Viewers might have been rooting for Miss Kansas Theresa Vail or Miss Florida Myrrhanda Jones, but it was Miss New York Nina Davuluri who was crowned Miss America Sunday night in Atlantic City, N.J.
Even though Davuluri awkwardly missed her cue to perform, leading her name to be announced a few times, the contestant still went on to win the beauty competition.
“Next up for talent is Miss New York,” host Lara Spencer announced. Davuluri continued applauding, and another frazzled contestant jumped up instead. Spencer said once more: “Miss New York, you are up ... Miss New York, you are up!” Davuluri then went on to deliver a Bollywood-type performance, which many enjoyed.
Before Sunday night’s televised appearance, the 24-year-old told Syracuse.com she would have been thrilled to make the top 15. “I am so, so proud of myself,” she told the news site. “I feel like I really nailed the talent preliminary, and I think my 10-minute interview went really well. I’ve been consistently happy with all my performances in the preliminaries.”
She certainly impressed the judges with her answer about news anchor Julie Chen recently revealing she felt forced to get plastic surgery on her eyes to make her look “less Asian.”
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The precise question on Sunday night read: “Julie Chen had plastic surgery to appear less Asian. What do you think of her decision?” Davuluri quickly answered she didn’t approve of plastic surgery, but then continued: “I’ve always viewed Miss America as the girl next door, and the girl next door is evolving.”
And the Miss America Pageant is evolving, too. This year’s contestants encompassed both a woman who was born without part of her arm and a tattooed National Guard sergeant.