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Congrats to Nina Davuluri, the first Desi Miss America and first Indian American Miss New York! Of course, the hatetweets have already begun.

Davuluri was one of THREE Asian Americans in the top five finalists, including 4th runner-up Miss MInnesota Rebecca Yeh (who won the Talent competition playing violin, I know, right?) and 1st runner-up Miss California, Crystal Lee.

Davuluri's question in the poise-test round was on "Big Brother" host Julie Chen's revelation of her decision to have plastic surgery. Her answer: She's against it. But in her answer she also managed to drop the following pointed remark: "I've always viewed Miss America as the girl next door. And Miss America is always evolving." As proven tonight.

Update: Barely did the tiara touch her lovely head than the racist ignoramuses began to tweet.

Video of the Week: Daniel

On Where Pianos Roam

In the pantheon of Pop Piano Gods of the modern era, Elton John holds his own among such greats as  Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Nina Simone,  Tori Amos, and a handful of others.  He boasts an enviable catalogue of hits reaching far back into the 1970's when he burst onto the music world with huge sunglasses and a flair all his own. He is another artist and fellow pianist whose work I have admired from a distance.  (I've actually covered only one of his songs, and I didn't even play it on the piano--a song called "American Triangle" that I sang a capella with African drums.)  His distinct sound and style is one I have no desire to copy.  Only Elton does Elton John well.  I am content to bow down at his alter and worship his songs just as millions around the world have. All things considered, I have one very favorite Elton John song, and it is a classic.  It's a sad farewell song called "Daniel", and I loved it from the very first time I heard it.  The lyrics are just so brutal and beautiful all at once.  It's a listing of truths that are heavy and heartbreaking to hold. This week, I wanted to feature an old live performance of this sweet sad song. Ladies and Gents, Daniel .  .  . [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ayolhaLMUI]

Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyesThey say Spain is pretty though I've never been Well Daniel says it's the best place that he's ever seen Oh and he should know, he's been there enough Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so muchDaniel my brother you are older than me Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal Your eyes have died but you see more than I Daniel you're a star in the face of the skyDaniel is travelling tonight on a plane I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes Oh God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes ________________________________________________________ Maybe I'll work out a cover of this someday.  Maybe. -g

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