Nina Davuluri is first Miss America of Indian descent

New Jersey, Sep 16 (IANS) Miss New York, 24-year-old Nina Davuluri, became the First Miss America of Indian descent as the famous beauty pageant returned to Atlantic City, New Jersey, after a six-year stint in Las Vegas.

Davuluri from Syracuse sashayed off with the tiara and the $50,000 scholarship cash as the nationally televised pageant was back in Boardwalk Hall, where judges chose her to succeed the current title-holder, and former Miss New York, Mallory Hagan, USA Today reported.

She performed a Bollywood dance for the talent part, answered a question about plastic surgery and hopes to become a doctor, like her father.

She once battled bulimia, according to a Syracuse.com July story, and is the first Indian-American to serve as Miss New York and is the first Miss America winner of Indian descent.

Earlier, after a night of big numbers, endless crowd cheering, swimsuit strutting, dancing, singing, the 53 Miss America contestants (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) were narrowed down to one winner, USA Today said.

The 53 contestants introduced themselves in a taped segment with those quippy catchphrases, including "Listening to your phone calls from the Nation's Capital. Just kidding! I'm Miss District of Columbia, Bindhu Pamarthi."

The 100-year old pageant was televised live by ABC, which picked up the contest again in 2011 after dropping it in 2004 because of a steep ratings decline.

The judges were 2004 Miss America winner Deidre Downs Gunn, the New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, Lance Bass from the boy band 'N Sync, comedian Mario Cantone, violinist Joshua Bell and television chef Carla Hall.

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