On Monday, November 29, Miss Kentucky Elle Smith was crowned the new Miss USA.

Miss Kentucky Elle Smith Crowned Miss USA 2021

Source: FYI Network / FYI Network

Smith took the crown on Monday night at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was presented with the crown by Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch, and will be making her way straight to Israel to compete at the Miss Universe pageant on December 12.

The 23-year-old works full-time as a reporter and said being a journalist is “a role I take very seriously.” During the pageant’s question and answer round, she spoke about subjects including honesty and sustainability, revealing that her “most important core value” was honesty.

“We’ve got to look at it from a macro and also a micro level,” Smith said, encouraging businesses to be more environmentally conscious. “So at the macro level, companies need to switch to green energy — I think that’s something we can all agree on.”

She continued, “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.”

While winning Miss USA is usually a feat that follows years and years of dedication to pageants, Elle Smith actually competed in her very first pageant just six months ago.

She got her first taste of the Miss USA stage on Sunday night during the State Costume Contest. Smith dressed as a jockey to honor the Kentucky Derby, with the blue-and-white outfit also paying tribute to her alma mater, the University of Kentucky. Smith graduated from the university in May 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism.

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

Congratulations, Elle!

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