Miss USA 2021
DateNovember 29, 2021
EntertainmentJa Rule
VenueParadise Cove Theater, River Spirit Casino Resort, Tulsa, Oklahoma
WinnerElle Smith
Kentucky Kentucky
CongenialityTaylor Hale
Best State CostumeElizabeth Pistole
Tennessee Tennessee
PhotogenicSydney Robertson
← 2020
2022 →

Miss USA 2021 was the 70th Miss USA pageant, held on November 29, 2021, at the Paradise Cove Theater of River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The competition was hosted by Zuri Hall and Patrick Ta, while Nicole Adamo served as a lounge host. Asya Branch of Mississippi crowned her successor Elle Smith of Kentucky at the end of the event. This was Kentucky's first title in 15 years. Smith is the third consecutive African American to win the title, and the fifth one in six years.[1] Smith went on to represent the United States at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant, placing in the top 10. The scheduling for the succeeding year's pageant that Smith would serve the pageant for ten months and four days as one of the shortest reigning titleholders in the pageant.[2]

This was the second consecutive year that the pageant was broadcast on FYI, and the first to be streamed live on Hulu. The edition marked the first year of the competition under Crystle Stewart's directorship.[3]

This was the first time since 1993 the State Costume competition took place and held between preliminary and the final competition.


On December 31, 2020, it was announced on Good Morning America that Miss USA and Miss Teen USA would be split from the Miss Universe Organization into a new organization under the helm of Crystle Stewart. Stewart had previously been crowned Miss USA 2008.[3]


Tulsa, Oklahoma, the host city of Miss USA 2021 competition.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, the host city of Miss USA 2021 competition.

On April 20, 2021, it was confirmed by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation that the 2021 edition of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA would be held at the Paradise Cove Theater of River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The competition spanned four days, beginning on November 26 and concluding on November 29, 2021. The event reverted to its full spectator capacity after the previous event was downsized to 300 spectators as a precaution to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.[4][5]

Impact of the COVID-19 on state pageants

See also: COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the schedule of Miss USA 2020, postponing it from spring 2020 to November 2020. Each state organization had initially planned to schedule their 2021 pageants for the fall 2020 and winter 2020–21, the typical timeframe for state pageants dating back to the 1970s. However, most state pageants were later rescheduled to spring and summer 2021 to avoid scheduling conflicts with Miss America 2022 state pageants typically took place in most of June 2021, and were further extended to late summer and early fall due to the concerns over the possibility onto the threats of COVID-19 resurgence.[6]

Due to restrictions implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, numerous health and safety guidelines have been implemented for contestants, production members, and audiences at state pageants, such as taking a negative COVID-19 test and following social distancing. Additionally, a number of state pageants have had to alter their initial venue choices due to shut-downs implemented by their governor; either held behind closed doors such as Alaska and Hawaii, with only the contestants and staff were present; most state pageants had limited audition capacity with applying social distancing measures, or some with full capacity.[7][8][9][10][11]

Selection of contestants

Delegates from the 50 states and District of Columbia were selected in state pageants which began in September 2020. The first state pageants were Idaho and Montana, held together on their original dates of September 27, 2020 and the last state pageant was California, held on September 12, 2021, 350 days after the start of the 2021 pageant season, became the longest in the Miss USA history.

Eleven delegates previously competed in Miss Teen USA and Miss America, in which eight delegates are former Miss Teen USA state winners and three are former Miss America state winners. Kataluna Enriquez, Miss Nevada USA 2021, became the first openly transgender woman to compete in Miss USA.[12]



Miss USA 2021 results map, colors shaded in each state
Miss USA 2021 results map, colors shaded in each state
Final results[13] Contestant
Miss USA 2021
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
Top 8
Top 16

§ – Voted into Top 16 through the online vote.[13]

Special awards

Award[13] Contestant
Best State Costume Winner
Second Place
  •  Utah – JessiKate Riley
Third Place
Miss Congeniality
Miss Photogenic


After the last year's event was impacted by the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, events such as pre-pageant activities and press briefings from pageant commentators were returned across Tulsa.[16]

Preliminary competition

Prior to the final competition, the delegates competed the preliminary competition, where they competed in swim wear and evening gown. It was held on November 26 at River Spirit Casino Resort hosted by Nicole Adamo and Asya Branch.[17]


As was the case the prior edition, 16 contestants were chosen to advance to the semifinals; 15 of the semifinalists were chosen by the preliminary judges, while one was chosen through the online fan vote. The Top 16 then competed in both swimsuit and evening gown, before eight were chosen to advance. The Top 8 participated in a group discussion round conducted in two groups of four, and afterwards answered their final questions from the judges. The winner and her runners-up were announced afterwards.[18]





All 51 state titleholders have been crowned:[27][28]

State Contestant Age[a] Hometown Placement Notes
Alabama Alabama Alex Flanigan[29] 25 Cullman
Alaska Alaska Madison Edwards[30] 25 Anchorage
Arizona Arizona Cassidy Jo Jacks[31] 27 Mesa Later contestant on season 1 of Farmer Wants a Wife
Arkansas Arkansas Stephanie Barber[32] 23 Fayetteville
California California Sabrina Lewis[33] 24 Berkeley
Colorado Colorado Olivia Lorenzo 20 Fort Collins
Connecticut Connecticut Amanda Torchia[34] 25 Middlebury
Delaware Delaware Drew Sanclemente 25 Odessa
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia Sasha Perea 28 Washington, D.C.
Florida Florida Ashley Cariño[35] 27 Kissimmee 2nd runner-up Later Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2022
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia Cora Griffen[36] 25 Columbus
Hawaii Hawaii Allison Chu[37] 27 Honolulu Previously Miss Hawaii 2016[38]
Sister of Julianne Chu, Miss Hawaii USA 2018
Idaho Idaho Katarina Schweitzer[39] 27 Boise
Illinois Illinois Sydni Bennett[40] 20 Algonquin 3rd runner-up Previously Miss Illinois Teen USA 2018[41]
Indiana Indiana A'Niyah Birdsong[42] 26 Anderson
Iowa Iowa Katie Wadman[43] 21 Iowa City
Kansas Kansas Gracie Hunt[44] 22 Overland Park Top 16 Daughter of Clark Hunt and Tavia Shackles, Miss Kansas USA 1993, and granddaughter of Lamar Hunt[45]
Kentucky Kentucky Elle Smith[46] 23 Louisville Miss USA 2021
Louisiana Louisiana Tanya Crowe[47] 28 Amite City Top 16 Professional cheerleader for the New Orleans Saintsations
Maine Maine VeronicaIris Bates[48] 21 Portland Active member of the United States Air Force[48]
Maryland Maryland Layilah Nasser[49] 26 Montgomery Village Top 8
Massachusetts Massachusetts Sarah DeSouza[50] 25 Dracut
Michigan Michigan Taylor Hale[51] 26 Detroit Later winner of Big Brother 24 and America's Favorite Houseguest.
Minnesota Minnesota Katarina Spasojevic[52] 20 Minnetonka
Mississippi Mississippi Bailey Anderson[53] 22 Hurley Top 16
Missouri Missouri Joye Forrest[54] 26 Spanish Lake Former professional cheerleader for the Los Angeles Laker Girls
Montana Montana Jami Forseth[55] 24 Huntley Previously Miss Montana Teen USA 2016[56]
Nebraska Nebraska Erika Etzelmiller[57] 24 Lincoln Top 16 Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2016
Nevada Nevada Kataluna Enriquez[12] 27 Las Vegas First openly transgender woman to compete at Miss USA[12]
New Hampshire New Hampshire Taylor Fogg 26 Newbury
New Jersey New Jersey Celinda Ortega 26 Fair Lawn
New Mexico New Mexico Christa Schafer 26 Las Cruces
New York (state) New York Briana Siaca[58] 27 Brentwood
North Carolina North Carolina Madison Bryant[59] 24 Fayetteville Top 8
North Dakota North Dakota Caitlyn Vogel[60] 21 Minot 1st runner-up Previously Miss North Dakota Teen USA 2019[61]
Ohio Ohio Nicole Wess[62] 23 Cincinnati
Oklahoma Oklahoma Albreuna Gonzaque 28 Oklahoma City
Oregon Oregon Allison Cook[63] 27 Portland Previously Miss Oregon 2013[64]
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Sydney Robertson[65] 24 Williamsport Previously Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2014
Rhode Island Rhode Island Karly Laliberte 27 Pawtucket
South Carolina South Carolina Marley Stokes[66] 24 Lexington Top 8 Previously Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2016[67]
South Dakota South Dakota Caroline Pettey[68] 27 Rapid City Top 16
Tennessee Tennessee Elizabeth Pistole[69] 21 Franklin Top 16
Texas Texas Victoria Hinojosa[70] 22 McAllen Top 8 Granddaughter of U.S. Representative Rubén Hinojosa
Utah Utah JessiKate Riley 25 Beaver Top 16 Previously Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen 2014[71]
Previously Miss Utah 2017[72]
Vermont Vermont Joanna Nagle[73] 27 Colchester
Virginia Virginia Christina Thompson[74] 25 Leesburg Top 16 Previously Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2013
Daughter of Hallie Bonnell, Miss Ohio USA 1987
Washington (state) Washington Christine Brodie[75] 26 Seattle
West Virginia West Virginia Alexis Bland[76] 22 Parkersburg
Wisconsin Wisconsin Samantha Keaton[77] 20 Milwaukee
Wyoming Wyoming Mackenzie Kern[78] 21 Casper Previously Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2018[79]


  1. ^ Ages at the time of the pageant


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