Ellen Elizabeth “Elle” Smith (born June 20, 1998) is an American model, journalist, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss USA 2021. As Miss USA, she will represent the United States at Miss Universe 2021. Smith had previously been crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2021, and is the second woman from Kentucky to win Miss USA.
Early life and education
Smith was born in Springfield, Ohio. She graduated from Shawnee High School in 2016, where she was an honors student involved in choir, orchestra, volleyball, and drama. Smith afterwards moved to Lexington, Kentucky to enroll in the University of Kentucky, graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science in 2020.
Smith first became interested in competing in pageantry after one of her high school classmates, Brittany Reid, was crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA 2013. However, she ultimately did not sign up for a pageant until eight years later, with Miss Kentucky USA 2021 being her first ever pageant. She represented Germantown, and went on to win the title.
Miss USA 2021
As Miss Kentucky USA, Smith received the right to represent Kentucky at Miss USA 2021. Miss USA 2021 was ultimately held on November 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the competition, Smith advanced to the Top 16, and later the Top 8, before being announced as the competition’s winner. Following her win, Smith became the second entrant from Kentucky to ever be crowned Miss USA, after Tara Conner was crowned Miss USA 2006.
In the final question portion of Miss USA, Smith was asked “Sustainability is becoming more and more important in professional landscapes. How can we encourage business to be more environmentally conscious?,” to which she responded:
“I think we’ve got to look at it from a macro level and also a micro level. So at the macro level, companies need to switch to green energy, I think that’s something we can all agree on. On the micro level, we all know how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and those are things that we can implement in our daily lives.”
As Miss USA, Smith will represent the United States at Miss Universe 2021. In addition to the opportunity to compete at Miss Universe, Smith will also move to Los Angeles for the year of her reign.
- “SEASON 23 PREMIERE!!!!”. Elle Smith.
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- Daniels, CJ (May 22, 2021). “WHAS11’s Elle Smith wins Miss Kentucky USA”. WHAS-TV.
- “What to expect from Miss USA 2021”. Kentucky Kernel. November 29, 2021.
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- “Miss USA, Miss Teen USA coming to Tulsa this fall”. KTUL. April 20, 2021.
- “Tulsa’s River Spirit will host Miss USA, Miss Teen USA pageants”. Fox 23. April 20, 2021.
- Contreras, Cydney (November 9, 2021). “Get a First Look at All the Miss USA Contestants in Their Swimsuit-Competition Outfits”. E!.
- “Miss USA 2021: The Winner Is…” TV Line. November 29, 2021.
- “Miss Kentucky Elle Smith Crowned Miss USA 2021”. E! Online. November 29, 2021.
- “Miss Kentucky Elle Smith takes the Miss USA crown”. CNN. November 30, 2021.
- “Miss Kentucky Elle Smith has been crowned the winner of Miss USA 2021”. Insider. November 30, 2021.
- “WHAS11 Reporter Elle Smith wins Miss USA 2021”. WHAS-TV. November 29, 2021.
- “CI Alumna Miss Kentucky to Compete for Miss USA”. UK Now. November 9, 2021.