The winner of the 2021 Miss USA pageant has officially been crowned.
Miss Kentucky Elle Smith took home the title during the Nov. 29 competition at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Okla. Miss North Dakota Caitlyn Vogel was named the runner-up, followed by Miss Florida Ashley Carino and Miss Illinois Sydni Bennett.
After receiving the honor, Smith received the Mouawad Miss USA Power of Positivity Crown. According to the jeweler, the crown is crafted in 18-karat gold and set with white diamonds, featuring motifs of petals, leaves and vines. It also includes rubies, blue tanzanite gemstones, and blue sapphires. The jewel tones and star motifs throughout the design, the company notes, give a nod to the United States flag.
Smith, who is a journalist at WHAS11 News in Louisville, succeeds Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch. This December, Smith will compete in the Miss Universe pageant in Israel. Andrea Meza currently holds the title of Miss Universe.
Miss Kentucky was one of 51 contestants to take part in the 2021 Miss USA competition. Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez made history as the first openly transgender woman to compete in the pageant.
Zuri Hall hosted the event with Patrick Ta. Alton Mason, Chloe Flower, Haley Kalil, Natalia Barulich, Oliver Trevena, Sophie Elgort and Ty Hunter served on the judging panel. Ja Rule also took the stage to perform. The event featured multiple categories, including private interview, swimsuit, evening gown and onstage question.
This year marked the 70th anniversary of the Miss USA competition. The event comes two days after the 2021 Miss Teen USA pageant, which Miss Florida Breanna Myles won.
See their swimsuit competition below.