Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (Russian: Екатерина Петро́вна Замоло́дчикова), also known as Katya (Russian: Катя) or Katya Zamolodchikova, is the stage persona of Brian Joseph McCook (born May 1, 1982), an American drag queen and actor. Zamolodchikova is known for competing on the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race, during which she was voted Miss Congeniality and placed fifth. She later became a finalist on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars. Along with fellow Drag Race contestant Trixie Mattel, she hosted UNHhhh, a web series hosted on the World of Wonder YouTube channel that has amassed over 10 million views as of May 2017. After UNHhhh ended, she became co-host of "The Trixie and Katya Show" on Viceland.
A native of Marlborough, Massachusetts, McCook graduated from Marlborough High School 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, creating 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." Since then, McCook went on to take several Russian courses and mastered the harsh accent of most Russians using a cassette tape called "Pronounce It Perfectly." McCook is not Russian himself.
As Katya, McCook hosted a monthly drag show called "Perestroika" at the Jacques Cabaret.
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 in episodes six and ten, however, was eliminated in episode 11. The decision to eliminate her was controversial among fans of the show. 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 regularly performs in her hometown of Boston in several gay nightclubs. She typically performs songs of many popular Russian singers and bands, such as Alla Pugacheva, t.A.T.u., Glukoza. Because of her performances, these songs have drawn a lot of attention in these clubs. When asked what she planned on doing after the show, Katya stated that she will be doing a one-woman show, traveling the world and continuing creating new web series on her YouTube page. The one-woman show, "Help Me, I'm Dying," is currently being written by Zamolodchikova and will more than likely focus on her life and daily occurrences as a drag queen. Once she finishes with this project, Katya is hoping to start a short drag-based comedy sketch show inspired by "The Kids In the Hall", but with a more "Adult Swim" background. For now, Katya continues to travel the world and has had tours in Brazil and Australia with other drag queens such as Trixie Mattel and Willam Belli.
Katya has created several web series on her YouTube channel, "welovekatya", including RuGRETs, RuFLECTIONS, Drag 101, 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".
Katya has a show on the World of Wonder YouTube channel with fellow Drag Race contestant Trixie Mattel called UNHhhh, which debuted in March 2016. On August 21, 2017, it was announced that Katya and Trixie will have their own show on Viceland, titled The Trixie & Katya Show, which premiered on November 15, 2017.