As part of the competition, Kazantsev, 23, sang Pharrell William's
song "Happy", keeping time by tapping a red plastic cup. She said in
a question-and-answer segment that sexual assault in the U.S.
military was a problem that needed to be addressed by U.S.
Wearing a long-sleeved, backless white gown and clutching red roses,
the newest Miss America walked the runway with a wide smile and
waved to a cheering crowd in Atlantic City, where the 94-year-old
beauty pageant returned last year after eight years in Las Vegas.
Kazantsev's win marked New York's third consecutive Miss America
title. The crown was handed to Kazantsev by Nina Davuluri, a New
Yorker and the first Indian-American winner. Davuluri was the
successor to Mallory Hagan from New York.
The title comes with a $50,000 scholarship.
Kira's platform is focused on protecting women from domestic
violence, and the Miss America Organization said she regularly spoke
at homeless and domestic violence shelters.
Pageant judges scored contestants from the 50 U.S. states, the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands based
on a talent competition, a personal interview, their answers to an
on-stage question, and their appearance in gowns and swimsuits.
[to top of second column]
Atlantic City officials hope the pageant will help revive the city
in the wake of recent financial turmoil. The pageant was held in a
hall next to Trump Plaza, whose slated shutdown on Tuesday means the
gambling mecca will have lost a third of its casinos since the start
of the year.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Paul Tait and Stephen Coates)
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