Miss Kentucky Elle Smith Takes the Reign as 2021 Miss USA

The 23-year-old journalist and University of Kentucky graduate shakes in happiness as her name is announced as the winner of the 70th edition of the pageant show.

AceShowbiz - The new Miss USA is here. Miss Kentucky Elle Smith was named the winner in the 70th Miss USA pageant which was held on Monday, November 29, taking over the reign from Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch of Mississippi.

Elle was clearly surprised as Kentucky, the state she represented, was announced as the winner of the pageant show. Her legs appeared to give out as she almost dropped to the ground. She also screamed in excitement and her hands shook before she regained composure while her predecessor put the crown on her.

Elle beat out 50 other contestants from the 50 states and District of Columbia for the 2021 Miss USA title. Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez made history as the first openly transgender woman to compete in the pageant.

Miss North Dakota Caitlyn Vogel, Miss Florida Ashley Carino and Miss Illinois Sydni Bennett also made into the top 4 along with Elle. They ended up being named the first runner-up, second runner-up and third runner-up respectively.

Miss Tennessee Elizabeth Pistole won the Best State Costume award, with Miss Utah JessiKate Riley and Miss Oklahoma Albreuna Gonzaque placing second and third.

Zuri Hall and Patrick Ta hosted the ceremony which was held at the River Spirit Casino Resort's Paradise Cove Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with Nicole Adamo assisting as the pageant's official lounge host. Alton Mason, Chloe Flower, Haley Kalil, Natalia Barulich, Oliver Trevena, Sophie Elgort and Ty Hunter served on the judging panel. Ja Rule took the stage as a musical performer.

Elle, who is a journalist who works at Louisville's WHAS11, will now represent the U.S. in the Miss Universe pageant set to take place on December 12 in Eilat, Israel. The international pageant has decided to move forward despite a contestant testing positive for COVID-19. "The Miss Universe Organization is working with Israeli officials to continue to get our contestants and staff into the country safely for the competition," the Miss Universe group said.

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