Miss North Carolina, Miss Texas, Miss South Carolina, Miss Teen USA 2016

Darren Decker/ Miss Teen USA

Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Miss Teen USA.

Out of 51 beautiful contestants, Miss Texas Teen Karlie Hay wowed the judges like nobody else with her brains, talent and beauty Saturday night at the annual beauty pageant held inside The Venetian in Las Vegas.

While there were plenty of reasons to celebrate in the final moments of the telecast streamed live online, Karlie and all the finalists went through quite a weekend before a winner was crowned. In fact, Miss Texas’ toughest task may have come during the Q&A portion. Musician and judge Savannah Keyes wanted to know what the future president should tackle with teens first.

“Peer pressure, hands down,” Karlie said in front of a sold-out crowd before addressing drinking, drugs and partying. “The next president needs to confront this issue and tell teens that you need to be yourself and be a leader and of course the next Miss Teen USA needs to be a leader.”

Pretty solid answer, right? 

Karlie Hay, Miss Texas, Miss Teen USA 2016

Darren Decker/ Miss Teen USA

The answer was enough for Miss Texas to beat runner-up Miss North Carolina Emily Wakeman and second runner-up Miss South Carolina Marley Stokes. Miss Alabama and Miss Nevada rounded out the top five. 

So what did the contestants have to experience during the show? For starters, 51 ladies quickly turned into 15 semi-finalists at the beginning of the telecast. Soon after, the young women were asked to wear Tapout athletic wear and evening gowns before the final five were revealed.

For those who don’t recall, organizers announced the end of the swimsuit competition in exchange for a brand-new clothing competition. The decision came in an effort to show support for feminism and equality. 

Many eyes were also on Chrisley Knows Best star Savannah Chrisley who was representing the state of Tennessee. 

While the reality star made it through to the semi-finals, the judges included Total Divas star Eva Marie, journalist Lu Parker and former beauty pageant queens Keylee Sanders and Hillary Cruz couldn’t advance her into the top five. 

“No matter what the outcome is…I have been extremely blessed with great new friendships,” Savannah wrote on Instagram before tonight’s live broadcast. “I will never stop trying to make a difference in this world.” 

(E! and USA are part of the NBCUniversal family) 



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