Miss Kentucky USA Elle Smith wins Miss USA 2021

Miss Kentucky USA Elle Smith bested 50 other contestants to be crowned Miss USA 2021 on Monday, November 29 at the Paradise Cove Theater of River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The 23-year-old reporter is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in broadcast journalism. She is the second woman from the state of Kentucky to win the national competition. 

Caitlyn Vogel of North Dakota finished first runner-up while Ashley Carino of Florida and Sydni Bennett of Illinois were named the second and third runners-up, respectively.

Maryland's Layilah Nasser, North Carolina's Madison Bryant, South Carolina's Marley Stokes, and Texas' Victoria Hinojosa completed the Top 8 finalists.

The rest of the Top 16 semi-finalists were from Kansas, Gracie Hunt, Louisiana, Tanya Crowe, Mississippi, Bailey Anderson, Nebraska, Erika Etzelmiller, South Dakota, Caroline Pettey, Tennessee, Elizabeth Pistole, Utah, JessiKate Riley, and Virginia, Christina Thompson.

The new Miss USA succeeds Asya Branch of Mississippi and will now represent the USA at the 70th Miss Universe competition in Eilat, Israel on December 12.

This was the second consecutive year that the pageant was broadcast on FYI, and the first to be streamed live on Hulu. The edition also marked the first year of the competition under Crystle Stewart's directorship.

Photos: Miss USA, Grant Foto

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