Miss New York Nina Davuluri walks down the runway after winning the the Miss America 2014 pageant on Sunday in Atlantic City.(Photo: Mel Evans, AP)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ- The 2014 Miss America pageant returned to Atlantic City for the first time in nine years to crown a new 2014 winner.
"Atlantic City has survived Hurricane Sandy!" said Good Morning America's Lara Spencer, who co-hosted the ABC show with Chris Harrison.
And now it has survived the mother of all beauty pageants.
After a night of big numbers, long evening gowns, tight swimsuit strutting, dancing, singing and, yes, answering those tough judges' questions (including ones about Miley Cyrus and Syria!), the 53 Miss America contestants (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) were narrowed down to one winner.
Miss New York Nina Davuluri, 24, from Syracuse, sashayed off with the tiara and the $50,000 scholarship cash. She performed a Bollywood fusion dance (after missing her cue at first) and answered a question about plastic surgery. ("Be confident in who you are!") She hopes to become a doctor, like her father, who is an obstetrician in Fayetteville, Mich. She once battled bulimia, according to a Syracuse.com July story, and is the first Indian-American to serve as Miss New York/ She is the first Miss America winner of Indian descent.
Here's how it all played out:
The 53 contestants introduced themselves in a taped segment with those quippy catchphrases, including:
-"From the state known for its national football championships, here's your champion tonight, 'm Miss Alabama, Chandler Champion."
-"Tweet me, like me, text me! Streaming to you from Silicon Valley, I'm Crystal Lee, Miss California.
-"Listening to your phone calls from the Nation's Capital. Just kidding! I'm Miss District of Columbia, Bindhu Pamarthi."California."
-"Once most famous for the fountain of youth, now we're known as America's weirdest state. I am Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones."
-"Out of 5,500 Kansas army national guardsman, Uncle Sam wanted me. Hoping you will too, I am Miss Kansas Theresa Vail."
-"From the home of Duck Dynasty, I'm here to trade in my duck call for the Miss America crown. I'm Miss Louisiana Jaden Leach."
-"From the home of the reigning Super Bowl champions, you bet I'm wacko for Flacco. I'm Christina Denny, Miss Maryland."
-"The Jersey shore is back and, no, I don't mean the TV show. Welcome home, Miss America. I'm Cara McCollum, Miss New Jersey."
-"I'm not Breaking Bad. I'm breaking through. Say my name, Alexis Duprey, Miss New Mexico."
"From the state with the lowest unemployment, I'm looking for a job tonight. I am Miss North Dakota Laura Harmon."
-"From the birthplace of Brad Pitt, Chuck Norris and Kristin Chenoweth - beauty, brawn and talent, I'm Kelsey Griswold, Miss Oklahoma.
-From the state where 20% of our homes are mobile, because that's how we roll, I'm Brooke Mosteller, Miss South Carolina."
-"Even thought I'm lactose intolerant, Ben and Jerry are still my two favorite guys. I'm Miss Vermont, Jeanelle Achee."
The celeb judges for the night: Lance Bass, Mario Cantone, Carla Hall, Barbara Corcoran, Joshua Bell, Amar'e Stoudemire and the last Miss America to be crowned in Atlantic City, Diedre Downs Gunn.
Harrison got the crowd pumped up for the first part of the competition - announcing the semifinalists.
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