She's beauty and she's grace, and she's your new Miss United States!
Miss Mississippi Asya Branch was crowned Miss USA 2020 during tonight's beauty pageant, which aired live on FYI from the iconic Graceland estate in Memphis, Tenn.
Fifty-one women from across the nation competed for the honor, but the judges ultimately singled out Asya for her ambition, poise and winning attitude. Miss Idaho Kim Layne was named first runner-up, followed by Miss Oklahoma Mariah Jane Davis.
Asya wowed viewers with her thoughtful answer to a question about what must be done to unite our deeply divided nation.
"I think this is an issue of trust," the 22-year-old shared. "We've lost trust in the systems that seem to keep our country running, from the media to business to our government. And it's all about restoring that trust and coming together and working together to heal and trust in these systems. If want to continue to be the greatest nation we're going to have to set a better example."
She also advocated for gun reform, urging lawmakers to require prospective gun owners to "pass training and safety courses."
"I think it's important that we not ban guns because obviously people will find a way to get what they want anyways, but I think it's our second amendment right," Asya remarked. "We just need more safety surrounding that."
Tonight's Elvis Presley-themed finals included an evening gown and swimwear competition, as well as a Q&A segment. While competitors wore masks sporadically throughout the show, hosts Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Allie LaForce ensured viewers at home that the women were regularly tested for COVID-19 and adhered to strict safety protocols.
On Sunday, Nov. 8, Hawaii native Ki'ilani Arruda was crowned Miss Teen USA.