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Born in 1982 in the city of Boston, Katya Zamolodchikova is the stage name of Brian Joseph McCook, who is best known as an American drag queen. The performer first shot to fame when she took part in the seventh season of the TV show, RuPaul's Drag Race, a programme that first aired in 2015. During that reality show, Zamolodchikova was voted as Miss Congeniality. Overall, she was placed fifth in the series. A creation of reality TV, the drag queen chose to return to the format when she took part in the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, a spin-off show. She finished in the finals of that production. Since then, Zamolodchikova has hosted her own web show, called UNHhhh, alongside her fellow Drag Race contender, Trixie Mattel. The show is webcast on the World of Wonder YouTube channel and has obtained tens of millions of viewers around the world.
Katya Zamolodchikova's career
As a child, McCook attended the Marlborough High School in Massachusetts, later going on to study at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. It was during this course that McCook got interested in performance and video production, developing an interest in drag queen characterisations. Soon, the Russian drag character Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova was born, apparently named after some genuine Russian gymnasts. Later, Yekaterina was shortened to Katya. Studying the Russian language to perfect her stern intonation, Zamolodchikova was awarded the host's job at a frequent drag queen night called Perestroika, held at the Jacques Cabaret.
Citing the likes of female performers such as Tracy Ullman, Maria Bamford and Amy Sedaris as influencing her humour, Zamolodchikova went on to make a name for herself in reality TV. Afterwards, she returned to live performance work, mostly in her home city of Boston. Here, she honed an act that ostensibly was about singing popular Russian songs, but which offered her an opportunity to interact with the audience and use her withering put-downs to great effect.
Along with her cabaret work, Zamolodchikova went on to write and develop a one-woman show, named Help Me, I'm Dying, which centred on humorous episodes from her life as a drag queen. The show, as well as her cabaret performances, have transferred well around the world. Zamolodchikova has taken to the stage in countries such as Brazil and Australia before, for example. In 2017, Zamolodchikova appeared as a character named Xenia in a movie called Sebastian, directed by James Fanizza.
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