|Miss USA 2021|
|Date||November 29, 2021|
|Venue||Paradise Cove Theater, River Spirit Casino Resort, Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Best State Costume||Elizabeth Pistole|
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|2021 state pageants altered due to COVID-19|
|State||Original date||New date taken|
|Texas||September 6, 2020||September 4, 2021|
|Wisconsin||September 13, 2020||May 23, 2021|
|Wyoming||September 19, 2020||June 19, 2021|
|Michigan||September 26, 2020||August 7, 2021|
|North Dakota||September 26, 2020||April 25, 2021|
|South Dakota||September 27, 2020||April 25, 2021|
|Alabama||October 10, 2020||January 10, 2021|
|Tennessee||October 10, 2020||March 13, 2021|
|Iowa||October 11, 2020||May 8, 2021|
|Rhode Island||October 11, 2020||August 8, 2021|
|Louisiana||October 17, 2020||January 16, 2021|
|West Virginia||October 18, 2020||July 11, 2021|
|Mississippi||October 24, 2020||March 13, 2021|
|Arkansas||October 25, 2020||May 23, 2021|
|Colorado||October 25, 2020||August 15, 2021|
|Vermont||November 1, 2020||June 6, 2021|
|North Carolina||November 7, 2020||March 6, 2021|
|Hawaii||November 8, 2020||December 10, 2020|
|Maine||November 8, 2020||June 20, 2021|
|Maryland||November 8, 2020||July 25, 2021|
|Pennsylvania||November 8, 2020||July 31, 2021[a]|
|Ohio||November 14, 2020||July 10, 2021|
|Georgia||November 21, 2020||February 20, 2021|
|Oregon||November 21, 2020||March 20, 2021|
|South Carolina||November 21, 2020||March 6, 2021|
|Connecticut||November 22, 2020||June 6, 2021|
|Illinois||November 22, 2020||June 27, 2021|
|Indiana||November 22, 2020||July 26, 2021[a]|
|Massachusetts||November 22, 2020||June 13, 2021|
|New Jersey||November 22, 2020||August 1, 2021|
|Washington||November 22, 2020||March 21, 2021|
|Minnesota||November 29, 2020||August 1, 2021|
|New Hampshire||November 29, 2020||June 13, 2021|
|Missouri||December 6, 2020||May 1, 2021|
|Oklahoma||December 20, 2020||June 5, 2021|
|Arizona||January 3, 2021||July 11, 2021|
|District of Columbia||January 9, 2021||July 17, 2021|
|Virginia||January 9, 2021||July 17, 2021|
|Nebraska||January 10, 2021||May 16, 2021|
|Nevada||January 10, 2021||June 27, 2021|
|Kansas||January 17, 2021||April 11, 2021|
|New York||January 17, 2021||August 20, 2021|
|New Mexico||January 24, 2021||August 15, 2021|
|Kentucky||January 30, 2021||May 22, 2021|
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.
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.
|Miss USA 2021|
§ – Voted into Top 16 through the online vote.
|Best State Costume||Winner||
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.
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.
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.
All 51 state titleholders have been crowned:
|Arizona||Cassidy Jo Jacks||27||Mesa||Later contestant on season 1 of Farmer Wants a Wife|
|Colorado||Olivia Lorenzo||20||Fort Collins|
|District of Columbia||Sasha Perea||28||Washington, D.C.|
|Florida||Ashley Cariño||27||Kissimmee||2nd runner-up||Later Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2022|
|Hawaii||Allison Chu||27||Honolulu||Previously Miss Hawaii 2016|
Sister of Julianne Chu, Miss Hawaii USA 2018
|Illinois||Sydni Bennett||20||Algonquin||3rd runner-up||Previously Miss Illinois Teen USA 2018|
|Iowa||Katie Wadman||21||Iowa City|
|Kansas||Gracie Hunt||22||Overland Park||Top 16||Daughter of Clark Hunt and Tavia Shackles, Miss Kansas USA 1993, and granddaughter of Lamar Hunt|
|Kentucky||Elle Smith||23||Louisville||Miss USA 2021|
|Louisiana||Tanya Crowe||28||Amite City||Top 16||Professional cheerleader for the New Orleans Saintsations|
|Maine||VeronicaIris Bates||21||Portland||Active member of the United States Air Force|
|Maryland||Layilah Nasser||26||Montgomery Village||Top 8|
|Michigan||Taylor Hale||26||Detroit||Later winner of Big Brother 24 and America's Favorite Houseguest.|
|Mississippi||Bailey Anderson||22||Hurley||Top 16|
|Missouri||Joye Forrest||26||Spanish Lake||Former professional cheerleader for the Los Angeles Laker Girls|
|Montana||Jami Forseth||24||Huntley||Previously Miss Montana Teen USA 2016|
|Nebraska||Erika Etzelmiller||24||Lincoln||Top 16||Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2016|
|Nevada||Kataluna Enriquez||27||Las Vegas||First openly transgender woman to compete at Miss USA|
|New Hampshire||Taylor Fogg||26||Newbury|
|New Jersey||Celinda Ortega||26||Fair Lawn|
|New Mexico||Christa Schafer||26||Las Cruces|
|New York||Briana Siaca||27||Brentwood|
|North Carolina||Madison Bryant||24||Fayetteville||Top 8|
|North Dakota||Caitlyn Vogel||21||Minot||1st runner-up||Previously Miss North Dakota Teen USA 2019|
|Oklahoma||Albreuna Gonzaque||28||Oklahoma City|
|Oregon||Allison Cook||27||Portland||Previously Miss Oregon 2013|
|Pennsylvania||Sydney Robertson||24||Williamsport||Previously Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2014|
|Rhode Island||Karly Laliberte||27||Pawtucket|
|South Carolina||Marley Stokes||24||Lexington||Top 8||Previously Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2016|
|South Dakota||Caroline Pettey||27||Rapid City||Top 16|
|Tennessee||Elizabeth Pistole||21||Franklin||Top 16|
|Texas||Victoria Hinojosa||22||McAllen||Top 8||Granddaughter of U.S. Representative Rubén Hinojosa|
|Utah||JessiKate Riley||25||Beaver||Top 16||Previously Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen 2014|
Previously Miss Utah 2017
|Virginia||Christina Thompson||25||Leesburg||Top 16||Previously Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2013|
Daughter of Hallie Bonnell, Miss Ohio USA 1987
|West Virginia||Alexis Bland||22||Parkersburg|
|Wyoming||Mackenzie Kern||21||Casper||Previously Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2018|
Riley was crowned Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen — the little sister program to the Miss America Organization — in 2014.