Miss Kentucky Elle Smith has been crowned the winner of Miss USA 2021

·2 min read
Miss USA Elle Smith
Miss Kentucky Elle Smith is the new Miss USA.Felipe Espinal/Miss USA
  • Miss Kentucky Elle Smith, 23, was crowned the new Miss USA on Monday night.

  • Smith spoke about honesty and sustainability during the pageant's question and answer round.

  • She works full-time as a reporter and said being a journalist is "a role I take very seriously."

The next Miss USA is a proud journalist from Kentucky.

Elle Smith took the crown on Monday night at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Smith was crowned by Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch, and will go straight to Israel to compete at the Miss Universe pageant on December 12.

Miss USA Elle Smith
The moment Smith found out she won the crown.Felipe Espinal/Miss USA

During the Miss USA question and answer round, Smith revealed that her "most important core value" was honesty.

She also spoke on sustainability and encouraging businesses to be more environmentally conscious.

"We've got to look at it from a macro and also a micro level," Smith said. "So at the macro level, companies need to switch to green energy — I think that's something we can all agree on."

Miss USA Elle Smith
Smith is a proud journalist.Felipe Espinal/Miss USA

"But then, at the micro level, we all know how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and those are all things we can implement in our daily life," she added.

Smith may seem like a seasoned pro, but she actually competed in her very first pageant just six months ago.

The 23-year-old got her first taste of the Miss USA stage on Sunday night during the State Costume Contest.

Kentucky: Elle Smith
Smith during the State Costume Contest.Felipe Espinal/Miss USA

She dressed as a jockey to honor the Kentucky Derby. The blue-and-white outfit also paid tribute to her alma mater, the University of Kentucky.

Smith graduated from the university in May 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism.

She currently works as a full-time reporter at WHAS, an ABC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky.

Miss USA Elle Smith
Smith will go straight to Israel to compete at the Miss Universe pageant.Felipe Espinal/Miss USA

In her Miss USA bio, Smith said that being a journalist in America today is "an honor and a role I take very seriously."

Smith also participated in musical theater for 10 years and plays both the viola and piano.

In her spare time, she advocates for cervical cancer awareness and prevention to honor her late grandmother.

Miss USA Elle Smith
Smith competed in her first pageant just six months ago.Felipe Espinal/Miss USA

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