Two months ago, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I watched as the girl I’ve competed with, had lunch with, discussed platforms with, and judged a local pageant with was crowned Miss America. It was fricken amazing, and I’m still in shock. New York won twice. Upstate New York. First Bollywood Talent. First Indian descent. It was just truly unbelievable.
Two Miss Americas in a row seems like a great reason to Party. So in line with Miss America tradition, after beginning her reign as Miss America, she would return to where it all began.
After a quick evening in New York City to jump start the Homecoming celebration, Nina and her gang flew (or drove) upstate to the place where it all began: Syracuse. Here, the real celebration began. I of course wanted to be involved and chose two of the events to attend: the autograph signing and the breakfast.
Obligatory Photo with Nina’s Photo!
Carrie and I drove straight to the Boardwalk on Saturday, and paid the outrageous $20 parking fee. Thankfully, when we finally got to the hotel, checked in, and decided it was not dirty and we could sleep there, I discovered a shuttle that runs to anywhere in Atlantic City for only $5. I’m not sure, but I think they charged my room and we paid them cash, so I should probably check my bank statement. Sunday morning, bright and early, we called the shuttle. The van parked in front of the hotel, but our driver was inside. Carrie noted that the van had been sideswiped. Fair enough, it happens. But we soon discovered why.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Harry takes a journey on the Knight Bus. Our driver and Stan Shunpike are actually cousins. At one point in our journey, after our driver cursed at triathalon bikers, 5k runners, and traffic cops, whipped around corners and zipped down one way streets, I turned to Carrie and whispered, “This reminds me of the Knight bus.” To which she replied, “I was thinking the same thing!” It was such a wild ride that when she dropped us off at Caesar’s Palace, she jumped out of the car to open our door before she put the van in Park. The van started to roll away and the valet parkers stood their laughing. when our feet were safety on the ground a valet parker joked, “Better late than dead.”
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.
Recently, as I’m sure you already know from my blog post about it, my sister and friend made the journey down to Staten Island and watched in excitement as my friend, Nina aka Miss Syracuse, was crowned Miss New York. I couldn’t have been more pleased. I have been routing for her since I met Nina during Miss Greater Rochester, which now seems like centuries ago!
Now, Nina has the challenge and pleasure of representing not only New Yorkers, but UPSTATE New Yorkers at the Miss America pageant. This year, Miss America is coming home. After moving to Las Vegas nearly a decade ago, the Miss America pageant is returning to the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And instead of being held in January, the pageant was pushed up to September 15th. Nina is clearly beautiful, talented, and smart (everything needed to become Miss America!), but two months is hardly any time at all to prepare!
So Click Here to Vote for Nina, and support Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, and help secure her place in the Top.