(Reuters) - New Yorker Kira Kazantsev won the coveted 2015 Miss America Pageant crown on Sunday, a "three-peat" for contenders from the Big Apple.
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. lawmakers.
Wearing a long-sleeved, backless white gown and clutching red roses, the newest Miss America walked the 50-foot 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.
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.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Paul Tait)