Mississippi’s Asya Branch was crowned Miss USA on Tuesday, November 10 (Monday, November 9 US time) in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee.
Asya succeeded Cheslie Kryst, whose reign was extended when the pageant, which was scheduled early this year, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Asya is also the first Miss USA titleholder to wear the new crown by Mouawad called the “Power of Positivity.”
Kim Layne of Idaho, who is half-Filipino, was the 1st runner-up. Other winners include Oklahoma’s Mariah Jane Davis as 2nd runner-up, Indiana’s Alexis Lete as 3rd runner-up, and Alabama’s Kelly Hutchinson as 4th runner-up.
During the final Q and A, Asya was asked “what must be done to bring our nation back together again.” She said that it was about restoring trust in the country’s institutions – from government to media.
For her final statement on gun laws, Asya said: “As someone who grew up in a home with guns, I learned in an early age how to load, how to fire, and gun safety. And I think that education should be available to everyone. I believe that we should require people to pass training and safety courses before they are allowed to purchase a gun and before receiving a permit. I think it’s important to not ban guns – because people will find a way to get what they want – but I think it’s our 2nd amendment right and we just need more safety surrounding that.”
According to her Miss USA profile, Asya, 22, is studying at the University of Mississippi, taking up Integrated Marketing Communications with emphasis on Public Relations and minor in General Business. She also attended Harvard University for summer school at 17.
She is the 6th of 8 siblings, loves arts and music, and has a cosmetic line called Branch Beauty.
As Miss USA, Asya will represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant and will stay in New York with reigning Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi and Miss Teen USA 2020 Ki’ilani Arruda, who was crowned on November 7. – Rappler.com