"I was the first Indian Miss New York and I'm so proud to be the first Indian Miss America," Davuluri said during a press conference held at Boardwalk Hall, according to NJ.com and The Star-Ledger.
Davuluri, 24, became the second consecutive Miss New York winner to wear the Miss America crown, succeeding Mallory Hagan. An aspiring doctor, Davuluri is the first Miss America to be crowned in Atlantic City since 2004.
The pageant, which was televised nationally on ABC, returned home to its birthplace in Atlantic City following a stint in Las Vegas.
Davuluri competed in a zebra-print bikini during the swimsuit portion of the competition, and a yellow evening gown, inspired by her favorite Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast.” For the talent portion, she performed a Bollywood-style dance.
Carla Hall of “The Chew” and “Top Chef,” one of the celebrity judges, asked Davuluri about how she felt about Julie Chen's decision to have plastic surgery to make her eyes appear less Asian.
"I don't agree with plastic surgery, however I can understand that from a standpoint, but more importantly I've always viewed Miss America as the girl next door, and the girl next door is evolving as the diversity in America evolves,” said Davuluri. “I wouldn't want to change someone's looks or appearance. Be confidant in who you are," she added.
First runner-up was Miss California Crystal Lee. Second runner-up was Miss Oklahoma Kelsey Griswold. Third runner-up was Miss Florida Myrrhanda Jones and fourth runner up was Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh.
In addition to Carla Hall, celebrity judges included Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs (the last Miss America crowned in Atlantic City prior to Davuluri), Lance Bass of the boy band ‘N Sync, NBA New York Knicks player Amar'e Stoudemire, violinist Joshua Bell, Barbara Corcoran from “Shark Tank,” and comedian Mario Cantone of “Sex and the City” fame.
ABC television personalities Chris Harrison of “The Bachelor” and Lara Spencer of “Good Morning America” co-hosted the competition.