University of Waterloo’s math student vying to become Canada’s first drag superstar and win $100,000
University of Waterloo’s fourth-year student, Kyne Santos, will be a contestant on Canada’s Drag Race
University of Waterloo’s fourth-year student, Kyne Santos, will be a contestant on Canada’s Drag RaceBy Ryon Jones Faculty of Mathematics
The reality television competition series, which premieres tonight, Thursday, July 2, is based on the American series RuPaul’s Drag Race and tests the contestants on acting, dancing, branding, improv, performance, sewing and everything a drag queen does in their career.
Santos, the most followed Canada’s Drag Race contestant with 62K followers, has been doing drag for the past three years and is happy for the opportunity to showcase his talent to a global audience.
“I feel excited and nervous! TV is full of fans’ favourites and villains, and you never know how viewers are going to feel about the program. I hope people like me! I hope I can be memorable, entertaining, and make my fans proud,” Santos says. “I think I possess a really diverse skill set, because I’m a good dancer, singer, seamstress and I’m not afraid to make a fool out of myself.”
The 22-year-old is no stranger to performing for the camera. He has been posting on YouTube for the past seven years, treating his 110K subscribers to videos about sewing, wig styling and makeup with plans to diversify in the future.
Santos, a Mathematical Finance major, continues to grow in popularity online thanks to the TikTok math videos he has been posting in drag every day for the past two months, which Yahoo’s web page has featured.
“I’ve secretly wanted to make math videos for a long time on YouTube because I’m a nerd, and I’m passionate about math communication and getting the youth to love math as much as I do,” Santos reveals. “But most people are math-phobic, so I figured the short-form video format on TikTok was a good way to deliver it because it’s short and campy and most importantly forces me to be very concise with how I teach things, which people really appreciate.”
Santos, one of the winners of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship in 2016, is enjoying his time at Waterloo where he is making new friends and learning from his professors.
“I love the friends I’ve made in my program because they’ve inspired me in my pursuit in math,” Santos says. “I also loved taking Linear Algebra, Combinatorics and Optimization, Game Theory and Measure Theory. Those courses challenged me and enriched me in the best way.”