Miss District of Columbia, Deshauna Barber, wins Miss USA 2016! Announced Sunday evening on a live television from Las Vegas, Deshauna received the Miss USA crown from last year’s winner, Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma, Cosmopolitan reports.
Runner-up to the crown of Miss USA 2016 was Miss Hawaii, Chelsea Hardin. Others who landed coveted positions in the top five included Miss Georgia, Emanii Davis, in third place, Miss California, Nadia Mejia, fourth, and Miss Alabama, Peyton Brown, in fifth place. All winners in their own right. There’s much more to Deshauna Barber than just her good looks. The 26-year-old is also an army officer!
Held annually since 1952, this year’s hosts were Julianne Hough, Ashley Graham and Terrence J., The Backstreet Boys, Chris Young and Nervo will perform. Donald Trump wasn’t expected to be anywhere near the pageant though. Trump owned the pageant from 1996 to 2015, but Trump sold the company last September when he had a falling out with broadcasters over comments he made regarding Mexicans. There were mixed feelings regarding his absence. Some said it was more boring without him being around.
The judges this year included Ali Landry, Miss USA 1996 from Louisiana; Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008 from Texas; Joe Zee, Editor in Chief and Executive Creative Officer of Yahoo Fashion; and Laura Brown, Features/Special Projects and Executive Director of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber, was born in Columbus, Georgia and traveled with her military family around the U.S. living in several states. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia State University, Deshauna moved to Washington D.C. and works as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
As her father was also in the military, it appears to be in her blood. In 2011, Deshauna Barber was commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer. She is currently a Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Miss D.C. put up her army uniform for a bit to compete among a list of beauties for the Miss USA 2016 crown. The 5-foot ten-inch bombshell is no shrinking violet. She competed in the traditional categories of swimsuit, evening gown, talent, and the dreaded Q&A. When Deshauna was asked about women in combat, her answer was solid.
“As a woman in the United States Army, I think … we are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated,” Deshauna Barber said. “Gender does not limit us in the United States.”
Runner-up, Miss Hawaii, avoided answering a question in her Q&A segment. When asked which presidential candidate she would vote for, Chelsea Hardin stayed on the center line saying the new president should do what’s right for the country. Other contestants in the final five were asked about voting rights, income inequality, and the death of Muhammad Ali.
Deshauna Barber looked sharp in her gold evening gown at the finale of the show but even though this week was Pageant Week, which is packed full of interviews and show shoots, she continued to serve others. According to Hollywood Life, Deshauna worked with the USO and took part in the “Operation That’s My Dress.” Deshauna paired up with military teens and their moms to help them find the dress of their dreams for the prom. Deshauna Barber said being a teen in a military family can be difficult because of the frequent relocations.
When she’s not competing in beauty contests or serving her country, Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber enjoys dancing, hiking, and family time. Deshauna has a passion for soldiers suffering from PTSD and suicidal thoughts after returning from deployments.
Now that the sassy officer has won Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber will next compete in the Miss Universe contest.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]