The Miss USA 2016 preliminary competition concluded recently and there is a little bit of shake-up with our list since the Arrival Hot Picks was published. Missosology’s Miss USA correspondent and pageant expert Andrew Alcalde came up with the ultimate list on who we think will make it to the Top 16.
Graphics by Haraya.
Miss USA 2016 Final Hot Picks
There is no doubt that Chelsea Hardin, who is representing the Aloha State, delivered strongly during the preliminaries. Her shapely body earned the nods of so many beauty experts. In fact, most of the well-experienced missosologists and veteran beauty experts have put Chelsea in their Top 5. Hawaii is pretty strong at the Miss USA pageant having won 4 crowns. The last Hawaiian victory at Miss USA produced a Miss Universe – Brook Mahealani Lee in 1997.
Virginia can be proud of two Miss USA winners and the Old Dominion is well represented this year with Desiree Williams. The 26 year old beauty queen is no stranger to pressure and limelight. She once competed at Miss America (although she was unplaced) and in 2012, she was the National Sweetheart winner. A front-runner, she won hearts with her elegant beauty and clearly her experience will help her through the tough competition.
Kate’s glamorous face is definitely turning heads in Las Vegas. While Wisconsin is yet to have a Miss USA winner, Kate came out with a solid performance during the preliminaries. She has a strong background in pageantry having competed and placed in the semis of Miss Teen USA 2013.
Representing the Mt. Rushmore State is Madison Mckeown. As someone who is from a very weak state, not much was expected from her by pageant analysts. During the preliminaries however, Madison showed that it doesn’t matter which state are you from, if you perform well, you will definitely get noticed. Her stylings and fashion sense including her choice of gown at the prelims did put her angelic beauty into the forefront of the race towards the Miss USA crown!
As the 52nd contestant chosen by the fans, it seems that Alexandra Miller’s participation lacks that same legitimacy as state winners. Not so fast though as this fabulous beauty actually finished as first runner-up to the current Miss USA Olivia Jordan at Oklahoma state finals. Alexandra has shown determination and eye-catching confidence during the prelims so she is expected to at least be in the Top 16.
Pageant analysts did cast some doubts about Sydney but the prelims has somehow strengtened the idea that this young lady can make it through the semis. Glamorous, confident and with a Hollywood vibe, Sydney also calls Nevada her home at one point. Will her familiarity – and affinity – to the host state might boost her chances!
Having finished as second runner-up at the Miss California USA 2013 pageant, Brie represents that state-hopping trend at the Miss USA pageant. Now representing the Sunshine State after failing in the Golden State, Brie, armed with experience and knowledge is set to test her determination in this year’s contest. Her prelims performance show, she might do well this time around.
The Palmetto State is represented at Miss USA 2016 by the refined beauty of Leah Lawson. She defied expectations at the prelims and despite her odd choice for a gown – all boring colors with weird appliqués – she may just have enough nods from the judges to sneak in to the Top 16!
Emelina’s fate at Miss USA 2016 rests more on the skills of her state organization rather than on the fact that she is a host girl. Shanna Moakler currently heads the state pageant and she has worked hard to prepare her girls. Her hard work paid off as the Silver State had its 4 year streak at the semis. Expect Emelina to continue that streak this year.
The exotic beauty that is Emanii could earn a monicker Gorgeous Georgia! She did well at the prelims with her bubbly personality and a queen-like aura. Her state is yet to win the crown but this should not stop Emanii from being in the semis.
ALTERNATES: Massachusetts, Ohio, Montana, Colorado and Iowa