Why Kira Kazantsev Won Miss America By Banging Her Red Plastic Cup

Sep 15, 2014 at 10:15 am |

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If it worked for Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect, then why wouldn’t it work for Kira Kazantsev in the Miss America Pageant?

Last night for the third time in a row a New Yorker walked away with the coveted Miss America tiara, sash, and title. Winner Kira Kazantsev was crowned at the end of the evening after almost collapsing to the ground in a puddle of requisite happy-tears. However, overnight Kazantsev has received a lot of backlash for her chosen onstage talent–drumming on a red plastic cup to Pharrell’s Happy while sitting Indian-style on the stage floor. While this talent might seem small in comparison to the firework displays of opera singers, dancers, and ventriloquists–yes, ventriloquists, Kira had her own reasons for selecting this performance for the competition.


“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,” 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 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.”

While social media seems to be lashing out from all directions, the message she was trying to send with her performance resounds as loudly as her fabulous voice did last night, and Kira seems unaffected. Ironically, this exemplifies what she wanted to say to American youth in the first place–stay true to yourself and do what you want.

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Kazantsev also named sexual assault in the military as the issue that she would want female U.S. Senators to compel their male counterparts to work against and plans on touring the country in order to speak out against domestic violence.


Wondering why Miss New York won by playing a red plastic cup? Check out her reasoning here…