Katya Zamolodchikova is a very busy woman. Hailing from the narrow, dim streets of the Soviet town of Boston, Massachusetts, Katya brought a unique blend of glamour, humor and filth to season seven of RuPaul's Drag Race, and has since traveled the world performing. Her humor is exemplified by her outstanding YouTube Channel, WeLoveKatya, which she updated weekly while the show aired with recaps she called "RuGrets." There's also "RuFlections," a series of spoken word shorts, in which Katya delivers lines like, "I want a boyfriend who wears his skin nice and loose, like a cape." Katya embodies filth to be sure, but so does Trish, a trashy American sort of version of Katya who sometimes lives in a dumpster, and looks like the type of woman who gets in arguments with cashiers at the dollar store.
Katya placed fifth in the competition and also won Miss Congeniality, an indication of just how much she resonated with fans. I also have it on good authority that she got such a huge round of applause from the audience at the taping of the reunion show that they had to do another take of her entrance. Russian transvestite hookers may have been popular in the United States before, but never quite like Katya. I caught up with her as she was wrapping up her recent tour of Brazil, and finally got some answers to my most burning questions.
What is your favorite quality of Russian women?
It's hard to choose just one. Large, sturdy teeth that sit elegantly in the mouth and an unreasonably superstitious attitude toward romance.
You've said that exercise has always been a part of your life since you were a child. What specific workout do you think is the most important?
Well I've always loved yoga because you get to connect to a deep religious truth while stretching your legs. I've done everything -- weight-lifting, pilates, crossfit, martial arts, gymnastics, but I think the most important work out, at least for me these days, is a mental one. I try to do at least one thing that scares me each day. The anxiety that this creates decreases my appetite, so I stay thin and don't have to work out.
Many of your fans refer to you as Mom. Is that because you remind them of Allison Janney on her hit sitcom Mom?
I think many of my fans are orphans and they are probably desperate for a nurturing, maternal figure in their lives. I am not this figure--I am a grown man, although I am completely passable as a woman in drag. The term 'mom' in fan culture means that you "give the fans life" so it's a great compliment. But the only thing i don't like about it is that it desexualizes me. No one wants to fuck their mom. (Besides me. Hi, Mom.)
You once told RuPaul that you wanted to stuff all of her hair in your mouth. What would you imagine her hair smells like?
It would probably smell like the title of a soft-core Cinemax porno movie, if that makes any sense. Like "Illicit Affairs" or "The Sexperiment" or "Carnal Confessions" etc.
Your YouTube channel is truly amazing. How much of the material is written in advance, and how much do you improvise?
Thank you so much! My channel is my baby. Some women have babies, I have a YouTube channel. And Avi Paul Weinstein, my good friend and creative partner, is the Dad. Some of the stuff is written in advance, but a lot of it is improvised. The entire series "RuGrets" was improvised, same with "Irregardlessly Trish," but "RuFlections" was written beforehand. Avi writes a lot of it too, because sometimes I am very lazy and procrastinate. He also directs and edits the videos. He is a genius and a non-practicing Jew.
Trish and Katya meet on the street - what do they talk about?
The vast, oppressive, stifling expectations of modern womanhood. And Trish would probably ask Katya for 12 bucks to catch the bus to Quincy.
Something that most former Drag Race contestants have in common is the huge amount of time they spend in airports and on planes. What's your favorite part about traveling, and what part do you dislike the most?
I still have not figured out a way to maximize the time I spend in airports and on planes. I am writing this in an airport, so I guess that's a start. I'd like to maybe do a series of social experiments, just for my own information. Like, go up to people and ask "Excuse me, sir, why does my daughter hate me?" and hold up a picture of a dead dog. Just to see what happens, and connect with the public. Traveling can be very lonely, especially because I don't usually bring an assistant. A lot of the girls bring an assistant to their gigs, but I don't need one. I am an independent woman who knows how to do drag. But it does get lonely sometimes.
What is the strangest gift you have ever received from a fan?
At a meet and greet in a nightclub in Texas a girl who looked about 15 years old gave me a VHS copy of Adventures in Babysitting and she whispered in my ear that it's really just home movie footage of her dad practicing judo. Then she stuck her middle finger in her mouth and walked away.
Who is your favorite Russian pop singer that most Americans have never heard of, and what song by them should everyone listen to right away?
I have a lot of favorites, but I feel like a lot of Americans could get into Glukoza. She has a song called "Schveine" that's really good and could probably be played on the radio here.
Russia's extremely rich literary history is one of the country's proudest qualities. What piece of Russian literature best describes your vagina?
Mayakovsky's "The Bedbug."
Rumor has it that Putin is a huge fan of drag, and you have personally "entertained" him on more than one occasion. Is there anything about Vladamir that you think would surprise the American public?
Not many people know that his skin is a synthetic rubbery substance stretched over an electronic skeleton.
Russian culture is full of fun superstitions. For instance, my neighbor growing up always told my female best friend that she should never sit on the floor unless she wanted to be infertile. Do you have a favorite Russian superstition?
Never carry an empty bucket, unless you want to be sodomized by the ghosts of your ancestors.
Do you have any words of advice for your young fans who aspire to also be Russian bisexual transvestite hookers when they grow up?
Brush your teeth, do your stretches, and don't read the news or watch TV. Ignorance is not only bliss, but it keeps the skin tight and fresh.