via press release:
MISS GEORGIA, BETTY CANTRELL, CROWNED MISS AMERICA 2016
The “2016 Miss America Competition” Aired Live
on Sunday, September 13th from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall
on the ABC Television Network for its 95th Anniversary
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (September 13, 2015) – Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell, was crowned Miss America 2016 tonight at the birthplace of the legendary competition in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for its 95th Anniversary broadcast on the ABC Television Network. Vanessa Williams returned to the Miss America stage after 32 years since her crowning as Miss America 1984 and served as Head Judge. Williams opened the show with a performance of “Oh How the Years Go By.” Williams joined host Chris Harrison, co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, music curator Nick Jonas and celebrity judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya.
Cantrell’s acceptance of the highly-prized crown is just the beginning of a journey that will take her to every corner of the nation during her year of service as Miss America 2016. She will embark on her national speaking tour about her platform, Healthy Children, Strong America, and act as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals, is the national platform partner of the Miss America Organization.
Cantrell is a student of Mercer University. During her year as Miss America, she will serve as spokesperson for Healthy Children, Strong America. Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2016, Cantrell won a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Cantrell performed the operatic vocal performance of “Tu Tu Piccolo Iddio.”
First runner-up in the competition was Miss Mississippi, Hannah Roberts, who earned a $25,000 scholarship. Her talent was classical violin, and her personal platform is Pages of Love. Second runner-up honors and a $20,000 scholarship was awarded to Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson. Her talent was original monologue, and her personal platform is The Health Initiative PLUS.
The 52 contestants, who represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, participated in preliminary competitions earlier in the week. Miss Tennessee, Hannah Robison, was the winner of “America’s Choice,” an online competition where viewers were given the first time opportunity to vote for their favorite Miss America contestant entirely on social media. The winner of “America’s Choice” advanced to the Top 15 in the competition.
Founded in 1921, the Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading advocates for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women. The Miss America Organization and its 52 state organizations award millions in cash and in-kind scholarships annually. The Miss America Organization also provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills within them a spirit of community service through a variety of nationwide community-based programs.
Join the Conversation: #MissAmerica
Executive Producers for the “2016 Miss America Competition” are Anthony Eaton, Sam Haskell and dick clark productions’ Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan and Mark Bracco. Tall Pony Productions produces.
About The Miss America Organization
The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation, provides millions of dollars in annual college scholarship assistance making it the largest scholarship program for women in the United States. MAO is comprised of 52 licensed organizations, which includes all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. MAO contestants contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $10 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007.
About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Country Countdown Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Hollywood Film Awards” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group and dcp; “World’s Funniest” from Jukin Media and dcp; as well as “BOOM!” from Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group and DC Media, the parent company of dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.