Mari Kasanuki
Sep 15, 2014 @ 9:31 am

There's a new Miss America in town, and she hails from New York State!

At last night's pageant at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Miss New York Kira Kazantsev took home the title of Miss America 2015. The outgoing Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, passed on her crown to 23-year-old Kazantsev, who wore an ethereal white backless gown, and is the third in a row to come from New York.

For the talent portion, Kazantsev performed Pharrell Williams’s "Happy" while sitting cross-legged on the stage using a plastic red cup and her hands as a percussion instruments, à la Anna Kendrick in 2012's Pitch Perfect. Kazantsev's pageant platform issue focused on domestic violence awareness, which went hand-in-hand with her answer in the Q&A portion during which she said that a top concern for female lawmakers should be addressing sexual assault in the U.S. military.

Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett was first runner-up and Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell, Miss Florida Victoria Cowen, and Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn rounded out the Top 5.

Kazantsev will receive a $50,000 scholarship and will tour the country during her year-long reign. See her crowning moment and vocal performance below, plus click here for some celebrity gown inspiration!

http://youtu.be/OOAp67dFcIk?t=21s

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