Shannel is the stage name of Bryan Watkins, a drag queen, character illusionist, makeup artist and showgirl from Las Vegas, Nevada. She was part of the Season 1 cast of RuPaul's Drag Race.

She was best known on RuPaul's Drag Race for her makeup artistry, her costumes, her body, for her tricks on the runway, and more iconically, speaking out to the judges about nominating herself for elimination.

Drag Origin

Shannel gets her inspiration from the pop artist and drags icon Cher. Her favorite song from Cher is "Believe".

Shannel usually does not watch much of the way from music videos, because most of her illusions are based on the women of yesteryear, which was before music videos existed.

In her introduction video for "Drag Race", she described herself as "exotic, ostentatious and flamboyant".

Her drag name comes from her first Siamese cat named Shannel. Bryan thought that it was suiting, sexy, and sensual.

RuPaul's Drag Race

Season Competed Season 1 All Stars 1
Ranking: 4th Place 3rd/4th Place
Mini-Challenges Won: 0 0
Times as Team Captain: 0 0
Times Placed High 2 (Eps. 2, 5) 1 (Ep. 2)
Main Challenges Won: 0 3 (Eps. 3, 4, 5)
Times Placed Low 1 (Ep. 4) 0
Times in Bottom: 2 (Eps. 3, 6) 1 (Ep. 1)
Episode Eliminated Episode 6 Episode 6

Season 1

Shannel was eliminated on episode 6, where the queens had to create three looks for the runway presentation which were Executive Realness look, a Swimsuit look and an Evening Gown Extravaganza look.

Each queen was assigned a color based on an Absolut Flavor by Nina Flowers, who had won the mini challenge. Shannel was assigned the Absolut Mandarin flavor, thus the color orange.

At that point in the season, it was evident the competition had started to take its toll on Shannel. Not only was it tiring for Shannel, but she felt she wasn't succeeding as much as she deserved in the competition. Throughout the season, Shannel had yet to win a mini-challenge or the main challenge.

At the final critiques of the episode, Shannel questioned the judges on their lack of praise for her overall performance on the show. When the queens were asked who deserved to go home, Shannel nominated herself aggravated by the lack of approval she seemed to receive from the judges.

Shannel and Rebecca Glasscock fell into the bottom two with Shannel being the one sent home.

All Stars 1

Shannel was announced to be one of the twelve queens who would be competing on the first season of All Stars. In the first episode, she and Chad Michaels chose each other as their partners. The team's name was Shad. The two of them have a history and friendship going back fifteen years at the airing of the season.

Memorable Quotes

  • "Holler!"
  • "I got a whole roll of duct tape with your name on it, kitten!" (to Ongina because she had to tuck)
  • "I am amazed at myself; In my mind... I've already won."
  • "I love you too baby. You're going down!" (to Rebecca after voting her to go home)
  • "Oprah, for me, is God." (to Bebe when preparing for the Oprah challenge)
  • "I'm here because I am a professional entertainer. I want to be able to give and create showmanship; for the world to be able to see that the art of drag is not about putting on a dress and prancing around. There is so much more in what we are and who we are, as men, and as well when we are women."
  • "Well hi there, I'm the delicious Miss Mandarin! [gasps] Mmmm! Thp Thp Thp Thp Thp (slurping noises)"
  • "I'm so glad you asked me this question! I nominate myself because I don't want to be here anymore." (nominating herself for elimination)
  • "Since day one, I have been judged really hard, and I'm very frustrated that you can't see the personality, Because I am so fucking real, you have no idea. And I don't feel that I am being understood here. I am beautiful. I'm a beautiful person internally and on the outside, and its so, so frustrating to me that that image does not seem to be conveyed. Week after week when we come into elimination round, I am so negatively critiqued." (nominating herself for elimination)
  • "That sounds so nice to hear." (after the judges' answer to her nomination)


  • When Bryan is not performing, he likes to sit down at home and watch the "Golden Girls" and "Roseanne".
  • One of Shannel's memorable performances was getting the opportunity to audition as the host for Cirque du Soleil's show "Zumanity". Out of 88 people, she was chosen to be in the top 5 to do the main audition on stage. She had the opportunity to walk on stage in an auditorium that seated almost 3,000 people and perform in Mugler's finest fashions using a million-dollar microphone.
  • In her shows, Shannel can do tricks such as juggling, tightrope and stilts.
  • Shannel is not only a drag queen but she is also a character illusionist. She can successfully create the illusions of many celebrities such as Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Cher, Dolly Parton, Madonna, Lucille Ball, Catwoman, the Evil Queen of Snow White, and even Boy George.
  • Shannel got eliminated on the same episode in two different seasons, being sent home in week 6 during both Season 1 and All Stars 1.
  • Shannel is the first queen to...
    • ...enter the Werk Room.
    • ...lose her wig during a lipsync.
    • 4th.
    • win three Maxi Challenges in an All Stars season without winning one in their original season.
  • She is the highest placing Season 1 queen to never win a main challenge in the season.
  • She lipsynced alongside Mayhem Miller during the Season 10 finale.
  • Shannel was a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race: Live in Las Vegas. Other contestants include Coco Montrese, Derrick Barry and India Ferrah.
  • Shannel is a interior design enthusiast.


Season 1 Looks

All Stars 1 Looks




Year Series Notes
2009RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 1
2010Halloween on 6th StreetDocumentary
2010RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 2 Episode: "The Main Event Clip Show" (Special guest)
2010The Arrangement
2010-2012RuPaul's Drag USeason 1, 2, and 3, 9 episodes
2012RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 4 Episode: "RuPocalypse Now!" (Zombie)
Episode: "RuPaul Rewind"
2012RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars: Season 1
2012RuPaul's Drag Race Untucked
2013RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 5 Episode: "Reunited!" (Audience)
2014RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 6 Episode: "The Finale" (Audience)
2016RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 8Episode: "Keeping It 100" (Special guest)
Episode: "Grand Finale"
2018RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 10 Episode: "10s Across the Board" (Archive footage)
Episode: "Grand Finale"

Music Videos

Year Song Song Artist Notes
2009"Cover Gir"RuPaulCameo
2013"Applause" (Lyric Video)Lady GagaCameo

Social Media


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