21 year old Savvy Shields, took home the crown with a jazz routine during the talent portion, which won her the preliminary talent competition.
The 96th Miss America pageant, was held at the Boardwalk hall in Atlantic City ,New Jersey, on Sunday, September 11, 2016. The event was broadcast by ABC in the United States, the first in the network's newest agreement to carry the pageant until 2019, with Dick Clark Production producing the ceremony.
Betty Cantrel (Miss Georgia 2015) crowned her successor, Miss Arkansas 2016,Savvy Shields, at the end of the two-hour nationally televised event. After her run as Miss America, Shields will return to the University of Arkansas as a senior studying art. “I want to hopefully work in a museum and teach at a collegiate level,” she said about her plans for the future. Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt was the night's first runner-up, second runner-up was Miss New York Camille Sims, third runner-up was Miss Washington Alicia Cooper, and the fourth runner-up was Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis.
The top 15 finalists were: Kentucky, Washington; Massachusetts, Arkansas, South Carolina, Idaho, Iowa, Texas, California, Oklahoma, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
And the night’s celebrity judges were; Mark Cuban, Gabby Douglas and Ciara and they praised Shields and congratulated her on her win.