Kentucky’s Elle Smith crowned Miss USA 2021

30 Nov 2021 | Angelique Reyes

Miss USA 2021 was the 70th Miss USA pageant, held on 29tth November 2021 at the Paradise Cove Theater of River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where stunning delegates from all over the States competed for the national title and the opportunity to represent USA at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant. At the end of the event, Miss USA 2020 Asya Danielle Branch crowned Elle Smith of Kentucky as Miss USA 2021.

The competition was hosted by Zuri Hall and Patrick Ta, while Nicole Adamo served as a lounge host. This was the second consecutive year that the pageant was broadcast on FYI, and the first to be streamed live on Hulu. The edition marked the first year of the competition under Crystle Stewart's directorship.


Miss USA 2021 Elle Smith


Miss USA 2021 Elle Smith’s court includes –

First runner-up – Caitlyn Vogel of North Dakota

Second runner-up – Ashley Carino of Florina

Third runner-up – Sydni Bennett of Illinois

The newly crowned queen is a 23 years-old  broadcast journalism graduate from the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Media and currently works as a news reporter in WHAS11 Louisville and covers stories throughout southern Indiana. As a Wildcat, she was the vice president of UK’s National Association of Black Journalists chapter, a reporter for the UK Student News Network and a videographer for UK Athletics and SEC Network.



A post shared by Miss USA (@missusa)


Elle previously shared that her participation in pageants doesn't take away from her professionalism as a journalist, even though some may be quick to criticize. "There's always going to be people who think pageants exploit people, that they only show brainless beauties," she said. She doesn't let that negativity bother her. Instead, she said she finds strength and confidence in what she does.

Last year, Asya Branch, representing Mississippi was crowned Miss USA 2020, who represented USA at Miss Universe 2020, earlier this year and secured a strong position among the Top 21 at the end of the event. This year, Elle Smith will succeed Asya to represent the United States at Miss Universe 2021, the 70th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to be held on 12th December 2021 in Eilat, Israel where the reigning queen Andrea Meza of Mexico will crown her successor at the end of the event.