This weekend Miss District of Columbia USA, Deshauna Barber, was crowned Miss USA 2016. The event took place at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and the telecast was aired live on FOX.
Deshauna is 26 years old and was born in Columbus, Georgia. The daughter of an Army Master Sergeant (now retired), she relocated multiple times growing up to states including North Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The new Miss USA graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia State University, she then returned to Washington, D.C. where she is currently working as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2011, Deshauna commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer in the Army and is currently a Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Maryland.
During the night Deshauna made it clear that she is passionate about serving the men and women in the U.S. military, specifically focusing her efforts on PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from deployments and suicide prevention in the Armed Forces.
Emmy Award winner Julianne Hough and three-time Emmy Award nominee Terrence “J” Jenkins co-hosted the three-hour event, for which they both served as creative producers. Model, entrepreneur and body activist Ashley Graham took viewers behind-the-scenes as backstage host.
Best-selling artists Backstreet Boys, Grammy-nominated country music star Chris Young, and international music sensation Nervo took the MISS USA stage to perform throughout the night.
Judges Nigel Barker, Laura Brown, Ali Landry, Crystle Stewart and Joe Zee selected Deshauna Barber from an incredible group of 52 women from 50 states and District of Columbia, as well as Miss 52 USA, Alexandra Miller, who was selected via #FindingMiss52, a nationwide search for a 52nd contestant to compete in this year’s event.
Additionally, fans had the opportunity to help their favorite contestants secure a place in the Top 15 by casting their votes leading up to and during the telecast through the new Miss U mobile app.
Contestants competed in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview, which culminated in Miss USA 2015 Olivia Jordan from Oklahoma crowning Deshauna Barber.
First Runner-Up: Miss Hawaii USA Chelsea Hardin
Second Runner-Up: Miss Georgia USA Emanii Davis
The Top Three included Miss Georgia USA Emanii Davis; Miss Hawaii USA Chelsea Hardin and of course Miss District of Columbia USA Deshauna Barber. The contestants Miss Alabama USA Peyton Brown and Miss California USA Nadia Mejia were in the top five.