Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1994; deaf. Kayla Martell, Miss Delaware 2010; alopecia. Alexis Wineman, Miss Montana 2012; aspergers. Nicole Kelly, Miss Iowa 2013; missing a forearm. None of these beautifully inspiring titleholders let what may appear to be a disability stop them in the pursuit of the Miss America crown.
This year, 2014 state titleholders from Kentucky, Idaho and New Jersey have overcame personal disabilities in the pursuit of the Miss America crown. Coincidentally so, 2/3 of these ladies share a name (with different spellings).
Carrie and I in the Holding Room
We arrived at Boardwalk Hall literally two hours before the show. Carrie and I caught up with Adrienne, Dan, Gary, & George, as well as Bianca and Kristina. We were all part of a seat filler program. Basically, many companies sponsor big events and in return receive free tickets to the show.But many do not actually attend the show. So a seat-filler’s job is to find empty seats during commercial breaks and sit in them so that the stadium does not appear empty. Only the first 20 rows ever go on TV, and those are the ones with the empty seats! Unfortunately, this often means that you get moved around and relocated based on holes formed by bathroom breaks. But in Dan and Adrienne’s case, this meant getting moved directly behind Lance Bass. They didn’t complain. Carrie and I were lucky enough not only to sit together, but remain int he same seats for the duration of the pageant.
Before the pageants started, however, we were approached by quite a few Press companies. We were interviewed by both television and online newspapers about our predictions. It was really exciting to know that people would actually listen to us. I was overly confident that Nina would win during the online written article but didn’t speak up during the televised interview. I’m bummed because although my elbow made an appearance, the two girls who don’t even compete in MAO but were wearing NY sashes from another system were featured, simply because they are from NY. Carrie and I were mentioned as “future Miss Americas” and video’ed as I took a photo of her in front of a sign. That was a pleasant surprise when we watched the clip.
She did it.
I’m not going to try and keep it a secret, since I’m sure everyone already watched it on television. Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, won Miss America 2014.
- She is the second Miss New York to become Miss America, in a row.
- Mallory Hagan crowned her twice; as Miss New York and as Miss America
- She is the 6th Miss New York to become Miss America, ever.
- She is the second Miss Syracuse to become Miss America, ever.
- 30 years, exactly, after Vanessa Williams won.
- She is the first Miss America of Indian descent.
- She was the first contestant to perform Bollywood Fusion for her talent.
- It was the first time the Final Two were “ethnic”.
- Officially they were both Asian-American, as India is in southern Asia.
- Also both were 1st Generation Americans.
- She is the first former MAOT (Michigan) to become Miss America.
This also means that Miss New York…
- Has FOUR Miss New York titleholders in a single calendar year
- Had the first Jewish Miss America, first Black Miss America, and first Indian Miss America.
- Is the 3rd state to win twice consecutively (after Penn & Oklahoma)
Nina Davuluri, you are officially my favorite local holder, favorite Miss New York, and now Favorite Miss America. If I had missed this girl get crowned I would have never forgiven myself.