A Miss Tennessee was crowned Miss USA 2019 on Sunday night, and Elle Smith was named Miss Kentucky.
Smith, of Pulaski, is an undergraduate student at the University of Memphis.
Born in Atlanta, Smith was raised in a Christian family and worked as a preacher’s assistant at St. John Church.
The announcement was made on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Sunday night.
Smith topped the field of 53 beautiful young women from across the U.S. in the 63rd annual competition.
The new Miss USA competes in a Miss Universe pageant in November.
The 51 other women vying for the title of Miss USA were also called onstage to answer a series of questions, and answers were recorded prior to the start of the competition.
Fifty-one was the high mark for contestants – the previous record of 53 was set in 1994.
Smith, the current Miss USA titleholder, is 27 years old. She says when she won she was “humbled by the entire experience.”
The women were also asked about their picks for an idea to fulfill during a future presidency if such a thing would be needed.
The nominees asked one another to name the best and worst thing about their job.
Miss Montana named the worst, while former Miss South Carolina answered the best.
Smith says her best and worst is that “it forces me to try so much harder.”
The 61st annual competition featured three different rounds of competition: evening gown, swimsuit and the interview. Contestants were judged on presenting themselves well on stage, personal style, interview skills and the ability to take a stand.
Miss Kentucky’s win brings the number of Miss USA winners from the commonwealth to six. She is only the second contestant from Kentucky to win the title since its inception in 1952.
Smith is Miss USA and Miss USA 2011, and was the youngest winner in Miss USA history at just 17 years old.
The night ended with Miss Texas and Miss Kentucky joining Miss Idaho as first-place winners of the talent competition.
Judge Meghan McCain, the daughter of former presidential candidate John McCain, was joined by former Miss USA and Miss Universe 2000 Tara Conner, 2015 Miss USA and Miss Universe 1996 Rima Fakih, DJ Khaled and Loni Love on the judging panel.
Nicki Minaj was also on the show as a guest judge.
Betty Rorke won the Evening Gown competition for Miss Hawaii, while Carson Keeler was named first runner-up.
Pageant sponsors include Pepsi, Dress for Success, United Airlines, Disney, Discovery Health, SunTrust, Kohl’s, TUI Hotels, AXA Insurance, Pure Romance, The Lupus Foundation of America, Michael Kors Collection, Tom Ford Beauty, FoxSports.com, Bass, Sport, Bleuze and Jenny Packham, Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl, Biotektique, Allegro Winery, Precision Five, KBW Research and BLOC.
The Final Five: