We have a new MIss USA!
On Monday (November 29), Miss Kentucky Elle Smith took home the title of Miss USA 2021 at the annual pageant, which was held at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The 23-year-old journalist was crowned by Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch.
Smith will now represent the US in the Miss Universe pageant on December 12 in Eilat, Israel.
Ahead of her crowning, Smith wrote about her journey to the Miss USA stage on Instagram, captioning a headshot of herself, "A little over a year ago, I sat in bed and watched Miss USA. I remember watching (Miss New York Andreia Gibau), (Miss Ohio Stephanie Marie Miranda), (Miss Louisiana Mariah Clayton) and so many more incredible women grace the stage, and thinking, 'I want to be on that stage. I want to be like them.'" She added, "Crazy to think this is my official Miss USA headshot and I made that dream reality. Now, it’s game time."
Smith graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Kentucky in 2020. While a student at the university, she served as vice-president of the school's National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) chapter. She currently works as a full-time reporter at Louisville's WHAS11 News station, an ABC affiliate.