Skip to main content

Miss America 2014: Butt glue, 'Breaking Bad' jokes, and more highlights

By Hillary Busis, EW
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Tue September 17, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • There was a great deal going on during the 2014 Miss America pageant
  • One contestant made a "Breaking Bad" reference
  • Miss New York was ultimately crowned the winner

(EW.com) -- After nearly a week of high-heeled dancing, Vaseline-covered teeth, and skillfully concealed hostility, the glitter has finally settled over Atlantic City — and 24-year-old Nina Davuluri of Syracuse, New York has been named the latest in a long line of all-American beauty queens. Davuluri isn't just the second consecutive pageant winner from the Empire State — she's also the first woman of Indian descent to snag the crown.

Obviously, congratulations are in order — but Nina's not the only one who deserves a little recognition. Check out my list of alternate-category winners, and feel free to add your own... as long as you deliver them with a blindingly white smile.

Most Auspicious Name: Miss Alabama, a.k.a. Chandler Champion. Then again, maybe not; she didn't even make it to the semi-finals.

Weirdest Intro Joke: "Listening to your phone calls from the nation's capital. Just kidding! I'm Miss District of Columbia, Bindhu Pamarthi."

Runner Up: "From the home of fast horses and beautiful women — better not get those two things confused. I am Jenna Day, Miss Kentucky!"

Miss America responds to racist remarks

Best Sports: Misses Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and Nevada. Other girls got to dance on Atlantic City's boardwalk or the deck of a swanky boat; this group had to pretend they were super pumped to deliver their intros inside the White House sub shop. (And not even the location that serves salads!)

Most Shameless Plug: "From the home of Nashville, the country music capital of the world and the hit ABC show, I'm Shelby Thompson, Miss Tennessee."

Clumsiest Attempt at Cultural Literacy: "I'm not breaking bad, I'm breaking through. Say my name! Alexis Duprey, Miss New Mexico."

EW: Bikinis, tattoos, lobster high heels, and more style secrets from the Miss America pageant

Greatest Achievement in Passive Aggression: "Our Utah Jazz sure aren't bringing home the championship. Guess It's up to me! Ciera Pekarcik, Miss Utah."

Most Anonymous Experts: The team of pros who judged the pageant's preliminary rounds. Sorry, guys — if the hosts had actually said your names on camera, Mario Cantone would have had barely any time to mug.

Loosest Definition of the Term "Celebrity Judging Panel": Here's our roll call: Lance Bass, who shot for the moon but landed in Atlantic City; the aforementioned Mr. Cantone; Dr. Deidre Downs Gunn, a.k.a. Miss America 2005 (so it really is a scholarship program!); Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank; The Chew co-host and all-around great lady Carla Hall; subway busker Joshua Bell; and New York Knick Amar'e Stoudemire. What, Heidi Montag was busy?

Most Awkward Utterance: Pat Pruitt of Ernst & Young, proving why he usually doesn't talk onstage: "It's very good, and we're very proud of our relationship with MissAmorgOoverization."

Strangest Tradition: The Shoe Parade. Seriously, what's the deal with the shoe parade?

Best Personality: Miss Missouri Shelby Ringdahl, who said this after preparing for the swimsuit competition in about two minutes: "I had time for hairspray and butt glue. That was it." Butt glue! I'd have given her the crown based on butt glue alone.

Runner Up: Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, a tattooed army sergeant who sings opera but prefers to play Katniss. "My original talent was going to be archery," she explained. "I'm singing by default because there is a clause against projectile objects." There is no clause against stealing our hearts, though.

Best Accessory: Miss Florida Myrrhanda Jones's bedazzled knee brace, a functional yet versatile piece that complements bikinis, eveningwear, and ghastly baton-twirling getups equally. (Maybe it was actually a good luck charm — Florida absolutely killed it in Talent.)

EW: Miss America pageant returns to Atlantic City

Biggest Head-Scratcher: This fun fact, which flashed onscreen as Miss Georgia Carly Mathis sang "On My Own": "Her dog has met the President." Think they shook hands?

Worst Judgment: ABC and the Miss America Organization determined that it was totally fair to ask the first finalist about Miley Cyrus, the second about scorned political wives... and the third whether she thinks the U.S. should intervene in Syria. One of those things: not like the others! Kudos to Miss California Crystal Lee for keeping her cool — and actually delivering a coherent answer to that absurdly tough question.

Most Diplomatic: Miss Oklahoma Kelsey Griswold, who, for the record, believes that Miley's antics have been "a little bit not super tasteful" — but "ha[s] to respect her creativity."

Most Skillful Non-Answer: As delivered by eventual winner Nina Davuluri, Miss New York. She was asked what message Julie Chen is sending by admitting that she's had plastic surgery on her eyes. Full transcript: "Unfortunately, I don't agree with plastic surgery. However, I can understand that from a standpoint. But more importantly, I've always viewed Miss America as the girl next door, and the girl next door is evolving as the diversity in America evolves. She's not who she was 10 years ago, and she's not going to be the same person come 10 years down the road. So I wouldn't want to change someone's looks or appearance, but definitely be confident in who you are."

Clearest Foreshadowing: Miss New York and Miss California stood in front of a curtain decorated with the Miss America logo as they clutched hands, waiting to hear the panel's final verdict. The logo includes a crown — which appeared to be floating over NY's head. Lesson learned for next year's finalists: Try to stand stage left.

Best Consolation: Courtesy of Jason Derulo's "The Other Side," which played as Davuluri received her actual crown: "Tonight we'll just get drunk." Sound advice for a celebratory Davuluri — as well as the pageant's 52 losers.

See the original story at EW.com.

CLICK HERE to Try 2 RISK FREE issues of Entertainment Weekly

© 2011 Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT