Indian-African American India LaRoda was crowned Miss India America 2017 at the 25th anniversary gala, in Los Angeles, California. The Miss India America 2017 and The Elite Awards were announced during a star-studded red carpet gala in Los Angeles. The event organized by South Asia Magazine, Wells Fargo, and JINmodels.com will be later aired on B4U TV.
Jinnder Chohaan, producer and creator of the show, organized this year’s event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the event, which is touted as a show to showcase the South Asian community internationally.
“I’ve been dedicated for decades promoting South Asians internationally and enhancing the South Asian community image,” said Chohaan in a press statement. She is the creator of many prestigious pageants, such as Mr. & Miss South Asia, Mr. & Miss India Globe.
Chohaan’s pageants are the longest running South Asian pageants by a female in the world. She was the first to create and produce a Mr. India pageant; the event superseded India’s version by five years. Also to her credit is the successful trend of Mr. India pageants that she continues to produce. It has now become the longest running Mr. India event in the world.
Chohaan added, “Over the years, I have mentored and guided thousands of young South Asians that I met for the first time through my pageants. It’s not an easy task to do this for one year, let alone twenty-five years. “
“I have worked diligently to provide them with a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The continued positive results and success of the pageants speak volumes about their impact,” she said.
Chohaan also created ‘The Elite Awards’ to honor those in the entertainment industry that have gone on to inspire others. Past recipients have included: Garry Marshall, Randall Emmett, and Steven Seagal.
The Elite Awards 2017 saw Actress Briana Evigan (Step Up) and actor Brett Dalton (Agents of Shield) presenting the Media Legacy Award to the founder of E! Entertainment Television Larry Namer.
Actor Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds, Godfather 3) was awarded for over 40 years in Hollywood. Actress Rekha Sharma (Star Trek Discovery) and actor Charles Mesure (The Magicians) honored executive producers Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky with their Elite Award.
Bollywood director Vivek Agnihotri (Chocolate, Zid, Hate Story, Buddha in a Traffic Jam) was also honored. The Elite Awards were brought on stage by the gorgeous Priya Patel, Miss India America, Heart Hayes, Miss India Globe, and Gurleen Kaur, Miss India Galaxy.
Celebrity judges for the night included – director Vivek Agnihotri, Bollywood actress Pallavi Joshi, actress Rekha Sharma, actor Charles Mesure, actress Rini Bell (Jarhead, The Terminal), Playmate of the Year Kennedy Summers, award winning TV host Sarah Zapp, actress Alice Amter (Big Bang Theory), Cindy Cowan (IEG co-founder) and other celebrity attendees included: popular singer Mickey Singh, model/actress Eugenia Kuzmina (Bad Moms, Dirty Grandpa), actor Brett Dalton (Agents of Shield), actress Briana Evigan (Step Up franchise), Chris Osborn (How I Met Your Mother, Vampire Diaries, The Game), actor Ken Davitian (Borat), actor Yancey Arias (Queen of the South), actress Debbie Sherman (The Forgiven), actress Kate Linder (The Young& The Restless), Punjabi singer/actor Jasbir Jassi, actress Wedil David (Valentine’s Day), Playmate Khloe Terae, executive producer Sunil Perkash (Salt), actor Monty Geer (Awkward), Julia Ling (Chuck), and many others.
The dazzling fanfare concluded with India Laroda being crowned Miss India America by singing sensation Mickey Singh. India Laroda has an African American father and East Indian mother.
While receiving the award, Laroda said, “I’m honored to be crowned Miss India America 2017! It’s a blessing to be part of history as the first African American & East Indian to win this title in 25 years”.
Mr. India America 2017 was grabbed by Karan Malik from Virginia. Other 2017 winners included: Jaskiran Waraich – Miss India Globe, Georgia’s Satrugna Chowdry – Mr. India Globe, Veena Gurbani of Michigan – Miss India Global, Ricky Prasad – Mr. India Galaxy, Anisha Gupta – Miss India Galaxy, Aditi Parikh – Miss India North America, and Navjot Kaur – Miss India California 2017. India LaRoda and Karan Malik also won JINmodels.com’s Mr. & Miss Photogenic 2017. Navjot Kaur and Arizona’s Nitish Singh were People’s Choice Awards for 2017. The evening ended with celebration dance party by DJ Raj Gujral of Sound Nation.