Top 10 Facts About Verka Serduchka
Andriy Mykhailovych Danylko, commonly known by his drag persona Verka Serduchka, is a Ukrainian pop and dance singer, actor, and comedian. There is a thin line between the two.
Verka is a robust middle-aged woman from the small town of Poltava who dances, sings, and makes unsavory remarks, and in 2007 won second place in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Here are the top 10 fun facts about Verka Serduchka.
1. He Started Performing In Childhood
Andriy, who plays Verka, was born on 2nd October 1973 to a working-class family. He comes from humble beginnings in Poltava, Ukraine.
He was largely raised by his mother, Svitlana Volkova, who came from the noble Khomentovsky family. He lost his father to lung cancer in 1980, at the age of seven years.
In 1991, he graduated from Poltava Secondary School No. 27 and later graduated from the Kyiv State College of Circus and Variety Arts.
Andriy was an amateur performer since childhood. His first performance was in 1991 at a humor contest in his hometown.
2. He is Multi-lingual
The character is applauded for a truthful interpretation of national culture and brilliant shows.
He is also known for his humor and ability to put his lyrics in foreign languages. Verka incorporates lyrics in English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, German, and some Mongolian words.
He dances, sings, and makes unsavory remarks. These, coupled with simplicity and positivity give him a universal appeal that people love.
3. Verka Was a Railroad Sleeping Car Attendant
Verka Serduchka is a flamboyant middle-aged woman from a rural family who works as a railroad sleeping car attendant. The character portrays a ‘specific type of working-class Ukrainian woman.’
Verka appeared publicly for the first time in a Poltava comedy competition on 4th January 1991. He invented the character’s name by combining a randomly picked first name Verka, and the last name of a former school classmate, Anna Serduk.
Other characters were developed after Verka like Verka’s mother, A police officer, a teacher, a soldier, and a female ballet dancer who perform together in Danylko Theater.
4. He Cross Dresses Just For The Character Verka
With a distinction between his stage persona and his personal life, Andriy does not cross-dress in his personal life. Cross-dressing is the practice of dressing in a manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex.
He only dresses as a female when in the character of Verka, one of Ukraine’s most famous drag queens, and not in his personal life.
5. He Was a Runner Up in Eurovision
Eurovision is the world’s most-watched live music production. In 2007, Verka was chosen by the Ukrainian people to represent the nation in Eurovision Song Contest performing the song “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”.
The song was sung in four languages, English, Ukrainian, German and Russian, with sprinkles of Mongolian slang.
Though Verka didn’t win, she came second and became a Eurovision icon. Afterward, she took part in the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest of 2011.
Verka was honored to announce results from the Ukrainian jury in 2016 during the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2017, when Ukraine hosted the contest, there was a series of short video clips entitled “Verkavision” with the fictional back story of Verka’s journey in Eurovision.
6. He is The Founder of “Danylko Theater”
As earlier stated, other characters were developed after Verka. Andriy then created the Danylko Theater.
In 2002, Danylko and his company toured the CIS and Baltic countries. Their program, which took the whole year, was known as “I am a Revolution.”
The following year after the Danylko, Theatre concert, “I Was Born For Love” was awarded the title of Honored Artist Of Ukraine.
7. Verka Once Hosted a Talk Show and Has Some Awards
Verka hosted a talk show called “SV-show”. SV stood for Spalnyy Vagon which means sleeping car. The show was hosted on Ukrainian television channels from the late 1990s to early 2000.
Verka abandoned the project because of the high demand for live performances. She has been honored severally. In 2003, Verka was honored with the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine. In 2007, Verka received the Barbara Dex Award for the worst outfit in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007.
8. The Actor Wanted to Vie for a Political Office But He Reconsidered
In 2007, Andriy announced that he would form a new political party, “For ours.” The idea was to run for a political seat during the parliamentary election that year.
Verka’s party “For Ours” was rated at 2% by public opinion and he gave up on the ambition. He bought a Rolls-Royce that once belonged to Freddie Mercury, with plans to donate it to a museum devoted to Mercury’s band, Queen.
9. Verka Has a Musical Side
When he is not Verka, Andriy enjoys a side career as an ambient piano musician. In 2005, he released the album Posle Tebya (After You), letting listeners see a different side of him.
Like his off-stage persona, the album is understated and solemn, in stark contrast to the pop and dance musical works of his scandalous alter-ego, Verka. He has managed to sell over 600,000 music records
10. Verka Has Appeared in Films
Verka makes cameo appearances in films such as Spy, Cinderella, Fair at Sorochyntsy, Evenings near Dikanka, Servant of the people, and The Snow Queen.