Hold onto your tiaras. This past week has been a whirlwind for 23-year-old Miss Kentucky USA, Elle Smith. Smith won the 70th Miss USA crown on Nov. 29 and was immediately pressed into service.
“I haven’t actually been to sleep since I won,” Smith told The Courier Journal. “I was still doing interviews at three in the morning and then we jumped on a plane for Houston, Texas, where I was fitted for my Miss Universe wardrobe.”
Just 48 hours after winning Miss USA, the University of Kentucky graduate, who works as a reporter at WHAS TV, jumped on a flight to Israel where she will be among more than 75 women competing for the title of Miss Universe on Sunday.
The three-hour special event, in which Miss Universe, Andrea Meza (Mexico), will crown her successor, will be broadcast live from Eilat, Israel on FOX beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday.
During Sunday’s competition, Smith will represent all 50 states and U.S. territories in the Miss Universe contest.
This year’s international beauty pageant will also feature two other contestants from the region: Miss Universe United Arab Emirates and Miss Universe Morocco. This will mark the first time that a delegate from the United Arab Emirates has competed in the competition. Additionally, Miss Universe Morocco returns to the competition for the first time in more than four decades.
Steve Harvey will return to host the Miss Universe pageant.
For those hoping to see her in her home state before the end of the year, Smith told WHAS-TV she’ll have a small window over the holidays to come back to the Bluegrass State.
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“I have a vision board that I made a year ago with a photo of Miss USA as a goal,” Smith said. “I want to be sure to pick that up when I come back to Louisville because it’s proof that when you set a goal and do the work you can make it happen.”
Reach Kirby Adams at email@example.com or Twitter @kirbylouisville.