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Miss New York Crowned Miss America After Performing 'Happy' With Red Cup

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015 at the annual pageant in Atlantic City on Sunday.

It was the third win in the row for the state of New York after Nina Davuluri in 2014 and Mallory Hagan in 2013.

The 22-year-old got the crowd talking with her rendition of Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' as she sat cross-legged on the stage and kept beat in tune with plastic red cup.

Many criticized Kazantsev for her talent but Kazantsev said she was inspired by Anna Kendrick (photosAnna Kendrick photos) in 'Pitch Perfect', in which Kendrick auditions for an a capella group by performing rhythmically with a cup.

"The reason why I chose to do that talent is 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," she 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 and I did what I wanted to do for my talent, no matter what everybody else told me, and it paid off. I'm very happy about it."

Kira Kazantsev said she plans to attend law school with the $50,000 scholarship.

The first runner-up was Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, followed by Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell, Miss Florida Victoria Cowen, and Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn.

September 15, 2014 |

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