Miss America Responds To Criticism

Nina Davuluri responds to INSIDE EDITION on the backlash over her winning the Miss America crown.

The new Miss America spoke out about the shocking and disturbing backlash after her historic victory as the first woman of Indian descent to win the contest.

Three days into her reign, Miss America, Nina Davuluri, was dealing with the controversy with the class and dignity that made her such a standout at the pageant.

INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander asked Davuluri, "Were you disappointed by the reaction?"

"It was an unfortunate situation, but that's why my platform is so timely right now, because for every one negative tweet, there were dozens of positive tweets and encouragement," replied Davuluri.

The uproar erupted immediately after her crowning.

"Indian? Are you kidding me? This is America,"  went one tweet.

And this obnoxious reaction: "Miss America? You mean Miss 7-11."   

Another viewer created a photo montage of Miss Kansas, calling her the "'real Miss America because she loves her country, loves hunting, and loves tattoos."

Former Miss America, Mallory Hagan, crowned Nina and was surprised by some of the reaction.

Hagan told INSIDE EDITION, "If there are people out there saying negative things about her, it only means that her message needs to be heard that much more. It means she has a purpose for her platform, and she'll be able to spend her year hopefully changing people's minds."

Davuluri's charming Bollywood-style dance routine brought the house down, but it also triggered some of the backlash.

"I said you know what? If I'm going to win Miss America, it's going to be on my terms and how I want to do it. This was who I was, and I'm proud of my heritage. It was the first time Bollywood has ever been performed on a Miss America stage, and I'm glad I did it," said Davuluri regarding the matter.

In an INSIDE EDITION online poll: 85% called Davuluri's slection a great choice, 4% said it was a poor choice, and 10 % had no opinion.

One very interested viewer watched all the way from India—Davuluri's grandmother, who burst into tears when Nina was crowned.

"She was, I think, more excited about the scholarship than anything else," said Davuluri.