The Miss USA 2021 pageant will take place tonight at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 51 women from across the country will compete for the crown and the sash.
The Miss USA pageant is a two-hour contest in which these young ladies will participate in a swimsuit section, an evening wear section, and a question-and-answer section for the honor of being crowned Miss USA 2021 by last year's winner Aysa Branch. The pageant starts at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FYI and Hulu.
Alabama: Alexandria Flanigan
The 25-year-old student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville is in the pre-law program majoring in philosophy and minoring in political science. She will be a first-generation college graduate in her family. She hopes to be a judge and a member of Congress one day.
Alaska: Madison Edwards
Madison Edwards, 25, is an all-star cheerleading coach and a world-competitive all-star cheerleader. She also loves to play video games and wants to open a video game bar.
Arizona: Cassidy Jo Jacks
Cassidy Jo Jacks, 27, began competing in pageants in the seventh grade. She currently works in medical sales, and in her free time, she likes to hunt, ski, and play the piano.
Arkansas: Stephanie Barber
Stephanie Barber, 23, graduated from the University of Arkansas with degrees in journalism and political science. She wants to be a federal judge and law professor. For fun, she runs her Instagram account that focuses on reviewing french fries in Arkansas and travels. So far she has been to 15 different countries.
California: Sabrina Lewis
Sabrina Lewis, 24, has loved horses since she was a child. She competed in equestrian shows and hunter/jumper competitions throughout her childhood. She was captain of the equestrian team in high school and college. She’s currently enrolled in a Master of Public Administration program at the University of Georgia, with a specialization in Nonprofit Administration. She wants to run a nonprofit equine therapeutic center for disabled children and veterans someday.
Colorado: Olivia Lorenzo
Olivia Lorenzo, 20, is currently studying product development and marketing at Colorado State University, with a goal of being a creative director for environmentally sustainable fashion brands. She also loves hiking, snowboarding, doing yoga, and paddleboarding.
Connecticut: Amanda Torchia
Amanda Torchia, 25, is an educator, motivational speaker, activist, and model. She advocates for equal opportunity within education by fundraising for learning materials for poverty-centric districts. She is also certified in Animal Fostering through the Humane Society and enjoys spending time learning Italian from her father.
Delaware: Drew Sanclemente
Drew Sanclemente, 25, is a second-year medical student, studying to become a pediatrician. She volunteers in elementary schools and speaks to survivors of sexual assault. For fun, Drew enjoys cycling, hiking, and going to the beach.
District of Columbia: Sasha Perea
Sasha Perea, 28, self-published a book: Model Mindset: A Beginner’s Guide to the Modeling Industry about how to begin your modeling career. She is also the co-founder of Foobee®, “a global first-to-market application that merges the dating, crypto, and e-commerce industries. When launched, it will be the world’s first swipe-to-earn social dating app.” As a first-generation Colombian-American, Sasha is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Florida: Ashley Carino
Ashley Carino, 27, was inspired to compete in her first-ever pageant this year by her mother. Having loved all things STEM growing up, Ashley majored in Aerospace Engineering. She has brought her love of STEM to the community by helping children and adolescents with mental health diagnoses find coping skills and passions through STEM programs and activities.
Georgia: Cora Griffen
Cora Griffen, 25, graduated with a political science degree. She has been a model for more than five years and was awarded a scholarship from the King Center in Atlanta to learn how to promote and implement Martin Luther King Jr.'s nonviolent social change philosophy.
Hawaii: Allison Chu
Allison Chu, 27, has a degree in psychology and currently works as a full-time professional model and actress. Allison is also a voting member of the Grammy Awards and is a classically trained opera singer. She believes in the importance of preserving her Hawaiian culture, is a professional hula dancer, and sang Hawaiian music for 11 years with the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus. She is also a professional oyster shucker.
Idaho: Katarina Schweitzer
Katarina Schweitzer, 27, has a master's degree in early childhood and special education and works as a special education teacher. She wants to get her Ph.D. Katarina is a former cadet commander for the Naval Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and was awarded the Legion of Valor. For fun, Katarina enjoys running with her dog, and watching or playing football.
Illinois: Sydni Bennett
Sydni Bennett, 20, attended Chicago Academy for the Arts where she was a dance major focusing on ballet. All before the age of 16, she was a regional and national winning soloist and co-directed a nationally winning dance team. After a double hip injury, she had to stop dancing. She founded the company Diverse Style by Sydni Dion, which sells pageant shoes in many shades of “nude,” to address the lack of colors available.
Indiana: A'Niyah Birdsong
A'Niyah Birdsong, 26, graduated from a military high school and majored in biology in college. She works as a pharmaceutical sales rep and was recently promoted to a Sr. Associate Marketer. She also advocates for women in STEM fields.
Iowa: Katie Wadman
Katie Wadman, 21, is a senior studying psychology, journalism, and mass communications. She also works as a news anchor for her university’s on-campus television show. Katie dances with the nationally ranked University of Iowa Dance Team and coaches young dancers across the state.
Kansas: Gracie Hunt
Gracie Hunt, 22, is working on her master's degree in sports management, hoping to one day become the first female NFL commissioner. She’s currently training to qualify for the steeplechase competition at the 2024 Olympics and serves as a global ambassador for the Special Olympics.
Kentucky: Elle Smith
Elle Smith, 23, is a full-time reporter for WHAS, an ABC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky. She also plays the viola and piano and has participated in musical theater for 10 years. She advocates for cervical cancer awareness in honor of her late grandmother.
Louisiana: Tanya Crowe
Tanya Crowe, 28, was the captain of the New Orleans Saints cheerleaders, where she has cheered for four seasons. She is also actively involved in her family’s 4th generation farming and agriculture businesses. Tanya has also worked as a model and is a licensed cosmetologist.
Maine: Veronica Iris Bates
Veronica Iris Bates, 21, enlisted in the United States Air Force after high school, where she worked as a Security Forces member and trained military working dogs. She is now studying criminal justice and psychology at American Military University.
Maryland: Layilah Nasser
Layilah Nasser, 26, has been a member of the Girl Scouts of America since the first grade and served as the spokesperson for Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital for a year. Currently, she works on the first-ever Diversity Talent Acquisition team at Adobe, which she created. She has also created a career readiness program for underrepresented talent that several companies have adopted. Through her work, she has provided over 1,000 opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and full-time jobs to underrepresented talent.
Massachusetts: Sarah De Souza
Sarah De Souza, 25, is an interior designer and artist. She also interviews immigrants from around the world for her podcast, “Immigrant Stories Matter.” As a first-generation Brazilian-American, Sarah is trilingual, speaking Portuguese, Spanish, and English.
Michigan: Taylor Hale
Taylor Hale, 26, is an entrepreneur, running her company Taylor Mack Style, which is a personal styling business. She wants to use her platform to "encourage everyone to be unapologetically powerful and pretty."
Minnesota: Katarina Spasojevic
Katarina Spasojevic, 20, is a commercial model, who was been in ads for Target, as well as walked bridal shows and has been published in two French magazines. She is also a first-generation college student, pursuing degrees in business law and marketing. Katarina is an avid lover of nature and loves being on the lake.
Mississippi: Bailey Anderson
Bailey Anderson, 22, is a special care newborn nurse, what she calls “the most special job in the entire world." She also advocates for prenatal care access for pregnant mothers and Alzheimer’s awareness and treatment.
Missouri: Joye Forrest
Joye Forrest, 25, has been dancing since she was three years old and has appeared in music videos and commercials. She has also taught dance in nine countries. Currently, Joye is teaching dance, gymnastics, and cheer while studying for her Doctorate in Chiropractic. She also wrote the children’s book Dance with Joye.
Montana: Jami Forseth
Jami Forseth, 24, is a trained martial artist and Krav Maga instructor, who earned her black belt at age 12. She now teaches self-defense to human trafficking survivors. Jami also grew up with foster siblings, which motivated her to become a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for foster children. Her future plans include traveling the state as an Equestrian and Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.
Nebraska: Erika Etzelmiller
Erika Etzelmiller, 24, is a dental student, studying to follow in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. During her university years, she was a Division 1 athlete on the University of Nebraska Cheerleading squad. Erika advocates for free dental care for Nebraska’s underserved communities.
Nevada: Kataluna Enriquez
Kataluna Enriquez, 28, is the first openly trans woman to compete in Miss USA. Kataluna speaks four languages and founded a fashion business, as well as advocates for mental health and the LGBTQ community.
New Hampshire: Taylor Fogg
Taylor Fogg, 26, has a degree in Psychology and Business Management and is currently working towards becoming an attorney. She wants to work in public health policy and pediatric advocacy. Taylor has also served as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for foster children. Taylor is a triathlete, having earned two World and six National Championship titles. For fun, Taylor enjoys hiking, playing with her dog, woodworking with repurposed materials, and watching hockey games.
New Jersey: Celinda Ortega
Celinda Ortega, 27, is pursuing a second degree in biomedical science and plans to become a rheumatologist. Her career choice was inspired by being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus in 2018 after a flare-up almost killed her. As a first-generation Dominican-American, she's bilingual in English and Spanish. Through her nonprofit organization Stellar Role Models, Celinda hosts workshops that teach girl empowerment and provides one-on-one mentorship.
New Mexico: Christa Schafer
Christa Schafer, 26, majored in English literature and is writing a children's book. Her past work includes being a Disney intern and a flight attendant, and she is now working towards getting her real estate license, in addition to her modeling career. Christa’s program, "A Blessing in Disguise," allows her to dress up as a princess and visit terminally-ill children in the hospital.
New York: Briana Siaca
Briana Siaca, 27, has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and business and works for an investment firm in New York City. She also works with the organization Girls Inc.
North Carolina: Madison Bryant
Madison Bryant, 24, earned a neuro-specific psychology degree, and she is working towards her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Her ultimate goal is to be a Nurse Practitioner. She has also completed award-winning research on PTSD. Madison is a musician with 15 years of vocal experience in opera and jazz and also mentors teens in the national parks.
North Dakota: Caitlyn Vogel
Caitlyn Vogel, 21, advocates for people who have Down's syndrome and other disabilities through her nonprofit called Limitless, as well as Limitless’s annual fashion show that features people with different abilities. Caitlyn is pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She also models locally and nationally.
Ohio: Nicole Wess
Nicole Wess, 23, is earning her doctorate in pharmacy. She serves her community by working at a Covid clinic and as an intern at a charitable pharmacy. Her hobbies include modeling and riding her motorcycle.
Oklahoma: Albruena Gonzaque
Albruena Gonzaque, 28, is excited to finally be competing for Miss USA, noting that it took "six tries and 2,190 days." Her biggest passion is food, and advocates for sustainable cooking practices, making meals accessible to all, and garden-themed therapy. She hopes to publish a cookbook next year.
Oregon: Allison Cook
Allison Cook, 27, is a 5-time concussion survivor, who now advocates for Brain Injury Awareness. She majored in Radiologic Sciences, and for her job, she travels around the country training physicians and medical professionals to use X-Ray Equipment. Outside of work, Allison plays volleyball, referees sports like basketball, and plays the electric violin.
Pennsylvania: Sydney Robertson
Sydney Robertson, 24, is an esthetician and nutritional consultant, who created her own wellness brand. As the only contestant with short hair, Sydney says she hasn't worn it longer than shoulder length since she was 10 years old. For fun, she enjoys traveling and hiking.
Rhode Island: Karly Laliberte
Karly Laliberte, 27, played tennis in college while majoring in art. She now works as a marketing specialist for a sports company, as well as sells commissioned artworks. Her program stART smART provides art supplies to elementary students.
South Carolina: Marley Stokes
Marley Stokes, 24, works as a makeup artist, a phlebotomist, a model, and a dancer. For fun, she enjoys archery, axe throwing, and playing golf with her dad.
South Dakota: Caroline Pettey
Caroline Pettey, 27, has a degree in broadcast journalism and traveled with the Women's National Basketball Association team as a reporter. She is now a weeknight news anchor, journalist, and producer for a duopoly station in Rapid City. She advocates for women who have faced domestic violence. For fun, Caroline enjoys snowboarding, hiking, computer coding, reading, and baking.
Tennessee: Elizabeth Pistole
Elizabeth Pistole, 21, has visited 34 countries, is a certified open-water scuba diver and is "on track to obtain 3 college degrees within 4 years." Her organization Dancing Divas and Dude bring people of all abilities together to have fun dancing.
Texas: Victoria Hinojosa
Victoria Hinojosa, 22, is a Social Media Marketing Manager. She is also a commercial model for bridal and prom dresses, boutique clothing, and footwear. She hopes to one day own a marketing firm focused on the beauty industry. Victoria also founded a non-profit organization, Victorious Angels, which helps smaller nonprofits by teaching them how to use social media for their outreach. She enjoys activities including shotgun shooting, fishing, and family time on the ranch.
Utah: JessiKate Riley
JessiKate Riley, 25, has a degree in music and violin performance. She was raised on a farm and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder called Trichotillomania as a child. She now works as a model and a motivational speaker, as well as the project manager for a multimillion-dollar supplement company.
Vermont: Joanna Nagle
Joanna Nagle, 27, says she's a "search-engine marketing specialist by day, and an ice hockey player and coach by night." She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and currently works as a digital marketing strategist. She coaches the Burlington Bobcats Hockey team and has played hockey herself for more than 20 years.
Virginia: Christina Thompson
Christina Thompson, 25, is pursuing her master’s degree in journalism. She was awarded the Edward R. Murrow award for her coverage of social-justice protests in 2020. She also works as a TV news reporter and has her own news segment called “Crown Time with Christina Thompson,” in which she reports on the appearances that she makes across Virginia to highlight her state and to encourage more women to participate in pageants.
Washington: Christine Brodie
Christine Brodie, 26, is a first-generation Filipino-American woman. She works in Amazon's executive-recruiting department and promotes inclusivity and female leadership. Christine advocates for local shelters that provide resources to underprivileged women. She enjoys traveling, reading, and spending quality time with her family.
West Virginia: Alexis Bland
Alexis Bland, 22, is a successful real estate agent who does modeling work on the side, including walking four shows during New York Fashion Week. She is also the owner of an online women’s clothing boutique, Twisted Couture, which sells affordable fashion.
Wisconsin: Samantha Keaton
Samantha Keaton, 20, is currently in school, studying biology and pre-med. She plans to become a reconstructive plastic surgeon. She recently founded her own cosmetics brand, Glam By Sam Kosmetics.
Wyoming: Mackenzie Kern
Mackenzie Kern, 21, is a college student and a business owner. She launched an online clothing boutique at the age of 19 to bring unique fashions and current trends to her state. She is also a full-time social media marketer and manager for multiple Wyoming-owned businesses. Mackenzie is a survivor of assault and advocates for women to work toward healing from their trauma.