Fellow Waterloo Warrior Kyne Santos has been making waves recently. Not only is she a verified TikTok superstar with 721.2K followers and over 12 million likes, but also a competitor on the hit CraveTV show Canada’s Drag Race, the reality-competition series inspired by Rupaul’s Drag Race where aspiring queens of drag go head-to-head in weekly challenges to be crowned ‘Canada’s Drag Superstar.’
We got to sit down and have a conversation with the queen herself—while respecting social distancing, of course—to get the scoop on her Drag Race run as well as her life as a UWaterloo student.
How was your experience on Canada’s Drag Race?
Canada’s Drag Race was lots of fun! Obviously, it didn’t go as I planned; I planned to go all the way. But I made lots of friends there, and just being on that show was a life experience, so it was something I got to cross off my bucket list.
How did taping work? Was the entire season taped before the pandemic, or are they still competing as we speak?
Oh no, everything was taped beforehand. There is no way it could be done now!
So what you’re saying is that a winner has been crowned already?
I don’t know! *giggles* It’s all shrouded in a cloud of glitter and mystery.
We have something in common, which is that we’re both UW undergrads, what program are you in?
I am a 4B student majoring in Math Finance, the regular stream though. I started out in the co-op stream, but then I realized I didn’t feel prepared to start working. That gave me more time to pursue my own hobbies, which is obviously dragged. I am glad!
What are some of your favourite courses that you’ve taken?
I really enjoyed Real Analysis [PMATH 351], Measure and Integration [PMATH 451], and Intro to Optimization [CO25] with Levent Tuncel, which is a course that I didn’t think I would love. It challenges you to think mathematically in a way that you weren’t used to—also Linear Algebra [MATH 136] with Dan Wolczuk. Everyone talks about him being a great prof, and everything you hear about him is true. He’s lots of fun!
Outside of the math faculty, I took Intro to Legal Studies [LS101], and that was interesting and eye-opening for sure! I’ve taken a lot of economic courses, ECON212, which is Game Theory, is really interesting!
Were you involved in any clubs or societies?
Not too much. In my first few years, I was in FSA, the Filipino Student Association. And then I was in the UW Drag Club for quite some time. I was more involved in my first couple of years, but lately, I haven’t been too involved in extracurriculars. I just go to school to go to class.
If you were to be back on campus in Fall, where would Drag Race and Kyne fans find you?
I would either be in MC at the C+D or the DC library. Those are my favourite spots to study for sure! Or an underrated spot to study is in M3, they have study rooms there and it’s super quiet. It’s such a nice building; there’s not a lot of people, it’s a hidden gem!
I think I already know the answer to this, but just to confirm, what spot on campus has the best coffee?
I actually don’t know! I don’t drink hot coffee, I’m a water drinker. But I can get into a Tim Horton’s iced coffee or an iced-capp.
What is your go-to study snack on campus?
$2 ramen noodles at MC’s C+D! I try not to eat too much when I’m at school because I am trying to save that coin so I can pay for all of these wigs. Still, if I want to treat myself, I will go to Tim Hortons and get a bacon B.E.L.T. on an everything bagel with an iced capp!
How does it feel to be graduating soon?
I have to return in the fall to take a couple more credits, but I am excited! I am excited to move onto another chapter in my life. I had lots of fun at university, and I have lots of good memories there. It’s bittersweet!
Reflecting on the past few years as a Waterloo undergrad, do you have any advice for current and incoming students?
Make the most of it! This is a great time to make friends and connections. These are going to be some of the most interesting years of your life, so just make the most of it.
We want to know, from Queen Kyne herself, what is the best bubble tea spot in Waterloo?
Sweet Dreams Tea Shop! I love that place!
You can check out Kyne on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok (where she posts glittery and easy to understand math tutorials) @onlinekyne. Her journey on Canada’s Drag Race may be over, but she still makes us at UWaterloo proud.