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Miss Kentucky Elle Smith Crowned Miss USA 2021

Source: FYI Network / FYI Network

Miss Kentucky has secured the win as Miss USA. Elle Smith, a multimedia journalist, was crowned Miss USA during the pageant on Nov. 29.

Smith was a crowd favorite throughout the pageant, her home station WHAS11 noted. Not only did she turn heads during the evening gown and swimsuit portion, but her answer about how businesses can be more environmentally conscious impressed the audience and received a major round of applause.

Smith is the second Miss Kentucky to win the Miss USA pageant.

Smith graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2020 with a bachelor of arts in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science. During her time at the University of Kentucky, she served as the vice president of their National Association of Black Journalists chapter, was a reporter for the UK Student News Network and a videographer for UK Athletics and SEC Network. She also studied abroad in Florence, Italy for one semester. After graduating, she took her talents to WHAS 11 in Louisville, Kentucky where she works as a reporter.

Now that she is Miss USA, she will be the face of the country. She told WHAS11 that working in the journalism field has helped to prepare her for new role.

“A Miss USA, her job is to connect with people,” Smith said. “She should be able to speak with a three-year-old, she should be able to speak with a 90-year-old veteran or the CEO of a business, and we do that every single day at work. You’re speaking to a wide range of personalities and meeting different people with different perspectives, and so I think that’s the big thing that I take from work and then translate it to Miss Kentucky USA, which I hope I can translate to Miss USA.”

Next up, Smith will compete for Miss Universe in Israel on Dec. 12.

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