Katya performing in March 2015
Brian Joseph McCook|
May 1, 1982
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (Russian: Екатерина Петро́вна Замоло́дчикова), often known mononymously as Katya (Russian: Катя), is the drag persona of Brian Joseph McCook (born May 1, 1982), an American drag queen, actor and comedian. Katya is best known as a contestant on the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race and 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 Trixie Mattel.
A native of Marlborough, Massachusetts, McCook graduated from Marlborough High School in 2001 and attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he studied video and performance art in the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) program, where he first became interested in drag. He has an older brother and a younger sister. He is of Irish ancestry and was raised Catholic.
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. When creating his drag character, McCook stated that he was inspired by "female comedians and just funny interesting women like Tracy Ullman, Maria Bamford [and] Amy Sedaris." 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." McCook is not Russian himself, but took several Russian language courses and used a cassette tape called "Pronounce It Perfectly" to master the accent.
As Katya, McCook hosted a monthly drag show called "Perestroika" at the Jacques Cabaret. 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
Katya had auditioned for RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo TV four times before being chosen to participate in season 7. 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. During the Season 7 reunion, she was voted Miss Congeniality by fans.
On June 17, 2016, Katya was announced as one of the cast members on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars. Along with Detox, she ultimately placed as a runner-up to winner Alaska Thunderfuck.
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.
Along with fellow Drag Race contestant Trixie Mattel, Katya co-hosted a web series on the World of Wonder YouTube channel called UNHhhh, 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.
As of 2018, Katya currently co-hosts a podcast called Whimsically Volatile with Craig MacNeil.
|2015||RuPaul's Drag Race||Himself (contestant)||Season 7 – placed 5th, won Miss Congeniality|||
|2016||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself (in drag)||Season 8, Episode 10: "Grand Finale"|||
|2016||Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul||Himself (panelist)||Season 1, Episode 2: "Featuring Amber Rose"|||
|2016||RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars||Himself (contestant)||Season 2 – Runner-Up|||
|2017||Playing House||Herself (in drag)||Season 3, Episode 8: "Reverse the Curse"|
|2017–present||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|
|2015||Untucked||Herself (in drag)||Online sister show to RuPaul's Drag Race|||
|RuFLECTIONS||Chronicling her time on RuPaul's Drag Race season 7|||
|Irregardlessly Trish||Trish||Series following one of her alter-egos, Trish|||
|Fashion Photo RuView||Herself (in drag)||Guest co-host for one episode (with Trixie Mattel)|||
|2016||I'm Not a Doctor, with Dr. Katya||Herself (in drag)||Produced by World of Wonder|||
|Total RuCall||Chronicling her time on RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race season 2|||
|2016–2017||UNHhhh||Produced by World of Wonder, with Trixie Mattel|||
|2016||Redmond Hand, Private Dick||Informant||Short film|||
|2018||Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia with Hate||Katya/Mitya|||
|2018||The Quiet Room||David|||
|"Drag U"||2015||RuPaul||RuPaul Presents: CoverGurlz 2|||
|"12 Days of Christmas"||Other RuPaul's Drag Race contestants||Christmas Queens|||
|"Read U Wrote U"||2016||RuPaul featuring Katya, Alaska, Detox & Roxxxy Andrews||Non-album single|||
|"Bossa Nova Christmas in Outer Space"||Jackie Beat||Christmas Queens 2|||
|"The Night Before Contact"||2017||Trixie Mattel||Homemade Christmas|
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. Returning to Twitter in March 2018, McCook announced that the tour would likely be renamed due to his recovery.
On the March 20 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 methamphetamine. He briefly returned to live with his family in Massachusetts before entering a rehabilitation center in Arizona.
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- . Vimeo, 2016
- "Sebastian". Inside Out Film and Video Festival, 2017.
- . IMDB, 2018
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- "Christmas Queens". iTunes. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
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- "Christmas Queens 2 by Various Artists on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "RuPaul's Drag Race star Katya to take a break from drag after opening up about mental health". PinkNews. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
- "Read Katya's heartfelt message to fans after postponing tour dates". Gay Times. 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
- "Katya on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
- Kelly, Emma (March 23, 2018). "Drag Race star Katya had 'complete psychotic break from reality' on crystal meth".
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