Miss Kentucky Elle Smith won the Miss USA pageant Monday evening.
On Monday night, Miss Kentucky USA 2021 won the title Miss USA 2021 at the River Spirit Casino Resort Tulsa in Oklahoma.
Elle Smith, 23, is a journalist for WHASTV in Louisville. In May 2020, she graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She also has a minor in politics.
Elle Smith will be competing as Miss USA in the 2021 Miss Universe pageant on December 12 in Eilat. Israel.
— University of Kentucky (@universityofky) November 30, 2021
Elle Smith was crowned by Miss USA 2020 Asya Leaf at Monday’s pageant. The event was televised on A&E Network’s FYI channel. Smith beat 50 contestants, which included Miss Alabama USA Alexandria Flanigan.
Flanigan (25) was not among the 16 semi-finalists who were announced Monday. Flanigan did not participate in the televised swimming suit, evening gown, or question-and-answer competitions. Miss USA does not offer a talent competition.
Jacks, 27, hails from Springville. She is a University of Alabama student who previously competed in the Miss Alabama pageant. It is affiliated with Miss America. Griffen, 25, graduated from Auburn University and participated in Miss Alabama’s pageant. Pettey is 27, a Decatur native. She is also an Auburn graduate.
Jacks, Griffen, and others were not in the top 16 at the Miss USA finals. Pettey finished in the top 8 but was not among the top four.
Miss North Dakota USA Caitlyn Vogt was the runner-up at the pageant. Ashley Bareto from Florida came in third. Miss Illinois USA, Sydni Bennett, took fourth place.
Smith is beginning a yearlong reign of Miss USA with Los Angeles as her headquarters. “She will be involved in red carpet experiences as well as networking opportunities, professional photoshoots, speaking engagements, and many other activities throughout her reign,” states the Miss USA website. “She will have the chance to promote her platform along with the charitable alliances that the Miss USA Organization offers.”
Here’s Smith’s biographical statement for Miss USA.
“I view being a journalist in America today a privilege, and it’s a job I take very seriously as it is so crucial to our society. Although each day is challenging and different, it allows me to connect with my community to learn new perspectives.
“I love to travel, try new restaurants, and learn to cook. Being raised in an environment rich with all kinds of arts, I would consider myself creative. My father is an artist, so I’m passionate about photography, videography, modeling, and other related fields (hello, future career). My mother is a classically trained pianist, so I sang, played the viola and piano. My late grandmother, who was tragically killed by cervical cancer in 2015, has made music an integral part of my family’s life. She inspired me and made it possible for me to be a voice for the prevention and awareness of cervical cancer. I am Miss USA.
Smith becoming Miss Universe will give the Miss USA title to her first runner-up.
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