‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Queens React To Katya Taking A Break From Drag

Adam Salandra

Katya Zamolodchikova became an instant fan favorite during Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and gained even more popularity in 2016 during All Stars 2. While viewers became obsessed with her quick wit and quirky personality, they also fell in love with her vulnerability after she openly discussed her struggle with substance abuse and mental health.

It’s those struggles that have caused Katya, real name Brian McCook, to take a break from portraying her Russian drag character in order to focus on self-care. She recorded an Instagram video on Tuesday explaining to fans that she needed a hiatus from her busy drag life for the sake of her mental health.

“I’m tired, I’m exhausted, my brain doesn’t work anymore because of the drugs, because of all the gigs,” she said. “I need to take vacations, like a normal person.” (Don’t worry, though.The Trixie & Katya Show will still return to Viceland on January 24.)

Although Katya has since deleted her social media accounts, there’s been an outpouring of support from her fellow queens across all platforms.

Pearl, who appeared on Season 7 alongside Katya, sent her “good vibes” over Instagram, sharing that she can relate to “the deterioration of her mental health.”

“Let me tell you, there’s a long road from home to the stage and it can be dark and bleak and nobody is there to hold your hand through it or at least warn you,” Pearl said. “It’s not just dealing with the death of your hair and skin, relationships, personal space and the lack of sleep…What is a bit harder to explain is why you have to add extra hours to your makeup routine because at some point you’ll need to stop and cry for no particular reason.”

We’re happy Katya is taking the time she needs to take care of herself and wish her the best during her hiatus.

Adam Salandra
Adam Salandra is an Entertainment Editor for FANDOM. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog pup or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
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