New Miss America's Talent Involves Red Plastic Cup

Kira Kazantsev wins after non-traditional talent performance
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2014 6:30 AM CDT
Updated Sep 15, 2014 10:57 AM CDT

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev didn't exactly showcase a traditional talent last night in Atlantic City—but she was still crowned Miss America, despite what the AP calls a social media "furor" over her performance. Kazantsev sang Pharrell Williams' hit "Happy" ... while sitting on the floor banging a red plastic cup, a performance inspired by Anna Kendrick's character in Pitch Perfect. "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," said Kazantsev, 23. "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."

Not everyone on Twitter felt the same way; #solocup became a trending hashtag, the New York Daily News notes, with one commentator weighing in to hypothesize that the Miss America judges must have been "drinking heavily this evening" and another musing, "All these parents spending all this $$$ on dance lessons when all they needed was a solo cup." Also notable during Kazantsev's talent performance was a typo that flashed onscreen, Time reports, which noted that Kazantsev "loves anything Jane Austin." We assume they meant "Austen." But Kazantsev wasn't the only one making headlines: The Daily News reports that as a seated Miss Nebraska, Megan Swanson, leaned over to talk to a fellow contestant before the evening wear portion of the competition, she "opened her legs a little too widely" and flashed the audience, which explains why #MissNebraska was also trending on Twitter. (More Kira Kazantsev stories.)

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