Miss America 2014

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Previously held in the month of January in the Las Vegas Strip’s Theatre for the Performing Arts (Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino), the Miss America 2014 Pageant returned to both its original location and September broadcast after nine years. Prior to the pageant, the partially restored Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ was played for the first time in more than 40 years. The program was co-hosted by Chris Harrison and Lara Spencer and was broadcast live on ABC. The panel of celebrity judges for the top 15 finalists were: Deidre Downs Gunn,Carla Hall, Barbara Corcoran, Amar’e Stoudemire, Lance Bass, Joshua Bell, and Mario Cantone.

In the final moments of the Miss America 2014 pageant, Miss California Crystal Lee and Miss New York Nina Davuluri were the last contestants left on the stage. They were approached by co-host Lara Spencer who asked how they were feeling at that moment. Davuluri stated that she and Lee were “both so proud. We’re making history right here, standing here as Asian-Americans.” In a later interview with NPR’s Michel Martin, Davulri described the moment as a, “very surreal, out-of-body experience, being there in the final two. I was holding hands with Miss California, Crystal Lee, and we were both standing there at such a historic moment – two Asian-Americans who were going to take the title and to be a new symbol of hope and encouragement.”

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