Miss America 2014 crowned
Miss New York Nina Davuluri wins the 2014 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 15, 2013 in Atlantic City, N.J.Photo: Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- For the second year in a row, the contestant representing New York state won the title of Miss America. Sunday night in Atlantic City, Nina Davuluri, from Syracuse, was crowned Miss America 2014. Outgoing title-holder Mallory Hagan presented Davuluri with her crown at the close of the live, two-hour ABC telecast. During the Miss New York pageant in 2012, Davuluri was second runner-up for the title that ultimately went to Hagan.
In addition to the tiara, Miss America takes home a $50,000 scholarship. The first Miss America of Indian descent, Davuluri performed a Bollywood dance for the talent portion of the evening. USA Today reports that she answered a question about plastic surgery and said she hopes to become a physician, like her father.
At the beginning of Sunday night's telecast, the 53 contestants representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, each introduced themselves in a taped segment that injected humor into the proceedings. (Our favorite quip: "Once most famous for the fountain of youth, now we're known as America's weirdest state. I am Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones.")
The Miss America Pageant first took place in Atlantic City in 1921. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the crowning of another history-making Miss New York. Vanessa Williams was not only the first African-American to earn the title, she was also the first to resign after a scandal involving nude photos. Williams, still officially recognized as Miss America 1984, went on to have a successful singing and acting career.