Chaavi, who is 19 and from Edison, was a non-finalist last year and fourth runner-up at Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2015. She is the second Indian-American from Edison to win the Miss NJ USA title the past four years, following in the footsteps of Emily Shah who went on to make the top 20 at Miss USA 2014. Six of the past seven Miss NJ USA winners had previously competed in or won the Teen event.
Briahna is a 16 year old first-time contestant from Englishtown.
Among the top eighteen were Kendall Zoppa, last year's second runner-up, and past Miss & Teen semi-finalists Chioma Ikpe, Katarina Kneer, Kristen Kowalski, Amanda Pierce and Michelle Torres.
I have to say I disappointed that Miss NJ Teen USA 2010 Erica Szymanski, 2014 first runner-up Katherine Gaal and past semi-finalist AliciaMarie Blanks all missed the cut as I thought they were all vying for a top five spot this year. I hope to see them back!
In the Teen pageant, four of the top five were competing for the first time. In addition to Briahna, the newcomers were first runner-up Carsyn Norway, second runner-up Jenny Chu and fourth runner-up Sydney Burger. The only returning contestant in the top five was third runner-up Katie Sour who was a semi-finalist last year.
There was a top twenty called in the Teen division, which included 2016 third runner-up Lizmary Perez, and past semi-finalists Samantha Eberle, Mazzy Eckel, Kristen Myers, and Ava Tortorici.
1RU: Alexandra Lakhman (SF 16, 4RU 15, 1RU NJ TUSA 14)
2RU: Alexa Noone (SF CA USA 16, NF 15, T20 CA TUSA 13, NF 12)
3RU: Larissa Martinez (1RU 16, NF 15)
4RU: Brittany Netta
Danielle Bjorlo (NF AL USA 16)
Kandice Chavous (NF 16, NF 15)
Mayelin De La Cruz
Chioma Ikpe (SF NJ TUSA 16, SF 15)
Katarina Kneer (SF NJ TUSA 11)
Kristen Kowalski (SF NJ TUSA 14, NF 12)
Amanda Pierce (SF 16)
Michelle Torres (SF 16)
Kendall Zoppa (2RU 16, SF 15, SF 14)
1RU: Carsyn Norway
2RU: Jenny Chu
3RU: Katie Sour (SF 16)
4RU: Sydney Burger
Samantha Eberle (SF 16)
Mazzy Eckel (SF 16, NF 15)
Alexandra Pollera (NF 16)
Kristen Myers (SF 16)
Lizmary Perez (3RU 16, NF 15, NF 14)
Ava Tortorici (SF 16)