A new Miss USA has been crowned. Miss Kentucky Elle Smith won the Miss USA pageant, held at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Monday night.

Here are some fun facts about Miss USA 2021:

1) Smith, 23, Is A Reporter At Louisville WHAS11.

She also graduated from the University of Kentucky, with a Bachelors in broadcast journalism, and a minor in political science.

2) She Was Vice-President Of Her School's Chapter Of The National Association Of Black Journalists

She also worked as a summer Fox News College Associate in the Washington, D.C. bureau, according to her WHAS-TV bio.

3) Smith has Several Hobbies

She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and learning about other cultures, according to her WHAS-TV bio.

4) She Competed In Her First Pageant Only Six Months Ago

Miss USA was her first time on the national stage. She previously won the Miss Kentucky USA contest in May.

5) Smith Values Honesty and Sustainability

When asked what her “most important core value” was in the first question-and-answer round during Miss USA, she replied with “honesty.” She also explained how sustainability and encouraging businesses to be more environmentally conscious is important to her.

"We've got to look at it from a macro 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." Smith said. "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."

6) Smith Can Be Found On Instagram At The Handle @ elle_to_the_no

She currently boasts over 40,000 followers on the platform.

7) She Initially Struggled To Get A Job As A Reporter

“Four months after graduation...I didn’t have a job. I had applied to over 60 stations. I had covered protests to keep my reel updated. I had gotten my reel critiqued by people in the business...but no one was offering me anything,” Smith said in an Instagram post about her struggles. “So I told myself if I couldn’t get a reporting job, I would head back to Lexington to waitress until I got a job offer. So on September 28th, I packed my bags and started driving to Lexington. I had been driving for about an hour when my phone rang and my current boss called me to offer the position in Louisville. I still have no idea how I landed this job but six months later I am grateful to be in this position. (S/O Jesus) I am surrounded by a powerful team of strong, creative journalists who push me to better each day,” she added.

8) Smith Was Inspired To Join The Pageant Circuit By Watching Other Women in Earlier Contests

"A little over a year ago, I sat in bed and watched Miss USA, 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 wrote.

Smith will now head to Eilat, Israel to represent the United States at the 2021 Miss Universe pageant on Dec. 12.


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