America celebrated its diversity Sunday night as Nina Davuluri became the first Indian-American to be crowned Miss America. But small town America had their eye on a different contestant.
Davuluri, 24, is from Syracuse, N.Y., and her pageant platform was “celebrating diversity through cultural competency,” CNN reported. Despite missing her cue during the talent portion of the program — she performed a classical Indian dance — Davuluri became the second consecutive Miss New York to win the title.
“I was the first Indian Miss New York and I’m so proud to be the first Indian Miss America,” Davuluri said.
While some narrow-minded comments about her heritage (shot out on Twitter after she was announced the winner) caused immediate outrage, additional controversy may center on the “liberal leaning” judges.
Army veteran Theresa Vail, otherwise known as Miss Kansas, won the hearts of many as the first woman known to display a tattoo at the competition. Country music star John Rich echoed as much in a tweet, as Twitchy.com noted:
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 16, 2013
Vail, a sergeant in the Army who just reenlisted for another six years, flaunts tattoos, hunts with a bow-and-arrow and sings — traits that conservatives turned to social media to embrace as her story began to circulate leading up to the competition.
Hundreds of encouraging comments showed she was a favorite audience pick:
“Beautiful girl SERVING HER COUNTRY what is not to like,” one commenter noted on BizPac Review’s Facebook page.
“Wonderful role model for our young people, Miley Cyrus should take note!!!!” another posted.
Despite some hesitation about her tattoo, the praise poured in:
“This Lady has more… guts than many men I see these days! She knows where her loyalty is, and is not ashamed. She has my vote!”
“I’m usually not for tattoos but getting a tattoo for your service and the military and getting that prayer as well is fantastic! She has my vote! HOOOOAAAHHH!!!”
However, as Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes tweeted, a woman with such down-home values stood little chance with “liberal Miss America judges”:
Miss Kansas, a gun-toting, deer-hunting, military veteran was America’s choice – but not the liberal Miss America judges’ choice.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) September 16, 2013