Monday, September 15, 2014

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev wowed the crown as Miss America 2015

Miss New York chosen as Miss America 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Miss America!

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev wowed the judges with her beauty, talents and intelligence at Sunday night's annual beauty pageant  marking the third year in a row that a contestant from her state has walked away with the crown in the nationally televised pageant.
Kazantsev received the crown at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall from outgoing Miss America — and Miss New York — Nina Davuluri.
As a result, the 23-year-old blond beauty walked away with the impressive title of Miss America. The win marks the third straight year that Miss New York has earned the top prize and a $50,000 scholarship. At the beginning of the pageant, held in Atlantic City, only 15 of the 51 contestants were asked to move forward for the infamous bikini portion.
As the eliminations continued throughout the two hour broadcast, the final five were faced with some serious questions from the judges.
The new Miss America won her crown after singing a Pharrell Williams song while playing with a red plastic cup, a performance she says was inspired by a similar scene in a move.
 Miss America Kira Kazantsev said Sunday she was inspired by the 2012 movie "Pitch Perfect" in which Anna Kendrick's character auditions for an a capella group by performing rhythmically with a cup. But she also says 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.
She named combating sexual assault in the military as the issue about which she would want female U.S. Senators to press their male counterparts.
Kazantsev came under withering criticism on social media sites for her talent performance after winning the title.
She says she had the time of her life doing the cup routine.
One of those lucky 15 was Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison who proudly displayed her insulin pump while she graced the stage.
The beautiful contestant, who won America's choice, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 18-years-old. And although she didn't advance further into the competition, Sierra is proud of her accomplishments.
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 by her peers as Miss Congeniality.
The pageant shone a positive light on the struggling seaside gambling resort, which has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons lately: a rash of casino closings, thousands of unemployed workers, and a domestic violence case involving a former NFL star.
For three hours Sunday night, America got a different look at Atlantic City. The Miss America pageant presented an upbeat view of the city where it began in 1921.
It featured iconic Atlantic City visuals including its beach, Boardwalk, the Steel Pier, Black Fish Pier near Brigantine, and the Atlantic City Beach Patrol station.
"Atlantic City is facing a challenging economic climate and our hearts go out to all of those who have lost their jobs," said Sam Haskell III, CEO of the Miss America organization. "We hope that our Miss America telecast ... will generate great interest for Atlantic City on a national scale as we showcase their beautiful beaches and Boardwalk."
"Instead of feeling panicked as I expected, I am completely at peace," she wrote on Instagram. "I did my best. I got to show my pump on the Miss America stage."
There has been no shortage of compelling story lines leading up to the selection of the next Miss America, including the way personal tragedy has shaped the public service platforms of several contestants. The brother of Miss Wisconsin Raeanna Johnson killed himself after a secret addiction to methamphetamine. Her platform was the impact of substance abuse on the family.

The father of Miss Kansas Amanda Sasek killed himself when she was 17. Her platform was helping people find their strengths. And Miss Delaware Brittany Lewis is still waiting for an arrest to be made in the 2010 slaying of her sister. Her platform is combating domestic violence.
There was drama and even some low-brow comedy leading up to the finale. Miss Rhode Island, Ivy DePew, collapsed onstage during the first night of preliminary competition, but made it back the next night after two trips to the hospital for dehydration.
And supermodel and business mogul Kathy Ireland took the stage to burp on command on a dare from pageant host Dena Blizzard on the second night.
Next up was the talent portion where Miss New York wowed the judges as she sang Pharrell Williams' smash hit single, "Happy," all while performing the popular cups routine seen in Pitch Perfect.

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