beauty pageants

Kentucky’s Elle Smith crowned Miss USA 2021 in Tulsa, Oklahoma


Ellen Elizabeth ‘Elle” Smith, 23, of Germantown, Kentucky, United States is Miss USA 2021. She was crowned by Miss USA 2020 Asya Danielle Branch, 23, of Mississippi, USA.

Hosted by Zuri Hall, Patrick Ta and Nicole Adamo, the Miss USA 2021 coronation night took place at the Paradise Cove Theater of the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA on November 29, 2021. It was the 70th edition of the national beauty pageant that selects the Miss Universe candidate of the U.S.

Including Smith, 51 candidates competed for the Miss USA 2021 crown. As the winner, the journalist from Germantown will represent the U.S. at Miss Universe 2021 in Eilat, Israel on December 12, 2021.

Runner-up to Smith was Caitlyn Vogel, 21,of Minot, North Dakota, USA. Ashley Carino, 27, of Kissimmee, Florida, USA was second runner-up and Sydni Bennett, 20, of Algonquin, Illinois, USA was third runner-up.


In 2019, Smith worked as a college associate in Fox News‘s bureau in Washington, D.C., USA. She also worked as a videography intern in Arkansas, USA and studied in Florence, Italy for a semester.

In May 2020, Smith graduated from the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Media in Lexington, Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science. She was the vice president of the university’s National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) chapter.

In October 2020, Smith started working as a reporter at WHAS11 News, an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Louisville. On May 22, 2021, she was crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2021 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky.

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