Miss Kentucky USA
Formation1952; 72 years ago (1952)
TypeBeauty pageant
Miss USA
Official language
Key people
Melissa Proctor-Pitchford (State Pageant Director)
WebsiteOfficial website
Tara Conner, Miss Kentucky USA 2006 & Miss USA 2006

The Miss Kentucky USA competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Kentucky in the Miss USA pageant. It is currently directed by Proctor Productions and it was formerly directed by Connie Clark Harrison, Miss Kentucky USA 1976.[1][citation needed]

Tara Conner became the first Kentucky delegate to win Miss USA, after being crowned Miss USA 2006. She later finished as fourth runner-up at Miss Universe 2006. Elle Smith later became the second Kentucky delegate to win Miss USA, being crowned Miss USA 2021.

Three Miss Kentucky USA titleholders have also held the Miss Kentucky Teen USA title and competed at Miss Teen USA, including Conner. Two Miss Kentucky USA titleholders have also competed at Miss America, with one representing Wyoming.

Connor Perry of Lexington was crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2024 on May 19, 2024, at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. She will represent Kentucky for the title of Miss USA 2024.

Media coverage

In 2006, it was reported that Miss Kentucky USA 2002, Elizabeth Arnold was in a relationship with celebrity Nick Lachey.[2][3] That same year Tara Conner became the first Kentucky delegate to win the Miss USA title, putting Kentucky in the top five for the second consecutive year, after Kristen Johnson placed 2nd runner-up in 2005. She later came under intense scrutiny when it was revealed that she had been drinking underage, tested positive for the use of cocaine, and kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair, among other things.[4] Conner was allowed to keep her title, but was ordered into rehab for one month. After her rehab session, she resumed her reign until her year was completed.

In 2008, Miss Kentucky USA Alysha Harris was involved in an incident involving photos in which she was photographed dancing with New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss in a manner some saw as sexually suggestive.[5][6][7]

Results summary


Kentucky holds a record of 16 placements at Miss USA.



Color key
Year Name Hometown Age1 Local title Placement at Miss USA Special awards at Miss USA Notes
2024 Connor Perry Lexington TBA Miss Heart of Lexington TBA
2023 Madalyne Kinnett Lexington 21 Miss Greater Lexington
2022 Elizabeth "Lizzy" Neutz Louisville 22 Miss Greater Louisville
2021 Elle Smith Louisville 23 Miss Germantown Miss USA 2021
2020 Lexie Iles Louisville 23 Miss Louisville
  • Previously Miss Ohio Teen United States 2016 (top 15 at Miss Teen United States 2016)
2019 Jordan Weiter Louisville 22 Miss Bluegrass
2018 Braea Tilford[8] Louisville 25 Miss Jefferson County
2017 Madelynne Myers Louisville 22 Miss Louisville
2016 Kyle Hornback Louisville 20 Miss Louisville
2015 Katie George Louisville 21 Miss Louisville Top 11 Advanced to top 11 as fan vote winner
2014 Destin Kincer Whitesburg 21 Miss Keeneland
2013 Allie Leggett[citation needed] McCreary County 19 Miss Lake Cumberland December 2017 Playboy Playmate of the Month[9]
2012 Amanda Mertz Louisville 25 Miss Louisville Monster Energy Girl[10]
2011 Kia Hampton Louisville 21 Miss Congeniality Later Pussycat Dolls member
2010 Kindra Clark Mt. Washington 19
2009 Maria Montgomery Danville 19 4th runner-up
2008 Alysha Harris Carrollton 20
2007 Michelle Banzer Louisville 24 First minority woman to win state pageant[11]
2006 Tara Conner Russell Springs 20 Miss USA 2006
2005 Kristen Johnson Slaughters 23 2nd runner-up
2004 Lauren Stengel Louisville 22
2003 Lori Mitchell Scottsville 21 Reporter for WRCB in Chattanooga
2002 Elizabeth Arnold Columbia 24
2001 Jo Pritchard Hardin 20
2000 Jolene Youngster Glasgow 18
1999 Lori Menshouse Ashland 25
1998 Nancy Bradley Franklin 23
1997 Rachyl Hoskins Liberty 22
1996 Lorie West Campbellsville 22
1995 Mitzi Jones White Plains 22 Semi-finalist, finishing in 8th Place
1994 Kim Buford Paducah 26
1993 Karen Gibson Kevil
1992 Angela Hines Maysville Finalist, finishing in 5th place
1991 Susan Farris Benton 24 Runner-up state costume
1990 Tiffany Tenfelde Lakeside Park Top 6 finalist
1989 Veronica Hensley Danville
1988 Suzanne Pitman Murray
1987 Beth Ann Clark Mayfield 21 Guinness Beer Spokesmodel, Swimwear Illustrated Cover Model of the Year 1989, Mrs. Kentucky United States 1999, Mrs. Georgia America 2001
1986 Jackie Taylor Paducah
1985 Robin Overby Calvert City Miss Photogenic
1984 Tammy Melendez Murray 25
1983 Lee Ann Austin Benton
1982 Kristina Leah Chapman Owensboro 19 4th runner-up
1981 Denise Gibbs Paducah
1980 Lisa Devillez Owensboro 4th runner-up
1979 Linda Passmore Hopkinsville
1978 Linda Woodruff Louisville
1977 Sandy Smith Princeton
1976 Connie Clark Benton Miss Congeniality Former director of the Miss Kentucky USA and Miss Kentucky Teen USA pageants under her married name, Connie Clark-Harrison
1975 Carol June Wallace Somerset 23 Semi-finalist
1974 Charlesy Gulick Williamstown Best State Costume
1973 Nancy Coplen Mayfield
1972 Tamara Branstetter Summer Shade
1971 Patricia Barnstable Louisville 4th runner-up
1970 Joanna Smith Morgantown
1969 Regina Pryor
1968 Kay Pinkley[13] Miss Congeniality
1967 Debbie Dibble
1966 Jennifer Burcham
1965 Julie Andrus Mayfield 3rd runner-up
1964 Johanna Reid 4th runner-up
1963 Mary Ann Arnold
1962 Sally Margaret Carter Lowes
1961 Marcia Chumbler Mayfield Semi-finalist
1960 Barbara Joan Lovins
1959 Sherree Owens
1958 Shannon Beasley
1955-57 Did not compete
1954 Nikki Horner
1953 Mary Stice Semi-finalist
1952 Jean Tingle

1 Age at the time of the Miss Kentucky USA pageant


  1. ^ "Producers". Miss Kentucky USA.
  3. ^ Nick Lachey: poster boy for the brokenhearted, Houston Chronicle, 28 April 2006 (accessed 6 May 2006)
  4. ^ Piazza, Jo. "Queen is way out of line". NY Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
  5. ^ "Randy Moss Drafts Wide Receiver - TMZ.com". 5 May 2008.
  6. ^ "C.J.: Randy Moss' naughty dance moves photographed at Derby party". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  7. ^ Clarke, Norm (2008-05-08). "'Idol' contestant set to go country". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  8. ^ "Braea Tilford Crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2018". The Kaleidoscope of Pageantry. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Playboy's November/December 2017 Collector's Edition". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  10. ^ "NASCAR's Monster Energy Girl Amanda Mertz perfectly shuts down outfit critics". For The Win. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  11. ^ Shastry, Tejas (2007-03-20). "Cardinal to compete for Miss USA crown". The Louisville Cardinal. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
  12. ^ "Home state girls hard to find". Kingman Daily Miner. 1976-09-10. p. 7.
  13. ^ "Miss Kentucky". The Paducah Sun. 16 April 1968. Retrieved 28 February 2023.