District of Columbia wins #MissUSA2016

For the third time in history, Miss District of Columbia won the coveted Miss USA crown on Sunday night (June 5th) in Las Vegas.

Deshauna Barber, a 26-year-old army officer and IT analyst for the US Department of Commerce, edged out 51 other candidates for the right to represent the US in Miss Universe later this year.

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Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin and Miss Georgia Emanii Davis finished first and second runners-up, respectively.

During the deciding final word round where the Top 3 were asked to define what “confidently beautiful” means, Barber said it is not always about appearance or economic background.

“Serving in the military has taught me that being confidently beautiful is about being able to earn respect from people regardless of what you look like,” she said. “As a woman in the military, people associate beauty with weakness and they learn very quickly that I’m extremely strong. And although I’m small, I’m powerful and confidently beautiful is being myself and being very happy with who I’ve become.”

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Barber was also well-applauded during the Top 5 Q&A round. Judge Joe Zee asked her: “The Pentagon recently made the decision to open up all combat jobs to women. Now, some have questioned whether this has put political correctness over our military’s ability to perform at the highest level. What are your thoughts?”

She replied: “As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate to every branch of the military. We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I am powerful. I am dedicated. And it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.”

The winner will move to New York City where she will live during her reign and become a spokesperson for various charitable causes on behalf of The Miss Universe Organization.

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Completing the Top 5 were Miss Alabama Peyton Brown and Miss California Nadia Mejía.

The rest of the Top 10 were Miss Arkansas Abby Floyd, Miss Connecticut Tiffany Teixeira, Miss Missouri Sydnee Stottlemyre, Miss South Dakota Madison McKeown, Miss Virginia Desi Williams.

Miss Arizona Chelsea Myers, Miss Ohio Megan Wise, Miss Oklahoma Taylor Gorton, Miss South Carolina Leah Lawson and Miss West Virginia Nichole Greene completed the Top 15.

#MissUSA2016: Fearless Predictions

IT’S THAT TIME of the year again when the best girls in the US strap on their heels for the Miss USA competition. This year, 52 ladies are battling it out for the crown and the chance to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

It’s still anybody’s ball game at the moment, with no clear front-runners in sight. So before Sunday’s main event, let me share my humble list on who I believe deserves to make the cut.

MISS USA 2016 | Wisconsin | KATE REDEKER
The face of the competition! With a very boring batch, Kate’s youthful beauty is a breath of fresh air. This 19-year-old beauty didn’t have the best walk or the sexiest body, but she was oozing with elegance throughout the prelims. She’s also very active in volunteering for the USO and “Operation: That’s My Dress!” events, among other organizations. This passion, her gift of gab ( I was very impressed with her intro because she wan’t pretentious) and her beauty make her a great follow-up to the incomprable Olivia Jordan.

MissUSA_02-052 | Hawaii | CHELSEA HARDIN
The moment she set foot in Vegas, Chelsea has already cemented her spot in the Top 5. She does everything absolutely well without appearing rehearsed. She’s into outdoor activities no wonder she got a great body! I’m no fan of seethrough gowns, but 24-year-old Chelsea just looked so good it seemed like a crowning look already.

Here’s a girl who only had a week to prepare but slayed them all during the prelims. It’s essential to mention though that 26-year-old Alex has been trying her luck in state pageants for the past 8 years. And just when she thought her pageant dream was over, here came the social media contest that gave her the opportunity. And she didn’t waste that chance. She was oozing with so much appeal in swimwear and was the best (in my opinion) during the evening gown.

4 | Virginia | DESI WILLIAMS
Naysayers say she’s too muscular for a queen, I say she’s looks so fab on stage! This 26-year-old assistant professor, licensed clinician and yoga instructor definitely is the best woman of color in this edition. She’s a bomb on stage for sure won’t falter in the all-important Q&A (dear, she’s a public and motivational speaker!) She truly have it all.

This might come as a surprise, but I have a soft spot for Sydnee. She’s a bit underrated but she had a solid performance in the prelims. Her evening gown is one of my favorites, too. It was easy on the eyes and emphasizes the beauty of he face and figure.

Caley-Rae is very modelesque and add to that her fierce look, she could pull off a surprise in the finale. Her gown was a bit disappointing but she work it very well.

Daniella’s best asset is her winsome smile. She’s also one of the best girls in the prelims but she looked so damn perfect that she appeared too manufactured already. But she’s Miss Texas, so expect her to make it far.

8 | South Dakota | MADISON MCKEOWN
The weak sash didn’t bother Madison during prelims. When she walked on stage in that gown and worked that cape so flawlessly, she automatically earned herself a spot in the semis. It would be a crime to ignore this beauty.

9 | South Carolina | LEAH LAWSON
What to love most about Leah is that her beauty comes off as unassuming. Aside from that, I think her body is naturally beautiful and she exudes so much sophistication each single time. I do think though that her beauty is more Miss Teen than Miss USA.

10 | Georgia | EMANII DAVIS
Not a fan of Emanii, but she was so gorgeous on her headshot! She had solid swimwear performance, but her evening gown made her look like a primary sponsor in a wedding. Give her a better styling and she’ll make it to Top 5 effortlessly.

11 | Massachusetts | WHITNEY SHARPE
Seriously, why not much hype about this girl? She gave a very solid performance during the prelims that it’s only proper to give her a spot in the semis. Nevermind that she forgot the right blocking in the swimwear round because she was so stunning and looking sharp in evening gown.

12 | Idaho | SYDNEY HALPER
Here’s another lady full of freshness and natural charm. However, her prelims was bordering boring and the styling wasn’t the best. Still, I think she could still make it (I just have a feeling that the non-powerhouse states will be given a spot this year).

13 | Minnesota | BRIDGET JACOBS
I looks like Minnesota is back to crowning the cutesy but lovely type of girls. Here’s Bridget who looks like a cross-breed of Danielle Hooper and Haley O’Brien. I like the reserved demeanor but fresh beauty that she’s serving us.

14 | California | NADIA MEJIA
Not a fan of Nadia, but I have to say she looks phenomenal. She’s very 2016! The “short-hair-don’t-care” aura works well for her. We’ve seen better girls from this state, but the strong sash will propel her to the semis.

15 | Tennessee | HOPE STEPHENS
She was giving me Ashley Durham (Miss USA 2011 1st runner-up) throughout the prelims. She wasn’t that impressive in swimwear but her evening gown performance was one of my favorites. The blue looks really good on her and the cut makes her sexy but classy.
MissUSA_16-20Ohio | MEGAN WISE
I had high expectations until sge came out wearing that tacky evening gown. She reminded me of Alyssa Campanella in Miss Universe. She looked dry!

With such a sweet face and lovely attitude on stage, it won’t be a surprise if Chelsea makes the cut. The gown makes her older than her real age (21), but overall she’s a fantastic delagate.

Auntie alert! Apologies if this appears to blunt, but she looked way past her real age (she’s just 24) on the Miss USA prelims stage. The homecourt advantage could work to her advantage.

This pageant veteran sure looked almost perfect on stage, but she just didn’t impressed me that much. Must be the boring pageant betty dress, or the lack of freshness.

She was my pre-arrival favorite and had one of the best headshots in my opinion. However, this 24-year-old first generation Portuguese-American beauty lacked the spark during the prelims.

#MissUSA2016: Preliminary Evening Gown Competition

Miss USA 2016 contestants  compete in their evening gowns during the MISS USA® Preliminary Competition at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 1st.

#MissUSA2016: Preliminary Swimwear Competition

Miss USA 2016 contestants compete in her Luli Fama swimwear during the MISS USA® Preliminary Competition at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 1st.

#MissUSA2016: Official headshots

Miss USA 2016 contestants pose for their official photo upon arriving to MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on Wednesday, May 25th.

The 2016 Miss USA contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss USA crown in Las Vegas. Tune in to the Fox telecast at 7:00 PM ET on June 5, 2016 live from the T-Mobile Arena to see who will be crowned Miss USA 2016. (HO/The Miss Universe Organization, Photographer: Jonathan Carter)

#MissUSA2016: USO Operation That’s My Dress

Miss USA 2015 Olivia Jordan and the Miss USA 2016 contestants walk the runway at the USO Operation That’s My Dress event on Saturday, May 28th. (HO/The Miss Universe Organization)

#MissUSA2016: Welcome Event

The 52 Miss USA contestants at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino during the Miss USA Welcome Event on Friday, May 27th. Reigning queen Olivia Jordan and MUO president Paula Shughart were present in the event.

The 2016 Miss USA contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss USA crown in Las Vegas. Tune in to the Fox telecast at 7:00 PM ET on June 5, 2016 live from the T-Mobile Arena to see who will be crowned Miss USA 2016. (HO/The Miss Universe Organization)


#MissUSA2016: Pre-shoot

#$Miss USA 2016 contestants take part in filming for the upcoming 2016 Miss USA Telecast upon arriving to MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on May 25, 2016.