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I, along with seemingly everyone else on my Facebook feed, sat on my couch eagerly awaiting the crowning of the new Miss America5 201 on Sunday night. At the end of the day, it was spunky Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, who stole the judges hearts and walked away with the crown. Normally, I’d be doing a recap of my favorite gowns– and don’t get me wrong, I had my favorites– but the abhorrent negativity surrounding this year’s competition has my mind focused elsewhere. Yes, Kira was the one with the mediocre vocals who played “Happy” with a red cup, and yes, there were some phenomenal other talents on the stage, arguably the best in years. I would’ve gladly taken Miss Florida, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Alabama, Miss Virginia… actually any of the girls in the Top 10, but ultimately, New York took the title for the third year in a row.
Instead of bashing the beautiful girl on the internet like I’ve seen so many narrow-minded people do, maybe we should accredit her win to another much more important skill and category. What America doesn’t see is the full, closed 10 minute interview each contestant has privately with the panel of judges. You’ll hear judges and contestants alike preach it, but Miss America (or Miss Florida or Miss “City/County/State Fruit“) is typically chosen in that room. When the MAO system prides itself on being a scholarship system as opposed to a beauty pageant, the distinct difference between Miss America and Miss USA, would you really expect it any other way? They need a woman with a brain and the innate unteachable ability to speak, inspire, and lead, and if you’ve seen any of the short clips of contestant interviews, the questions ain’t no joke. With a tear-jerking platform like Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence, a topic extremely relevant due to a fancy pants organization called the NFL, in addition to her open admittance of being a survivor of abuse, I completely see what the judges saw in her. She is articulate, she is spunky, and she is a fabulous constituent of young female empowerment.
I say we all just congratulate the girl and accept the fact that she didn’t need more than a cup to win the hearts of 7 judges. Plus, she has a rockin’ bod and an undeniable knack for red carpet style. I’m pretty sure her gown on me would’ve looked like I wrapped myself in a white shower curtain, but she pulled the look off flawlessly. This gown is yet another reminder that you don’t need rhinestones, cut-outs, and cleavage to be beautiful.
Now, how do I feel about the rest of the placements? I’m obviously from Florida, and I would’ve loved to have seen Tori, a girl with true grace and the undeniable gift of dance, win it all. I was a little disappointed with 3rd Runner-Up, but hey! We made the Top 5 for the second year in a row! Also, Miss Pennsylvania, the stunning native Floridian and preliminary talent winner who sang a “Phantom of the Opera” ballad, should’ve been up there, too. (Note: We competed together in 2011, and she won Preliminary Talent there, too! Cray.) That shocked me a bit, but again, we never know what happens in interview.
What were your thoughts? Any other favorites?