First-time pageant entrant received the title of Miss Kentucky USA in Could 2021.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Public Relations) — With magnificence, brains and the Large Blue Nation supporting her, one College of Kentucky Faculty of Communication and Data (CI) alumna plans to attempt her luck at buying and selling in her title as Miss Kentucky USA for Miss USA.
Elle Smith, a 2020 journalism graduate, received the title of Miss Kentucky USA in Could 2021. Whereas her efficiency might have had some individuals believing she was a pageant veteran, this was her first time competing in a pageant. And the street that led her to the pageant life began at UK.
Though Smith fell in love with UK the primary time she stepped on campus, she felt just like the odd one out as soon as she began her freshman yr. Not solely was she uncertain of what to main in, however she additionally gave the impression to be one of many few of her friends who hadn’t competed in pageants beforehand. However she set her thoughts to make a change.
Her curiosity in writing and politics led her to CI. As soon as she acquired a digicam in her palms, it was solely a matter of time earlier than she fell in love with journalism. Throughout her years within the faculty, she participated within the UK Pupil Information Community, the Kentucky Kernel, WRFL and the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Journalists (NABJ), the latter of which she served as vice chairman throughout her senior yr. It was by way of an NABJ convention that Smith landed her job with WHAS-TV in Louisville.
“I felt a lot assist from workers, college, friends. And there are additionally so many alternative alternatives for journalism college students,” Smith mentioned. “I feel these are what led me to get this job in Louisville proper out of faculty.”
WHAS-TV, an ABC-affiliated station, is a high 50 market, so Smith got here into the job a bit intimidated. As a southern Indiana multimedia journalist, she is chargeable for discovering, pitching, taking pictures and enhancing arduous information tales day-after-day. She has an inventory of about 100 contacts that she has spent in depth time constructing relationships with, on and off the clock. She mentioned her job was the sort you took dwelling and was continually in your mind. However because of her first “large lady job,” she was lastly capable of afford competing in her first pageant.
In December 2020, Smith dedicated to competing within the Could 2021 Miss Kentucky USA pageant. Main as much as the competitors, she ready diligently, assembly a pageant coach and private coach a number of occasions per week, then day-after-day because the competitors drew close to.
When the competitors lastly arrived, Smith was terrified. However as soon as she was actually pushed onto the stage, she mentioned she relaxed and had essentially the most enjoyable she’s had shortly. She competed as Miss Germantown in opposition to over 40 different girls from throughout the state. After particular person interviews and preliminaries, which included swimsuit and night robe, the competitors was lower down to only 15 girls who competed in swimsuit, night robe and on-stage query.
Fortunately for Smith, her life experiences helped put together her for the pageant. Not solely had been interviews a part of her on a regular basis routine at work, however she additionally had modeled sometimes since her senior yr of highschool. Whereas she acknowledges the Miss USA group focuses on glamour, she believes additionally they worth well-rounded girls, and Smith clearly match the invoice.
“The second they known as my title it was shock after which aid simply because there had been a lot arduous work to get me to that second,” Smith mentioned. “And I by no means walked in eager to win. I wished to do the perfect that I might but in addition know that I had put within the work to be there, put in all of the work I wanted to do to be on that stage, and I might say that. That’s why I might’ve been completely satisfied it doesn’t matter what.”
As Miss Kentucky USA, Smith is representing the state for the subsequent yr along with working her full-time job as a reporter. She has made appearances at ball video games and different pageants throughout totally different states whereas additionally showing on digicam to cowl information tales for work.
The juggling act that her tasks require are solely intensified with the preparations Smith should make for the Miss USA pageant developing on Nov. 26-29, 2021, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is going to spend two weeks in Tulsa competing in opposition to 50 girls on a grueling 4 a.m. to midnight schedule. Forward of that competitors, Smith has to design her personal robe, state costume and self-branding on high of bodily and mentally getting ready herself. If she wins Miss USA, she’s going to give her Miss Kentucky USA title to the Kentucky runner-up and transfer to Los Angeles on a full wage to characterize the nation for a yr.
It’s a tall order, however Smith thinks all the hassle is value it. In any case, she entered pageantry to develop as an individual by way of all of the life abilities and classes pageant life brings.
“There’s no steadiness proper now simply because I feel you might have one yr to take full benefit of all of the alternatives which can be given to you,” Smith mentioned. “And so I’m full-fledged making an attempt to go 24/7, which is exhausting at occasions, nevertheless it’ll be so value it subsequent yr once I move down the crown and I’m like I took benefit of each single alternative that was given to me over the previous three hundred and sixty five days.”
If you need to be taught extra in regards to the Miss Kentucky USA group, go to www.misskentuckyusa.com/kyusa. If you need to be taught extra in regards to the Miss USA group, go to www.missusa.com.