Tulsa's Kelsey Griswold Named Second Runner-up To Miss America

Sunday, September 15th 2013, 11:44 pm
By: News On 6

Nina Davuluri became the second consecutive contestant from New York to win the Miss America pageant.

Davuluri won the title and $50,000 in scholarship cash as the nationally televised pageant returned home to Atlantic City.

Miss Oklahoma Kelsey Griswold, who is a Union High School graduate, was named second runnerup. Griswold is a theater major at Oklahoma City University.

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.

Davuluri performed a classical Bollywood fusion dance for her talent competition. She is the first winner of Indian descent.

After the traditional frolic in the Atlantic City surf Monday morning, she will head to the scene of a devastating boardwalk fire in Seaside park and Seaside Heights Monday afternoon.

Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, 22, made headlines earlier this week for stating her intent to show off her tattooed torso in the pageant, which was a first. Vail, a sergeant in the U.S. Army National Guard and a crossbow hunter, walked confidently across the stage during the swimsuit portion of the contest.

She was awarded with the "America's Choice" award after she brought in the most votes from the public.

Vail wasn't the only unorthodox entry.

Miss Florida Myrrhanda Jones, who finished as the third runnerup, went barefoot and wore a bedazzled knee brace after tearing two ligaments on Thursday night after a fall during her baton-twirling talent rehearsal.

Griswold performed the song "Everybody Says Don't" during the talent portion, and she was asked a final question about Miley Cyrus and her recent controversial performance at the VMAs.

"I'm going to be honest," Griswold said. "I don't think her performance was twerking for me. Get it?" She added, "It was not super tasteful but ... I have to respect her creativity."

Six Oklahomans have been crowned Miss America. Tulsa's Norma Smallwood was the first in 1926. Jane Ann Jayroe (1967), Susan Powell (1981), Shawntel Smith (1996), Jennifer Berry (2006), and News 9 anchor Lauren Nelson (2007) also represented the Sooner State as winners in the iconic pageant.