Reality TV

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell Wins Miss America 2016

Welcome to the results recap for Miss America 2016! We’re LIVE from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey! Chris Harrison hosts with special guest judges including country singer Brett Eldredge, author and activist Taya Kyle, Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, author and former Wonder Years star Danica McKellar, Disney Channel star Zendaya, world-class snowboarder and Paralympian Amy Purdy, and Vanessa Williams, the first-ever African-American Miss America! She makes her return after 32 years to serve as the head judge for 2016, while Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev of New York, is on-hand to crown her successor.

Who will win the coveted crown? Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating throughout the night!

Miss America 2016 Results Who Won the Miss America Pageant

Credit: ABC

-So before we get to any results, there’s an awkward bit of business that we need to get out of the way first, as Vanessa Williams and her mother receive an official apology from the Miss America organization, which is nice, although Vanessa seems SUPER uncomfortable the entire time. But oh well, better late than never.


-There are 52 contestants onstage. The judges chose 14, while America chose one. Chris Harrison reads the results…

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison (America’s pick for the Top 15!)
Miss Iowa Taylor Wiebers
Miss West Virginia Chelsea Malone
Miss South Carolina Daja Dial
Miss Florida Mary Katherine Fechtel
Miss Oklahoma Georgia Frazier
Miss Virginia Savannah Lane
Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin
Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson
Miss Louisiana April Nelson
Miss Texas Shannon Sanderford
Miss Nebraska Alyssa Howell
Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell
Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts
Miss Arkansas Loren McDaniel

There is an absolutely devastating lack of competitors from the Northeast up on that stage. Seriously, I get that the South is Pageant Country, and Miss New York won last year, but throw the Northeast a bone, man!

-So after marching around in swimsuits to music curated by Nick Jonas (in this case, the wonderful “Worth It” by Fifth Harmony), the girls learn the results from professional dream-killer Chris Harrison, which is bad enough without having to be stared down by Vanessa Williams (who’s probably still recovering from the awkwardness of the official apology she received at the top of the show for how she was treated 32 years ago).


-Onto the results, as Chris Harrison reveals the Top 12!

Miss Florida Mary Katherine Fechtel
Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson
Miss Iowa Taylor Wiebers
Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts
Miss Texas Shannon Sanderford
Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison
Miss South Carolina Daja Dial
Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin
Miss Nebraska Alyssa Howell
Miss Louisiana April Nelson
Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell
Miss Oklahoma Georgia Frazier

-Afterwards, Vanessa Williams explains that, as a judge, she was looking for who exuded confidence out there. Zendaya agrees, although she ends up getting cut off by Brooke Burke-Charvet, since I’m guessing we’re already at that point where we’re rushing like hell through the evening.

-So Nick Jonas picked another X Factor USA alum as his music choice for the evening wear competition, selecting “Fire N Gold” by Bea Miller. It’s a surprisingly apt fit. If nothing else, the song distracts from Taya Kyle’s bugged-out Michelle Bachmann eyes.


-Each contestant who advances from the evening wear competition will perform on the spot for the talent portion of the competition. Here are the results, along with the talent each finalist performed…

Miss Florida Mary Katherine Fechtel: Performed dance routine set to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel
Miss Oklahoma Georgia Frazier: Sang “Happy Days Are Here Again” by Barbra Streisand
Miss Louisiana April Nelson: Sang “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music
Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison: Played Liberace’s “El Cumbanchero” on the piano
Miss Texas Shannon Sanderford: Sang “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield
Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin: Performed a dance routine set to “Clubbed to Death” by Rob Dougan
Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson: Performed an original monologue about a former patient from her nursing days
Miss South Carolina Daja Dial: Sang “Believe” by Fantasia Barrino
Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts: Performed “Zapateado, No. 2, Opus 23” on the violin
Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell: Performed an operatic vocal of “Tu Tu Piccolo Iddio”


-The seven contestants to be named will be asked a question. The three who aren’t named will be eliminated, as we head into the Question and Answer portion of the competition.

Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson: Kevin O’Leary asks Kelley which woman belongs on the $10 bill. Her answer? Ellen DeGeneres, because she can be funny without being mean or hurtful to anybody.

Miss South Carolina Daja Dial: Amy Purdy asks if she supports a ban on military-style assault weapons. She doesn’t, but mostly because she feels true change begins and ends with proper education.

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison: Vanessa Williams asks if Planned Parenthood funding should be cut off. Her response is that it shouldn’t be, saying that the funding Planned Parenthood receives is essential to women’s healthcare.

Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin: Taya Kyle asks why she thinks Donald Trump is leading the GOP pack. She says it’s because he’s an entertainer. However, she does feel the GOP should be terrified that Trump is stealing attention from worthier candidates like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell: Brett Eldredge asks if she thinks Tom Brady cheated over the DeflateGate scandal. Betty asks him to repeat the question because she couldn’t hear it. Brett repeats the question, and Betty gets a second chance to answer it. She says she would need to have been there to feel the ball to tell one way or the other, but that if it was deflated, then he definitely cheated and deserved to be suspended.

Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts: Zendaya asks if Kim Davis had her religious freedom violated for facing prison time for refusing to issue gay marriage certificates. Hannah believes her rights were not violated, noting that Kim Davis violated the law by refusing to do her duty.

Miss Louisiana April Nelson: Danica McKellar asks if the Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter movements are misnamed, and April’s answer basically boils down to how properly training the police force would prevent these sorts of movements from being necessary in the first place.

Miss America 2016 - Kira Kazantsev arrives to crown winner

-Kira Kazantsev is out onstage, as we get a recap of her year as Miss America set to “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.

Miss America final results


Fourth runner-up is…Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin!

Third runner-up is…Miss Louisiana April Nelson!

Second runner-up is…Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson!

First runner-up is…Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts!

And the winner of Miss America 2016 is…Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell!


Congratulations to Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell!

What did you think of the results? Sound off in the comments!

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