Who Is Betty Cantrell? Miss America 2016 Has A Bright Future & These Performances Prove It — VIDEOS
Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner! Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell has been crowned Miss America 2016. She beat out 51 other competitors for the prize and this is just the second time in history that Miss Georgia has won the national crown. It was a well-deserved win thanks to Cantrell's standout opera performance during the talent portion. She had the misfortune of being asked about #DeflateGate during the question and answer section, but Cantrell persevered to win the title. I'll let her slide on the awkward answer too, since the other contestants were mainly asked about political and women's issues, and the Tom Brady question really — to borrow from another sport — came out of left field.
Cantrell, 21, is relatively new to the pageant circuit. As a child, she didn't consider herself a "pageant girl," according to Heavy, so her first competition was just two short years ago — but she's been racking up wins ever since. Cantrell's platform is healthy living, and the passion runs in the family. Her parents, who are both physical therapists, own and run the Cantrell Center in Georgia, which focuses on sports medicine in addition to physical therapy. Anyone who heard her talent performance won't be surprised to learn that Cantrell is a music education and vocals major at Mercer University. As she expressed on the show tonight, she dreams of being a Broadway star.
Cantrell has serious vocal chops that can be seen here, when she won the talent preliminary earlier this week:
Her opera performance set Cantrell apart from the rest of the contestants, so here are some prior performances that showcase her amazing voice and range:
1. "Let It Go"
Our new Miss America can belt out a Disney song as beautifully as she can sing an opera tune.
Cantrell won first place in the Musical Theater division at the 2013 NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) competition with this performance.
3. "Non Disperar"
She competed in the same competition the next year. Her performance of Handel's "Non Disperar" was a completely different genre than the prior year, but it was equally impressive.
4. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"
It's always tough to pull off such an iconic song, but Cantrell's rendition of "Over the Rainbow" proves that she'll go far in the music world.
Congrats, Miss America!
Image: Ida Mae Astute/ABC