There is a reason that Katya snagged the Miss Congeniality award at the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” finale. From her initial cool Russian exterior to her showing a much deeper part of herself, Katya became loved my one and all for her outrageous personality and personality that was willing to “go there.” She sat down with SFGN to chat about the immense support she is receiving from her fans, her love for Violet Chachki, and what word in Russian would describe the entire “Drag Race” experience.
Many people were sad to see you go and thought you would go all the way to the Final Three! How did if feel to “sashay away” after being in the Top Five?
At the time I was ready to go, but now I’m sad. You never really know how you’re going to come across until the show airs and how people will react, and I’ve never anticipated this type of reaction, so it’s definitely a bummer. When I was there though, I was definitely ready to go.
How would you describe exactly what Katya is and where she comes from?
From like, a Siberian dumpster! I don’t really know, I think that the longer I do drag the worse I get at describing myself!
Are you actually fluent in Russian? The moment you hit the air you brought a sense of “Russian Doll Realness” to the competition.
I’m not; but I probably should say I am…so YES I am! [laughs]. I am pretty good at it, because I took lessons for a while, but I’m pretty rusty now.
You saw so many of the girls go before you, and got to have so much of a full experience. From casting through the time you left, what do you think was your favorite part?
I think challenge-wise, the John Waters challenge was my absolute favorite. He is such a complete hero of mine in so many ways. That was also the only challenge I wasn’t nervous for, and just had one hundred percent fun and was confident in. The other thing was that I really never expected to like any of the girls. I genuinely adore all of them, I really do, I love them. I am really curious to see who wins, honestly.
Much of what makes the contestants on “Drag Race” so engaging is the personal journeys that each of them have taken. You spoke very candidly about your struggle with sobriety, both to the camera in confessionals and to fellow contestant Miss Fame. Do you regret discussing that on camera?
I really don’t have any boundaries or any filters. That’s kind of how I cope with things, by talking about it, so I just really needed to do it. When I got home I was so embarrassed that I shared all that stuff, but it was real so what are you gonna do?
What has been the reaction to you sharing your personal issues on television?
It’s been incredible. People who are anxious people, who suffer from anxiety, things like that; the support has really been incredible.
You now have a tremendous platform to speak to such a large audience. What’s next for Katya?
Right now, I’m planning a bunch of just straight up performance gigs, and I’m writing a solo show and also working on another YouTube video series. It’s definitely a lot of content production!
If you had to sum up your entire “RuPaul’s Drag Race” experience, what do you think it would be?
Overwhelming. In both positive and negative ways, between the experience there and coming home. Watching home it is so overwhelming positive.
In Russian, what do you think Katya would say it would be?