September 16, 2013 04:24:41 GMT
The 24-year-old contestant from Syracuse is announced the winner after answering a question about plastic surgery on heels of controversies surrounding Julie Chen's eyes surgery confession.
The new Miss America has just been announced in a live pageant show on Sunday, September 15 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Miss New York Nina Davuluri won, marking the second year in a row Miss NY took home the crown. Miss Mallory Hagan previously won the 2014 title in a Las Vegas ceremony held in January this year.
Judges included Lance Bass, Mario Cantone, Carla Hall, Barbara Corcoran, Joshua Bell, Amar'e Stoudemire and the last Miss America to be crowned in Atlantic City, Deidre Downs. "Good Morning America" anchor Lara Spencer hosted the competition with "The Bachelor" presenter Chris Harrison.
Davuluri performed a Bollywood dance for the talent showcase and advanced to the top 5 with Miss Oklahoma Kelsey Griswold, Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh, Miss California Crystal Lee, and Miss Florida Myrrhanda Jones. Amidst controversies surrounding Julie Chen's eyes surgery, she was asked by Hall a question on the matter.
The 24-year-old beauty from Syracuse said, "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." She added, "I wouldn't want to change someone's looks. Be confident in who you are."
Miss Oklahoma got a question from Cantone about Miley Cyrus' recent jaw-dropping performance. "I'm going to be honest. I don't think her performance was twerking for me. Get it?" she said, before adding, "It was not super tasteful but ... I have to respect her creativity."
On heels of Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal, Miss Minnesota was asked by Bass if political wives should support their scandalous husbands. "When you make a commitment to somebody, you're with them for life," she said. "I think they're doing the right thing by standing by that man they fell in love with ... That husband needs to get it together, though."
Miss California was asked by Bell about the violent situation in Syria. She said, "I believe as one of the most powerful countries in the world we do have an ethical obligation to prevent a leader of a country who is using chemical weapons on his people. I believe we should use congressional support if we can. And the U.N."
Miss Florida was asked her opinion about low income and unemployment issues. "My father is unemployed. It took a lot for me to be able to stand on this stage. ... I truly represent that middle-class, blue-collar family...We need to have more jobs in America," she said but was cut off by the host before she could continue due to time limit.
Davuluri, who once battled bulimia, won the $50,000 scholarship cash. Not only did she become the first Miss America to be crowned in Atlantic City, N.J. since 2006 but she's also the first Indian-American to be crowned Miss New York and is the first Miss America winner of Indian descent. The first runner-up went to Miss California, followed by Miss Oklahoma, Miss Florida and Miss Minnesota.