How the Miss USA 2022 Pageant Will Honor Cheslie Kryst After Her Death

Beauty queen-turned lawyer Cheslie Kryst, who won the Miss USA 2019 pageant, died in January at the age of 30.

By Mike Vulpo, Beth Sobol Jul 15, 2022 5:21 PMTags
Watch: Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst Dead at 30

The beauty pageant world will never forget Cheslie Kryst.

Nearly six months after Miss USA 2019 died at the age of 30, Miss USA organizers are sharing the ways they plan to honor her at future pageants.

"In 2019, I had the honor and privilege of judging the Miss USA pageant at the Grand Sierra Resort and Spa in Reno and crowning former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst," Miss USA Organization President Crystle Stewart exclusively told E! News. "In honor of Cheslie's memory, we found it to be a fitting full circle moment that this year, the 2022 Miss USA pageant will be held at the same venue in Reno, Nevada, not only as a way to keep Cheslie's legacy alive but also to pay homage to the great city of Reno."

To Miss USA 2021, Elle Smith was more than a friend. She was also an inspiration for Elle as she competed in beauty pageants. Miss USA's decision to hold the event in Nevada is something Elle fully supports.

Miss USA 2019 Evening Gowns

"I am honored that the Miss USA Organization is going back to Reno, to the city that started it all for Cheslie Kryst and for myself," she said. "I watched her historic win that night and was inspired to start my own pageant journey. Although, our hearts are still hurting, I find comfort knowing I can pass down this crown and play homage to beautiful Cheslie."

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

In addition to being a beauty queen, Cheslie was also a lawyer, fashion blogger and Extra TV correspondent.

After her death was ruled a suicide, Cheslie's mom April Simpkins shared a glimpse into the daughter she knew away from any cameras.

"While it may be hard to believe, it's true," April said in February. "Cheslie led both a public and a private life. In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone—including me, her closest confidant—until very shortly before her death."  

"I have never known a pain as deep as this," she continued. "I am forever changed."

At the time of her death, Cheslie's family asked mourners to make a donation to Dress for Success, a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

"We miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, her sense of humor and mostly her hugs," April said. "We miss all of it—we miss all of her. She was a vital part of our family."

Miss USA 2022, produced by The Miss Brand Corporation, airs Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on FYI and Hulu Live TV. And Miss Teen USA Finals will be streamed live from the Grand Sierra Resort and Spa in Reno on Oct. 1. 

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