss Congeniality: Cynthia Lee Fontaine.

On June 17, 2016, Katya was announced as one of the cast members on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars[16] , where she was a runner-up along with fellow contestant Detox.

Other projects[edit]

Katya and Trixie Mattel in 2017

Katya has uploaded several web series on her YouTube channel, "welovekatya", including RuGRETs, RuFLECTIONS, Drag 101, Total RuCall, and Irregardlessly Trish, the last of which is about a Bostonian hairdresser who lives in a dumpster. Katya improvises some of her material and also writes with a creative partner, Avi Paul Weinstein.

In November 2015, Katya appeared on the Christmas Queens album, singing a modified version of the song "12 Days of Christmas".[17]

Katya also features in Trixie Mattel's album Homemade Christmas in the song "The Night Before Contact".[18]

Along with fellow Drag Race contestant Trixie Mattel, Katya co-hosted a web series on the World of Wonder YouTube channel called UNHhhh,[19] which debuted in March 2016. On August 21, 2017, it was announced that Katya and Trixie would have their own show on Viceland, titled The Trixie & Katya Show, which premiered on November 15, 2017.[20]

Katya had a role in the 2018 film Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia With Hate, directed by Matt Kugelman and starring Bianca del Rio in the lead role.

In 2018, Katya co-hosted a podcast called Whimsically Volatile with Craig MacNeil.[21] In November 2019, it was announced on the podcast that Katya will be leaving the show. [22]

In the fall of 2018, Katya and Trixie revitalized their web series UNHhhh on WOWPresents Plus as well as YouTube due to the overall popularity and success of the show.

In the spring 2019, Katya announced her touring comedy show, "Help Me I'm Dying". The tour was filmed for a comedy special of the same name that aired on OutTV in Canada in October 2019.[23] It was available on demand in February 2020 and aired on Logo TV on March 4, 2020.[24]

In November 2019, Katya and Trixie Mattel cohosted a new show on the Netflix Youtube channel called I Like to Watch where they react to various shows on Netflix.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2018, McCook announced a hiatus from drag for mental health reasons, and his comedy tour as Katya, "Help Me, I'm Dying", was postponed until spring 2019.[26][27] Returning to Twitter in March 2018, McCook announced that the tour would likely be renamed due to his recovery.[28]

On the March 20, 2018 episode of his podcast, Whimsically Volatile, McCook described his drag hiatus in detail, saying he had suffered a psychotic break after relapsing into the use of methamphetamines. He briefly returned to live with his family in Massachusetts before entering a rehabilitation center in Arizona.[29]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (in drag) Season 3 - Episode 1, audition clip
2015 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (in drag) Season 7 – placed 5th, won Miss Congeniality [30]
2015 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked Herself (in drag) Season 7
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (in drag) Season 8, Episode 10: "Grand Finale" [31]
2016 Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul Himself (panelist) Season 1, Episode 2: "Featuring Amber Rose" [32]
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars Herself (in drag) Season 2 – Runner-up [33]
2017 Playing House Herself (in drag) Season 3, Episode 8: "Reverse the Curse"
2017–2018 The Trixie & Katya Show Herself (in and out of drag) Host
2018 America's Next Top Model Herself (in drag) Cycle 24, Episode 6
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (in drag) Season 10, Episode 1
2018 Room 104 Season 2, Episode 3 "Swipe Right"
2019 Tales of the City Wedding officiator Episode: "Next Level Sh*t"
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race UK Herself Season 1, Episode 6
2020 AJ and the Queen Magda 1 episode
2020 Help Me, I'm Dying Herself Television Comedy Special [34]
2020 Love, Victor' Herself Season 1, Episode 8

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2015 RuFLECTIONS Herself (in drag) Chronicling her time on RuPaul's Drag Race season 7 [35]
RuGRETS [36]
Irregardlessly Trish Trish Series following one of her alter-egos, Trish [37]
Fashion Photo RuView Herself (in drag) Guest co-host for one episode (with Trixie Mattel) [38]
2016 I'm Not a Doctor, with Dr. Katya Produced by World of Wonder [39]
Drag 101 [40]
Total RuCall Chronicling her time on RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race season 2 [41]
2016–present UNHhhh Produced by World of Wonder, with Trixie Mattel [19]
2018 Fashion Photo RuView Guest co-host for four episodes (with Violet Chachki) [42][43]
2019 Runway Rewind Herself Guest co-host for four episodes (with Violet Chachki)
2019-present I Like to Watch Herself (co-host) Netflix YouTube show [44]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 Redmond Hand, Private Dick Informant Short film [45]
2017 Sebastian Xenia [46]
2018 Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia with Hate Katya/Mitya [47]
2018 The Quiet Room David Short film [48]
2019 Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts Herself Documentary
2019 The Queens Herself Documentary [49]
2019 Ru's Angels The Wig Snatcher Short film [50]


Album appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artist(s) Album Ref.
"Drag U" 2015 RuPaul RuPaul Presents: CoverGurlz 2 [51]
"12 Days of Christmas" Other RuPaul's Drag Race contestants Christmas Queens [52]
"Read U Wrote U" 2016 RuPaul featuring Katya, Alaska, Detox & Roxxxy Andrews Non-album single [53]
"Merry Christmas, It's Whateva" (as Trish) N/A Christmas Queens 2 [54]
"Bossa Nova Christmas in Outer Space" Jackie Beat [54]
"The Night Before Contact" 2017 Trixie Mattel Homemade Christmas

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Giving Body Category Work Results Ref.
2020 The Queerties Drag Royalty Herself Won [55]


  1. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star Katya Announces Drag Hiatus: 'Health Is the Most Important Thing for Me'". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "UNHhhh". YouTube.
  3. ^ Pandaraboyina, Vennela. "Queens, wigs, and RuPaul - Campus Times". Campustimes.org. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  4. ^ The Editors (June 10, 2019). "The Most Powerful Drag Queens in America: Ranking the new establishment". New York. New York Media, LLC. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Parks-Ramage, Jonathan. "Keeping up with Katya, the Russian Queen Racing Toward Fame". broadly.vice.com. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  6. ^ Infante, Victor D. "Marlboro-born performer Katya shoots for 'Drag Race' fame". telegram.com. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  7. ^ Episode 76 - Katya, retrieved December 15, 2016
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  13. ^ Oliver, Maria (April 29, 2011). "Night Watch: Perestroika". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  14. ^ Juengling, Konrad (March 6, 2015). "PQ MONTHLY GRILLS KATYA OF "RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE" SEASON 7". PQ Monthly. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  15. ^ Fallon, Kevin. "Justice for Katya: Inside the 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 7 Finale". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  16. ^ "RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race season 2 cast revealed — exclusive". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  17. ^ "Queens from RuPaul's Drag Race to Release a Holiday Album: Hear One of the Tracks". People Magazine. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  18. ^ Lopez, David (December 1, 2017). "Trixie Mattel Serves Up A 'Homemade Christmas' with Holiday Tracks". Instinct Magazine. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Trixie Mattel And Katya Are A Laugh Riot In Their New Web Series, "UNHhhh"". Next. March 25, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  20. ^ McHenry, Jackson. "RuPaul Contestants Trixie Mattel and Katya Are Getting Their Own Show, Honey". Vulture.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  21. ^ Daw, Stephen (March 21, 2018). "'Drag Race' Star Katya Reveals She Attended Rehab During Hiatus on New Podcast 'Whimsically Volatile'". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
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  24. ^ Rudolph, Christopher (February 26, 2020). ""Drag Race" Legends Laugh It Up on Logo With New Comedy Specials". NewNowNext. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  25. ^ "Trixie and Katya Just Launched a New Show for Netflix". www.out.com. November 21, 2019.
  26. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race star Katya to take a break from drag after opening up about mental health". PinkNews. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  27. ^ "Read Katya's heartfelt message to fans after postponing tour dates". Gay Times. January 18, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  28. ^ "Katya on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  29. ^ Kelly, Emma (March 23, 2018). "Drag Race star Katya had 'complete psychotic break from reality' on crystal meth".
  30. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race recap: season seven, episode one – the devil wears nada". The Guardian. March 3, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  31. ^ "Red Carpet Fashion: RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 Los Angeles Finale". Qweerty. May 11, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  32. ^ "Gay For Play Game Show Starring RuPaul Featuring Amber Rose". Logo. April 12, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  33. ^ "RuPaul All Stars Announcement". Twitter. June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  34. ^ Rudolph, Christopher (February 26, 2020). ""Drag Race" Legends Laugh It Up on Logo With New Comedy Specials". NewNowNext. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  35. ^ "RuFLECTIONS with Katya". welovekatya on YouTube. March 4, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  36. ^ "RuGRETS with Katya". welovekatya on YouTube. March 4, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  37. ^ "Irregardlessly Trish". welovekatya on YouTube. May 20, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  38. ^ WOWPresents (December 31, 2015). Trixie & Katya's Fashion Photo RuView, RuView of Raja & Raven (YouTube video). Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  39. ^ "I'm Not A Doctor". WOWPresents on YouTube. March 7, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  40. ^ "Drag 101 with Katya". welovekatya on YouTube. February 16, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  41. ^ "Total RuCall - Episode 01 - We Love Katya". welovekatya on YouTube. August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  42. ^ WOWPresents (August 18, 2018). FASHION PHOTO RUVIEW: Sarah Paulson Red Carpet with Violet Chachki & Katya! (YouTube video). Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  43. ^ WOWPresents (September 1, 2018). FASHION PHOTO RUVIEW: Taylor Swift Red Carpet with Violet Chachki & Katya! (YouTube video). Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  44. ^ Nolfi, Joey (November 21, 2019). "Trixie Mattel, Katya critique The Crown in new Netflix comedy series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  45. ^ "Redmond Hand, Private Dick. A Film by The Selby". Vimeo.com. October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2018 – via Vimeo.
  46. ^ "Get Your Tickets Now". Insideout.ca. Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  47. ^ "Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate". IMDb.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  48. ^ "'Drag Race' Alums Alaska and Katya to Star in Upcoming Horror Film 'The Quiet Room'". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  49. ^ Guerrero, Desiree (August 30, 2019). "Alaska Shines in New Drag Documentary". Advocate. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  50. ^ Nolfi, Joey (November 8, 2019). "Kristen Stewart, Charlie's Angels fight evil with RuPaul's Drag Race queens in new short film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  51. ^ "RuPaul Presents CoverGurlz2". iTunes.apple.com. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  52. ^ "Christmas Queens". iTunes.apple.com. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  53. ^ "RuPaul Announces New Single "Read U Wrote U"". Idolator.com. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  54. ^ a b "Christmas Queens 2 by Various Artists on Apple Music". iTunes.apple.com. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  55. ^ "'The 2020 Queerties". Cheat Sheet. February 28, 2020.

External links[edit]