Miss America 2015: Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York, crowned Miss America

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Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America late Sunday (September 14), the third straight year that the Big Apple’s local beauty queen has gone on to win the national pageant. The former Miss America, Nina Davuluri, also from New York, ceded her crown to Kazantsev after the competition at Atlantic City in New Jersey. Also Read - Made In America - Episode 10

Kazantsev, 22, isn’t just a pretty face. She chose protecting women against domestic violence as her advocacy issue and says she’s aiming for a master’s degree in business administration and a law degree. Also Read - Made In America - Episode 9

The crowning kicks off a yearlong national speaking tour and appearances as a national goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. And her Miss America title comes with a $50,000 scholarship to continue her education. Also Read - Made In America - Episode 8

For the talent portion of the competition, Kazantsev performed a version of the Pharrell Williams song Happy in which she sat cross-legged on stage and used a red plastic cup and the palms of her hands to sound the rhythm.