With a red cup, she becomes Miss America Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 (AP photos)
With a red cup, she becomes Miss America

Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, won the Miss America pageant Sunday night, with the help of a red plastic cup.

For her talent performance, Kazantsev sang Pharrell Williams' "Happy" while sitting cross-legged on the stage and banging a red plastic cup on the floor. That immediately touched off a furor on social media network as many were critical of her performance.

Kazantsev said she was inspired by the 2012 movie "Pitch Perfect." Anna Kendrick's character auditions for a group by performing rhythmically with a cup. Kazantsev also said she did it to show future contestants they can win the Miss America pageant by performing whatever talent routine they like, regardless of what others think of it.

"I wanted every single little girl in America to be able to see that you can do that talent. You can do whatever talent you want on national television even with a red cup and still be Miss America and have the time of your life," Kazantsev said. "I literally in that minute and 30 seconds had the most fun I've ever had, and that's because I stayed true to myself ... no matter what everybody else told me, and it paid off. I'm very happy about it."

Kazantsev won a $50,000 scholarship with which she plans to attend law school. During her yearlong reign as Miss America, Kazantsev will travel about 20,000 miles a month.

Her victory marked the third year in a row that a contestant from New York has walked away with the crown.

The first runner-up was Miss Virginia, Courtney Paige Garrett. Other top 5 finalists were Miss Arkansas, Ashton Jo Campbell; Miss Florida, Victoria Cowen; and Miss Massachusetts, Lauren Kuhn.

Miss North Dakota, Jacky Arness, was chosen as Miss Congeniality.

Critical thinking challenge: The continental United States is about 3,000 miles wide. Why will Miss America travel 20,000 miles per month?

Filed Under:  
Assigned 157 times

  • brianfantana
    9/16/2014 - 01:50 p.m.

    Miss America will travel about 20,000 miles per month because she will be visiting different places around the country doing work and helping others and visiting different places.

  • 08Avery-May
    9/16/2014 - 02:22 p.m.

    Wow. How could she do that ? It had to be realy hard. Especially to another song.Go on to bing and you cam see the video.

  • 15Cyrus-May
    9/16/2014 - 02:26 p.m.

    Wow thats amazing that u can do that im really suprised that she can do that though but thats probably in the world record but cool and yes dont ever be afraid to do your own talent and if u lose just keep practicing :)

  • OliviaV-3
    9/16/2014 - 08:52 p.m.

    Kira Kazantsev won the Miss America pageant on Sunday night with an unusual talent. She sang "Happy" while she was using a cup to keep the beat. She was inspired by "Pitch Perfect" when Becca did the same cup act to a different song. Kazantsev said it was the most fun she's ever had performing the song, and it really paid off. While she is Miss America, she will travel about 20,000 miles a month. I found this topic very interesting because Pitch Perfect is my favorite movie in the world and I think its very cool to see it come to life. This article was very engaging.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/17/2014 - 12:57 a.m.

    This sounds amazing because Kira Kazantsev won Miss America just from a plastic cup. I wonder how Kira banged the cup while singing "Happy". That is doing two things at once. But, if Kira said she was going to travel 20,000 miles a month and the USA is only 3,000 miles, how is she going to travel 20,000 miles in a month? I think she is going to visit every single historic monument and spent some time there.
    Critical thinking challenge: The continental United States is about 3,000 miles wide. Why will Miss America travel 20,000 miles per month?
    Answer: Miss America will travel 20,000 miles per month because she might want to make people aware that there is a new Miss America or visit every landmark in the U.S.

  • katey0916
    9/17/2014 - 10:49 a.m.

    I think that she is going to inspire every single girl in America! I feel that she is right every girl has a talent if it with red cups or not I mean you could use a guitar if you know how to play it or the banjo. I don't know how to play a instrument but i love to swim. So that could be my talent i pretty good at swimming so it would be my talent. So if you are a girl out in the world that keeps saying to your self I don't have a talent you need to change your attitude because your wrong!

  • OWEN576
    9/17/2014 - 11:52 a.m.

    I wonder how Kazantsev will travel 20,000 miles in a month when there is only 3,000 miles of the continental United States? I think Ms. New York deserves to get the title of Ms. America.

  • Sarahs-OBr
    9/17/2014 - 01:54 p.m.

    I think that if the continental states are about 3,000 miles wide, and Miss America will have to travel 20,000 miles per month, I think it what they mean is that Miss America doesn't travel from east to west, instead she travels from every direction, and goes to every state she possibly can. I don't think Miss America will go in every direction. And traveling 20,000 miles per month, I don't think Miss America stays in one place for very long. She probably has to leave every couple days in order to get that many miles. I think that it must take a lot of work and a lot of work to travel that much in one month. So if you ever see Miss America walking on the streets, give her a break because she's been through a lot.

  • LaurenT-5
    9/17/2014 - 06:32 p.m.

    A woman, Kira Kazantsev, recently won Miss America. She won over the judges with an unusual talent. She had performed the song "Happy" by Pharrel Williams with a red plastic cup. People were very critical about her performance. But, Kira was very happy with her performance. She wants evreryone to know its okay to do whatever talent you have on television. Now that she has won, she is going off to Law school and do some traveling. I thought Kira's talent and performance (I watched her performance) was very fun. It looked like she had a great time on the stage. Its nice for her to want people to be proud of their talents.

  • ad2000softball
    9/18/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    She will travel about 20,000 miles a month because she is probably going to be visiting a lot of different sites in different cities. She isn't just going right across the US, she's probably going to visit every state and their landmarks.