Miss New York’s Nina Davuluri, 24, of Syracuse, captured the crown of Miss America Sunday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. She is the first of Indian heritage to win the nearly century’s old title, and a consecutive winner from the Empire State The pageant returned to its original venue after a nine-year absence and was presented live on ABC. Davuluri performed an impressive Bollywood fusion dance number during the talent segment. She maneuvered fast, intricate spins that included being on her knees.
While being selected as one of the top five finalists, judge Carla Hall of “The Chew,” a talk/cooking show, asked her the following question regarding Julie Chen's decision to have plastic surgery in making her eyes appear less Asian. Her response was, "I don't agree with plastic surgery, however I can understand that from a standpoint. More importantly I've always viewed Miss America as the girl next door. And Miss America is always evolving... I wouldn't want to change someone's looks. Be confident in who you are."
Many took to Twitter expressing their displeasure of Miss New York’s win. Prior to the broadcast viewers voted for their favorite, Miss Kansas, to be the first selected into the Top 15. The Army sergeant received a lot of media attention with her massive tattoo of the Serenity Prayer on her mid torso, which was visible during the swimsuit competition. Miss Florida’s Myrrhanda Jones of Gainesville, and a graduate of the University of Florida, had torn her knee ligaments during preliminaries a few days earlier. She wore a visible knee brace, decorated in sequins, during the competition. Jones performed a flawless baton twirling routine as her talent.
Miss Florida was third runner-up, fourth runner-up: Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh, second runner-up: Miss Oklahoma Kesley Griswold, and it was down to two Asian-Americans with runner up: Miss California Crystal Lee.