Three of last year's Miss runners-up are returning this year: first runner-up & former Miss Tennessee Erin Hatley, second runner-up Sara Cardona and third runner-up Kaileigh Bullard. The first runners-up from both the Miss & Teen pageants in 2015, Kaileigh in Miss and Hannah Sluss in Teen, are both competing at Miss TN USA, with Hannah competing in the Miss pageant for the first time. 2015 Miss 4RU Sarah Yarbrough is also back after missing the 2016 pageant; she was first runner-up in the Teen pageant in 2010 & 2011. A third Miss TN Teen USA runner-up is competing, last year's 3rd runner-up Corbin Hinson.
The only returning 2016 TN semi-finalist is Olivia Davis and Amanda May is a past TN Teen semi-finalist, however there are plenty of contestants from other states. Two former Virginia contestants are competing: Lehanna Craft, a runner-up at Miss OH USA 2009 alongside current Miss Ohio USA Megan Wise, and Meah Ollis, who had competed in TN Teen USA 2014 before competing at Miss VA USA 2015. Lehanna has the opportunity to compete this year because of the age extension. Also competing in Tennessee for the first time is Felicia Bolton, who had competed in Texas three times (including placing 2RU at Miss TX Teen USA 2009), and was a semi-finalist in Louisiana in 2015. Destinee Quinn was a semi-finalist in Arizona in 2012. Amanda Cooksey is a past non-finalist from Florida and Anna Christina Pullig-Gomez
was a non-finalist at Miss CA USA 2011.
Only two newcomers have won the Miss title in the past decade, Kristy Landers Niedenfuer in 2014 & Kristen Motil in 2009. Four were past TN Miss runners-up, one was a past runner-up in Alabama, one was a past TN Teen runner-up and three were former Teen USA titleholders.
Bernesha Buckles • Bluff City
Sara Cardona • Capital City (2RU 16)
Laney Anne Millard • Chattanooga
Haley Hodgson • Cleveland
Brooke Dotson • Cookeville
Anna Christina Pullig-Gomez • Davidson Co. (NF CA USA 11)
Amanda Bell • Downtown Nashville
Whitney Stroup • Dream City
Azlinn Alder • East TN
Jade Daniels • Goodlettsville
Rachel Wilkins • Greater Nashville (NF 16)
Julia Mason • Green Hills
Lehanna Craft • Kingsport (SF VA USA 16, NF VA USA 15, NF OH USA 14, SF OH USA 12, SF 10, 2RU 09)
Olivia Davis • Knox Co. (SF 16)
Elyse Sholtis • Knoxville
Sarah Yarbrough • Madison Co. (4RU 15, SF 14, SF 13, 1RU TN TUSA 11, 1RU TN TUSA 10)
Corbin Hinson • Maury Co. (3RU TN TUSA 16, SF 14)
Felicia Bolton • Memphis (T10 LA USA 15, SF TX USA 13, SF 11, 2RU TX TUSA 09)
Brandi Haralson • Middle TN
Lanial Madden • Montgomery Co.
Destinee Quinn • Music City (SF AZ USA 12)
Kaileigh Bullard • Music Row (3RU 16, 1RU 15)
Jasmine Fleming • Nashborough
Amanda Cooksey • Nashville (NF FL USA 15, NF FL TUSA 14)
Hannah Sluss • North Knoxville (1RU TN TUSA 15, 2RU 14)
Leslie Truan • Northeast TN
Emily Stansfield • Oak Ridge
Amanda May • Oneida (SF TN TUSA 14, SF 12, NF 11)
Madison Jones • Rocky Top
Olivia Rogers • Rutherford Co.
Jessica Howard • Shelby Co.
Meah Ollis • Southeast TN (SF VA USA 15, SF TN TUSA 14)
Hannah Gilmore • Sumner Co.
Jessicka Tucker • TN Iris
Paiton Patterson • TN Valley
Shanida Hatcher • Unite
Ashlyn Smith • Volunteer State (NF 14)
Erin Hatley • West TN
Allee-Sutton Hethcoat • Williamson Co.
TEEN CONTESTANTS (47)
Taylor Jamison • Antioch
Elizabeth DeLaney • Bartlett
Raelee Scarbrough • Big Orange Country
Celia Dodd • Bon Aqua
Samantha Maggart • Brentwood
Zulmy Lopez • Capital City
Katherine Lewis • Carter Co.
Caitlyn Johnson • Chattanooga
Jillian Owen • Clarksville
Cobi LeCroy • Columbia
Alissa Page • Cunningham
Emily Wieman • Davidson Co.
Alexandria Alder • East TN (SF & Congeniality 16)
Leah Jackson • Heart of Nashville (NF NY TUSA 16?)
Mary Kate Lewis • Houston Co.
Nicole Kenner • Knoxville
Meredith Watts • Lexington
Baylee Nester • Manchester
Megan Hollingsworth • Marshall Co. (SF 16)
Bailee White • Maryville
Jaclyn Canerdy • Memphis
Tierney Moore • Memphis Belle
Bailey Guy • Middle TN
Cambree Reed • Montgomery Co.
Abigail Masoner • Morristown
Madeline Sandman • Murfreesboro
Samantha Havenstrite • Music City (2RU 16)
Elizabeth Graham Pistole • Nashville
Autumn Allison • Putnam Co.
Rashaa Armstrong • River City
Asiana Swift-Miller • Rock City
Katie Durant • Rutherford Co.
Autumn Whaley Pobud • Sevierville
Taylor Gipson • Shelby Co.
Emily Kate Helton • Southern TN
Kelly Kerby • Sumner Co.
Gracie Tucker • Thompson Station
Desiree' Dyson • TN Valley
Heather Cunningham • Tullahoma
Jada Vandergriff • Union Co.
Gracie Gipson • Upper Cumberland
Alexandria Hardy • Volunteer
Alexis Mihalinec • Volunteer State (NF 15)
Morgan Simpson • West Knoxville
Brianna Gawlik • White House
Julianna Johnson • Williamson Co.
Alysa Rivera • Woodlawn