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Miss New York Nina Davuluri, center, reacts after being named Miss America 2014 pageant as Miss California Crystal Lee, left, and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan celebrate with her on Sunday evening in Atlantic City, N.J.
This year's Miss America winner has brushed off racist abuse on Twitter and jealousy from other contestants to become the first Indian-American to win the contest in its 92-year history.
Nina Davuluri, 24, was crowned on Sunday evening as Miss America on the nationally televised pageant, which returned home this year to Atlantic City.
The Indian-American beauty overcame accusations that she bad-mouthed others entrant to win the contest. And within minutes of winning, she then faced racist comments on Twitter, some of which have already been pulled down.
But Miss Davuluri has shrugged off the hateful comments. In interview after being crowned Miss America, she said: 'I have to rise above that... I always viewed myself as first and foremost American,' according to Associated Press.
While the majority of people online rushed to congratulate the new Miss America, whose $50,000 prize money will help fund her stated ambition of attending medical school, racist comments also began to trickle onto the web.
Passing on the crown: It has been reported that there is bad blood between Ms Davuluri, front, and Ms Hagan, behind, after the newly crowned miss America allegedly called her predecessor ‘fat as s***’
Meredith Talley (@MeredithRoanell) said: 'This is Miss America... Not Miss Foreign Country.' Her Twitter profile disappeared shortly after her racists tweet, which was shared by numerous people, most were shocked at her comment.
Kat (@KathrynRyan50), who says on her Twitter profile that she is happily in love with her 'savior Jesus Christ', posted: 'Shes (sic) like not even american and she won miss america.' Kat also later deleted her own comment from her profile.
One girl starts her tweet by saying, 'I'm not a racist...' then goes on to question how Miss Davuluri can represent America 'doing an Indonesian dance'.
A user who calls herself 'FoxxiLiberal' (@FoxxiLiberal) and describes herself as a 'humanist,' and 'prochoice' posted: 'When will a white woman win Miss American? Ever?'
While Matt Haney (@OneProudHonkie) alleged online: 'How can you be Miss AMERICA and look like you should be a gas station clerk or motel owner?'
Miss America faced racists tweets online shortly after being crowned the 92nd winner
And Elizabeth (@EJRBuckeye) said: 'Well they just picked a Muslim for Miss America. That must've made Obama happy. Maybe he had a vote.'
She succeeds another Miss New York, Mallory Hagan, whose tenure was cut short when the pageant moved back to Atlantic City after a six-year stint in Las Vegas, where winners were chosen in January.
It has been reported that there is bad blood between the pair after Ms Davuluri allegedly called her predecessor ‘fat as s***.’
However competition authorities say the allegation has been proved false. It is thought one of her entourage made the insulting remark.
After winning the Miss New York competition on July 16, Ms Davuluri invited friends back to her hotel room to celebrate, and that's when another competitor overheard her slinging insults at Ms Hagan.
When the conversation turned offensive, a beauty queen in an adjoining room started to record the conversation.
Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, made it into the top 5 wearing a bejeweled knee brace
Winner: Nina Davuluri performed a classical Bollywood fusion dance for her talent competition
Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, is believed to be the first Miss America contestant to openly display tattoos
Miss Georgia Carly Mathis acknowledges the crowd after advancing beyond the lifestyle competition during the Miss America 2014 pageant on Sunday
The native of Syracuse, N.Y. wants to be a doctor...
...she is applying to medical school
...intends to use $50,000 scholarship she won
In addition to the fat comment, friends of Ms Davuluri were heard making racist comments, reports the New York Post
Following the incident, Ms Davuluri apologized for her friends' comments on Facebook, but said she did nothing wrong.
'I want to apologize for the awful statements made by people in my room... There were people who claimed to be my supporters and said things I never agreed with, nor supported,' Ms Davuluri wrote. 'I was never a part of the words or statements that may have been hurtful... I'm sorry if someone said something that was inappropriate.'
A representative for Ms Hagan said that the situation was investigated in July and that there is 'no validity to the story whatsoever.
'Miss New York spoke to Mallory Hagan to let her know there was no validity and to apologize if she was offended in any way,' the rep said.
Speaking on Good Morning America on Monday, Ms Davuluri said that she had called Ms Hagan about the reports and had apologized 'because it was the right thing to do'. After she was awarded the crown, the women hugged.
'She was genuinely excited and happy,' she said of the win. 'I am so thankful for her to be a part of this.'
She added that she was still in disbelief that she had won, and that the whole experience - particularly her Bollywood fusion dance in the talent section - had been emotional.
Davuluri's victory led to some negative comments on Twitter from users upset that someone of Indian heritage had won the pageant
Miss America pageant alumni, from left, Miss Nebraska Mariah Cook, Miss Nevada Randi Sundquist, Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan, and Miss South Dakota Calista Kirby pose for a photograph before the Miss America 2014 pageant
Miss Maryland Christina Denny displays her swimsuit in Atlantic City
Miss Kentucky Jenna Day displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2014 pageant
Miss Connecticut Kaitlyn Tarpey displays her swimsuit
Contestants walk on the runway during Sunday nights event in Atlantic City
'It was the first time Bollywood has been performed at Miss America,' she said. 'It's such an honor for myself, my family and my community as well. I just remember performing my talent and halfway through just crying. It was such an incredible experience being on that stage... It was so meaningful and powerful.'
Moments after winning the 2014 Miss America crown on Sunday, Ms Davuluri described how delighted she was that the nearly century-old pageant sees beauty and talent of all kinds.
'I'm so happy this organization has embraced diversity,' she said in her first press conference after winning the crown in Atlantic City, N.J.'s Boardwalk Hall. 'I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.'
Her pageant platform was 'celebrating diversity through cultural competency', she said.
The native of Syracuse, New York said she wants to be a doctor, and is applying to medical school, with the help of a $50,000 scholarship she won as part of the pageant title. Her father is also a doctor and Ms Davuluri said she was currently interested in pursuing psychiatry.
Her first runner-up was Miss California, Crystal Lee. Other top 5 finalists included Miss Minnesota, Rebecca Yeh; Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, and Miss Oklahoma, Kelsey Griswold.
After the traditional frolic in the Atlantic City surf Monday morning, she will head to the scene of a devastating boardwalk fire in the New Jersey communities of Seaside park and Seaside Heights on Monday afternoon.
Miss New York Nina Davuluri, left, reacts after winning the Miss America 2014 pageant as Miss America 2013 while Miss Wisconsin Paula Mae Kuiper, right, reacts after finding out she's advancing beyond the lifestyle round as Miss Texas Ivana Hall congratulates her
Miss California Crystal Lee reacts as she is chosen to move on, left, while Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, right, reacts after hearing she will move forward
Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, left, reacts after advancing beyond the lifestyle competition as Miss Kentucky Jenna Day, right, holds her hand during the Miss America 2014 pageant in Atlantic City
The pageant had pitted 53 contestants - one from each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - in swimsuit, evening gown, talent and interview competitions.
‘This is where we belong,’ said Sam Haskell, CEO of the Miss America Organization. ‘This is the home of Miss America, and this is where we're going to stay.’
Much attention had been given to Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, who is believed to be the first Miss America contestant to openly display tattoos. She has the Serenity Prayer on her rib cage and a military insignia on the back of a shoulder.
While other contestants wore glamorous costumes and elaborately decorated footwear during Saturday night's ‘show-us-your-shoes’ parade on the Boardwalk, Vail wore camouflage gear and Army boots.
In a Twitter message Sunday, Vail wrote: ‘Win or not tonight, I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have empowered women. I have opened eyes.’
Vail made it to the Top 10 and won a nationwide voters' choice award propelling her into the semi-finals.
Another noteworthy contestant was Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, who made it into the top 5 while wearing a bejeweled knee brace. She tore ligaments in her knee while rehearsing her baton twirling routine on Thursday. Sunday night, she performed the routine flawlessly.
Nina Davuluri reacts after advancing beyond the lifestyle competition during Sunday night's pageant
Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick displays her swimsuit in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sunday night
Miss Texas Ivana Hall gestures the longhorns with her fingers during Sunday night's event
After a six-year stint in Las Vegas, the pageant has moved back to Atlantic City
Mallory Hagan, whose tenure was cut short when the pageant moved back to Atlantic City after a six-year stint in Las Vegas, where winners were chosen in January.
Ms Hagan, who had only been Miss America since January, was photographed on a beach in Hawaii this past spring having put on a few pounds since being crowned the winner in Las Vegas.
She addressed her weight gain on Anderson Cooper Live saying: 'Well you know I think that I am human I like to equate getting ready for the Miss America pageant to getting ready for a boxing match. We get in shape and then afterwords life goes back to normal.'
She stressed that being healthy is all about balance.
'It's all about being healthy, we're all about living a healthy lifestyle. Some days you want to eat potatoes and some days you don't.'
Newly crowned Ms Davuluri wasn't always as svelte as she looked in last Tuesday's swimsuit competition.
The Central New Yorker told the Syracuse Post-Standard that she was 60 pounds heavier during her final semesters at the University of Michigan and struggled with bulimia.
Miss New Hampshire Samantha Russo dances while walking with other contestant, left, contestants walk on the runway during the pageant, right
Miss America pageant alumni Miss South Dakota Calista Kirby, left, and Miss Rhode Island Kelsey Fournier take a photograph of themselves with a phone before the Miss America 2014 pageant
Last year's winner Mallory Hagen was crowned in January, left, but was photographed on a beach in Hawaii this past spring having put on a few pounds since being crowned the winner in Las Vegas
One day she looked at a picture of herself and finally realized just how much weight she had put on. She thought to herself: 'This is not who I want to be, and it is not the way I want to portray myself to the world.'
So upon entering the beauty pageant world, she got a personal trainer and started eating healthy.
She said she doesn't give out her weight, fearing that other women would try to make that their goal.
However, she says her current weight is hardly what she'd define as 'skinny'.
Both Ms Hagan and Ms Davuluri have competed in past Miss New York competitions together. Ms Davuluri was second runner-up the year that Miss Hagan was crowned Miss New York and went on to win Miss America.
The pageant started in Atlantic City as a way to extend the summer tourism season for an extra weekend.
That was precisely my point @Sharon Wellington and why I said nor does it matter what her race is! She is AMERICAN and won the Miss America pageant so congrats to her!
Congrats Nina Davuluri!! It is so sad to see the level of hate and ignorance alive and well in the U.S. Idiots making comments that a Muslim won the Miss American Pageant! I have no idea what religion Ms. Davuluri is (nor does it matter) but the vast majority of Indians are Hindu! Get a life people!
Congratulation to Nina Davuluri!
I read several comments from various sites online and all I can say is,there is a new low in this country,these people are ignorant to no end.Glad to see they are showing their true color or lack thereof to the world.
@Anthony..she is an American of indian heritage which dates back to India...she is not Native American..lol
Casey you are the only ignorant person on this site. A question was asked and several people answered it to the best of their ability. Most of us are educated! For cultural reasons they wanted to know what descendent she was. That is not ignorant -- it is just ways of educating your knowledge. For sure, it does not make a difference where she is from, but at the same time it was rude and nasty for you to throw names at anyone.
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