Mariah Paris Balenciaga is the stage name of Elijah Kelly, a drag queen, hairstylist, makeup artist and performer from Atlanta, Georgia.

Mariah competed on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3, where she was eliminated 5th, placing 9th in the competition overall. She was known on the show for her grace, poise, elegance, her fashion sense, her wit, and her beauty.

Drag Name Origin

Mariah was given to her by the father of the House of Armani who recruited her in the ballroom scene. It rhymes with her boy name Elijah so it was easy for her to remember. She was Mariah Armani and then Mariah Balenciaga when she became one of the founding members of the House of Balenciaga. Paris is from her drag family name.

RuPaul's Drag Race

Mariah was eliminated in the 6th episode of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3. The main challenge was for the queens to do their best celebrity impersonations in the Snatch Game. Mariah chose to impersonate Joan Crawford. She was critiqued for being too toned down and too quiet to be Joan Crawford. The queens and the judges both thought the makeup was too harsh.

Mariah was put in the bottom two with Delta Work. Delta outshined Mariah in the performance because Mariah also didn't know the lyrics to the song.

Memorable Quotes

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  • "My name is Mariah, aka Mariah Paris, aka Mariah Successful."
  • "Her look is definitely not polished, it's definitely not fabulous; it's almost as if I went into my granny's trunk in the attic." (in reference to Raja's cyclops hat entrance.)
  • "When it comes to going out in drag in the day time, I'm good. 'Cause baby, if it's right, it's right."
  • I'm tired of seeing patches and blotches of highlight here and there. No, ma'am!. Girl smooth that shit out, blend it out." (referring to Shangela in Untucked Season 3, Episode 2. "Queen in Space".)
  • "I look like I got like, fix-a-flat in my face?"
  • "You know what? I have thick skin, but that is your one free pass bitch!"
  • "I'm the Milk-Maid."
  • "Prepare to gag on my eleganza! (as Boobarella in Season 3, Episode 2 challenge" Queens in Space".)
  • "A pineapple gown with glitter on it, bitch!" "Give me my pocketbook I'm leaving." (referring to Manila Luzon's iconic pineapple gown in Untucked.)
  • "Were you really born a genetic woman?" (to Kristen Cavallari in Episode 3 "QNN News")
  • "Um, I'm in the bottom 3 and I'm still just pretty.... next on news at 10!" (to Raja in Snatch Game Untucked.)
  • "Mug4dayz."
  • "Elephant shoe, Honey..*Laugh*, cantaloupe, and shalabalabatuna."(referring to her not knowing the words to Jody Watley's "Looking for a New Love."
  • "I saw the fishnets and they were ripped." (to Shangela referring to Mimi Imfurst.)
  • "I'm feeling entertained, amused" "Its gonna be hell getting the bags back home" (after her elimination).
  • "I'm Shannel and I wear costumes" (About Shannel's outfit in Drag-U)


  • She started doing drag at 18 years old during a Halloween party.
  • Out of drag, Elijah is very relaxed.
  • Mariah is a hairstylist full time out of drag.
  • She is sometimes confused with San Francisco drag queen Mahlae Balenciaga.[1]
  • Mariah appeared in two episodes of RuPaul's Drag U, season 2.
  • Mariah is a frequent guest on Kimora Blac's show "Wait, What?". She has also been a guest multiple times on Fashion Photo RuView, filling in for Raja or Raven.
  • She was on the US and UK versions of "Lip Sync Battle", performing with Rita Ora and Nico Tortorella.
  • She was also an extra in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
  • She was in the music videos for Lizzo's "Juice" and Aly & AJ's "Star Maps".
  • She is rumored to be a contestant on All Stars 5.


Season 3 Looks

Follow Mariah



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