By Sandra Birungi
24-year-old Miss New York, Nina Davuluri has been crowned Miss America in the recently concluded Miss America pageant which took place yesterday, Sunday night.
Davuluri’s win makes her the first contestant of Indian heritage and the second consecutive contestant from New York to win the Miss America pageant. Davuluri has stepped into the shoes of former Miss America who also happened to be Miss New York, Mallory Hagan. Hagan’s tenure was cut short after the pageant moved back to Atlantic City after a six-year stint in Las Vegas.
Davuluri performed a classical Bollywood fusion dance for her talent competition. Today morning, the newly crowned Miss America will head to the scene of a devastating boardwalk fire in the New Jersey communities of Seaside park and Seaside Heights on Monday afternoon.
53 contestants eyed the crown competing in swimsuit, evening gown, talent and interview competitions. “This is where we belong,” Sam Haskell, CEO of the Miss America Organization, told The Associated Press. “This is the home of Miss America, and this is where we’re going to stay.”
Much attention had been given to Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, who is believed to be the first Miss America contestant to openly display tattoos. In a Twitter message Sunday, Vail wrote: “Win or not tonight, I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have empowered women. I have opened eyes.” Vail made it to the Top 10 and won a nationwide voters’ choice award propelling her into the semi-finals.