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'It is an honor to represent the Bluegrass State' | Elle Smith talks with WHAS11 before Miss Universe

Miss USA, Elle Smith of Kentucky, prepares to fly to Miss Universe pageant in Israel.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A day after being crowned Miss USA, Elle Smith talked to WHAS11's Hayley Minogue.

Elle, Miss Kentucky at the time, and Hayley did a "nothing is off the table" conversation ahead of Elle flying to Tulsa, OK for the Miss USA competition.

So far Elle is undefeated in pageants. That's because winning Miss Kentucky was her first crown. Miss USA is now her second. That's back-to-back wins.

Elle is a standout beauty who has been rocking her natural hair throughout the competitions.  Using her strong journalistic communication skills during the interview portion of the evening, she really pulled ahead of her competitors. 

"It's so funny because this is the first year that they've done that format--where all eight walk out, and you don't know if you're going to get called for 4th runner up, third runner up, and so I look over at Maryland. She was my best friend for the whole entire week and I thought she's going to win."

Elle said she's still surprised by the win, mainly because she strongly felt her friend, Layla would win.

"I was like Layla is going to win and I'm gonna go crazy and then they said Kentucky and I was just like--what in the world? It's the craziest feeling and I think you could see it in my face, I had no idea. Absolutely no idea."

RELATED: Crowned! WHAS11 Reporter Elle Smith wins Miss USA 2021

Less than 48 hours after winning Miss USA, Elle will head to Israel to represent all 50 states and U.S. territories in the Miss Universe pageant. 

For those hoping to see her in her home state before the end of the year, Elle said she'll have a small window over the holidays to come back to the bluegrass state.

Hopefully, during that time, we'll be able to do something to celebrate her in Kentucky.

RELATED: 'I walked in wanting to do my best...' | WHAS11's Elle Smith wins Miss Kentucky USA


WATCH: Elle Smith before Miss USA pageant

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