Miss Kentucky Elle Smith crowned Miss USA 2021

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Miss USA has crowned a new winner.

Elle Smith, formerly Miss Kentucky, took home the title Monday night at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Smith will go on to represent the United States at the upcoming 2021 Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel on Dec. 12 with Steve Harvey serving as host. 

The former University of Kentucky student, 23, graduated in 2020 and majored in journalism and political science. She’s currently a reporter at WHAS11 News.

Miss Kentucky Elle Smith was crowned Miss USA.
(Felipe Espinal/Miss USA)

Her colleagues and alma mater congratulated Smith on her win. 

“WOW!!! This is quite the accomplishment!!” the news organization tweeted. “Our Elle Smith is your new MISS USA!”

Before winning the competition, Smith reflected on how she used to watch the pageant at home.  

“A little over a year ago, I sat in bed and watched Miss USA,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I remember watching (Miss New York Andreia Gibau), (Miss Ohio Stephanie Marie Miranda), (Miss Louisiana Mariah Clayton) and so many more incredible women grace the stage, and thinking, ‘I want to be on that stage. I want to be like them.’ Crazy to think this is my official Miss USA headshot and I made that dream reality.”

Smith will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in December. 
(Felipe Espinal/Miss USA)

Last year’s Miss Universe winner was Andrea Meza from Mexico. 

Miss Universe will air Sunday, Dec. 12 at 7 pm ET on Fox. 

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