Victoria Paul and Alayah Benavidez pay tribute to late friend and fellow pageant star Cheslie Kryst

Victoria Paul and Cheslie Kryst
Pageant competitors Victoria Paul and Alayah Benavidez remember their late friend Cheslie Kryst. Pic credit: @victorianpaul/Instagram

After the tragic passing of Cheslie Kryst, Bachelor Nation stars Victoria Paul and Alayah Benavidez are taking time out to remember and honor their late friend and fellow pageant star. 

In 2019, Cheslie, Victoria, and Alayah all competed against one another in Miss USA. Victoria was Miss Louisiana, Alayah was Miss Texas, and Cheslie was Miss North Carolina. 

Cheslie took home the ultimate prize during the pageant and was named Miss USA 2019, during a historic year for diversity in the pageant world. 

After Miss USA, Victoria and Alayah went on to compete on The Bachelor Season 24 starring Peter Weber. 

Over the recent weekend, news broke that Cheslie Kryst died at only 30-years-old. According to authorities, Cheslie’s death stemmed from a steep fall and appears to be death by suicide. 

News of Cheslie’s death has devastated the country, especially those who knew her, such as Victoria and Alayah. 

Both Victoria and Alayah took to Instagram to reflect on their dear friend Cheslie and the moments they shared. 

Victoria Paul shares a scripture in remembrance of Cheslie Kryst 

Victoria Paul took to Instagram and shared several photos from moments she shared with Cheslie both in pageants and in life. The two appear to have had a close, fun, and loving bond. 

Victoria shared a series of photos from her photoshoots with Cheslie, as well as a couple of videos of the two smiling and laughing. Cheslie also refers to Victoria as her roommate in one of the clips. 

In one of the most poignant photos from the post, Victoria shares a photo of Cheslie with a fortune cookie paper slip in the forefront that reads, “Your life will be happy and peaceful.” 

Victoria captioned the post with the scripture, “Psalm 46: 1-2”  which reads “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,” in the NIV version. 

Alayah Benavidez calls Cheslie Kryst a ‘true queen’ 

Alayah took to her Instagram stories to commemorate Cheslie. 

In a photo of Cheslie smiling as she gets crowned Miss USA, Alayah wrote, “A true queen, a selfless gem of a human. I cannot understand what has happened but I pray for her family and loved ones and truly hope [they] feel Gods comfort in these impossible times.” 

Alayah Benavidez IG story
Pic credit: @alayahbenavidez/Instagram

Alayah also shared another post that featured her smiling and pointing at Cheslie in her Miss USA crown. 

Alayah wrote, “Forever and always will admire you Ches. I know you knew it but I wish I could have told you more how immensely proud of you I was and how much I adore you,” also adding, “Please be kind. Be respectful. You never know what someone is going through behind the scenes.” 

Alayah Benavidez IG story
Pic credit: @alayahbenavidez/Instagram

Cheslie Kryst’s beautiful soul continues to be honored by Bachelor Nation and the world. May she rest in peace. 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. 

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