Miss America 2015 has been crowned

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Miss America 2015 - Miss New York Kira Kazantsev - 9/14/2014
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Miss America 2015 has been crowned
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev poses for photographers during a news conference after she was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev talks during a news conference after she was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev poses for photographers during a news conference after she was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, right, walks the runway after she was named Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev waves after being crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, right, walks the runway after she was named Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, left, who was also once Miss New York, looks on during the walk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, right, gets a kiss from her mother, Julia Kazantsev, after Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev walks the runway after being crowned as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev walks the runway after being crowned as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, left, gasps after she was named Miss America 2015 as she holds hands with Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, center, celebrates, while holding the hands of Miss Alabama Caitlin Brunell, left, and Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray after advancing to the final round of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, top right, crowns Miss New York Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, left, celebrates after she is named Miss America 2015 during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Also seen is Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, who took first runner up honors. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The top five finalists in the Miss America 2015 pageant stand together, from left, Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, Miss Florida Victoria Cowen, Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell, Miss New York Kira Kazantsev and Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett, right, gasps after she is announced as a finalist during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Garrett took first runner up honors while Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the crown. Looking on are Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler, left, and Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn plays the piano during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart performs during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Contestants don their swimsuits during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Arizona Outstanding Teen Amber Barto waits for start of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, left, celebrates after she's announced as a finalist during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Outstanding Teen Michaela McLean, 16, left, and Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen Amy Smith, 15, tap hands before the start of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri walks on stage during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oregon Rebecca Anderson takes the stage with contestants during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Utah Karlie Major, bottom right, stands with other contestants as supporters hold up signs during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn celebrates after moving on to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, center, celebrates after advancing to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Utah Karlie Major, bottom right, stands with other contestants as supporters hold up signs during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Contestants don their swimsuits during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Texas Monique Evans walks on stage during the swimsuit portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart performs during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn plays the piano during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Tennessee Hayley Lewis sings during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her swimsuit during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, center, celebrates after advancing to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn celebrates after moving on to the evening gown portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Oklahoma Alex Eppler dances during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Miss Kentucky Ramsey Carpenter walks on stage during the swimsuit portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oregon Rebecca Anderson takes the stage with contestants during the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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By WAYNE PARRY

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the Miss America pageant Sunday night, with the help of a red plastic cup.

For her talent performance, Kazantsev sang Pharrell Williams' "Happy" while sitting cross-legged on the stage and banging a red plastic cup on the floor. That immediately touched off a furor on social media networks, where many were critical of her performance.

But Kazantsev said she was inspired by the 2012 movie "Pitch Perfect" in which Anna Kendrick's character auditions for an a capella group by performing rhythmically with a cup. She also said she did it to show future contestants they can win the Miss America pageant by performing whatever talent routine they like, regardless of what others think of it.

"The reason why I chose to do that talent is I wanted every single little girl in America to be able to see that you can do that talent - you can do whatever talent you want on national television - even with a red cup - and still be Miss America and have the time of your life," Kazantsev said. "I literally in that minute and 30 seconds had the most fun I've ever had, and that's because I stayed true to myself and I did what I wanted to do for my talent, no matter what everybody else told me, and it paid off. I'm very happy about it."

Kazantsev, who named combating sexual assault in the military as the issue about which she would want female U.S. Senators to press their male counterparts, won a $50,000 scholarship with which she plans to attend law school.

She also plans to speak out against domestic violence during her yearlong resign as Miss America.

Her victory marked the third year in a row that a contestant from her state has walked away with the crown in the nationally televised pageant. Kazantsev received the crown at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall from outgoing Miss America - and Miss New York - Nina Davuluri

Kazantsev will begin a schedule this week that will see her travel 20,000 miles a month.

(Editor's note: see how the Miss America contestants prepared for their big night)

59 PHOTOS
Miss America shoes - 2014
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Miss America 2015 has been crowned
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Maryland Jade Kenny displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oregon Rebecca Anderson displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Wisconsin Raeanna Johnson displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Montana Victoria Valentine displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New Jersey Cierra Kaler-Jones displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Missouri Jessica Hartman displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Illinois Marisa Buchheit displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Iowa Aly Olson displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Arizona Alexa Rogers displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Hawaii Stephanie Kainoa Steuri displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Florida Victoria Cowen displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Utah Karlie Major displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Mary Hughes, right, and her daughter Marina Hughes, 6, of Absecon, N.J., use rain gear over their tiaras as they watch the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Members of the All Star One Cheer Academy perform stunts during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Wyoming Jessie Allen poses for photographers during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A convertible vehicle, bottom right, carries Miss New York Kira Kazantsev during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Maine Audrey Thames talks to spectators during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Washington Kailee Dunn waves at spectators during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A member of the Jackson Memorial High School band, left, of Jackson, N.J., serenades Miss Vermont Lucy Edwards during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Cheryl Margen, of Stratford, Conn., wears a head umbrella while watching the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Raindrops are seen on the foot of Miss Alabama Caitlin Brunell during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray watches accumulated rain drip from the roof of a convertible vehicle during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A spectator holds up a sign during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Supporters of Miss West Virginia Paige Madden hold up signs as her float approaches during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Paige Goodwin, 4, of Galloway, N.J., covers herself from the rain while waiting for the start of the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Wisconsin in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Texas in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Washington in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Tennessee in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss District of Columbia in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Hawaii in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Colorado in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Connecticut in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by by Miss Alaska in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
The shoes to be worn by Miss Alabama in this year's Miss America pageant during the traditional Boardwalk “Show Us Your Shoes” parade on Saturday, Sept. 13 are displayed Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
FILE - This Sept. 14, 2013 file photo shows Miss Alabama Chandler Champion showing her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J. The world-famous pageant that began in Atlantic City as a way to extend the summer tourism season for another weekend is back where it belongs after a brief desert fling in Las Vegas. Though tickets are required for the indoor competition events, the contestants greet the public in a free introductory outdoor event Sept. 3, and can be seen regularly on the Boardwalk during the two-week run-up to the Sept. 14 crowning of the new Miss America. The traditional “show-us-your-shoes” parade on the Boardwalk is adding more free viewing areas this year for the Sept. 13 event. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Miss South Carolina Brooke Mosteller displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss North Carolina Johna Edmonds displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Oregon Allison Cook displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New Hampshire Samantha Russo displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Indiana Terrin Thomas displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Arkansas Amy Crain displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Maine Kristin Korda displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Montana Shelby Ringdahl displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Nebraska JaCee Pilkington displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss District of Columbia Bindhu Pamarthi displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New York Nina Davuluri displays her shoes during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum displays her shoes displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Miss Florida Myrrhanda Jones shows her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez,)
Miss Alabama Chandler Champion shows her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez,)
Miss Illinois Brittany Smith displays her shoe during the Miss America Shoe Parade at the Atlantic City boardwalk, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez,)
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The first runner-up was Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett.

Other top 5 finalists were Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell; Miss Florida Victoria Cowen; and Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn.

Miss North Dakota, Jacky Arness was chosen by her peers as Miss Congeniality.

The pageant shone a positive light on the struggling seaside gambling resort, which has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons lately: a rash of casino closings, thousands of unemployed workers, and a domestic violence case involving a former NFL star.

For three hours Sunday night, America got a different look at Atlantic City. The Miss America pageant presented an upbeat view of the city where it began in 1921.

It featured iconic Atlantic City visuals including its beach, Boardwalk, the Steel Pier, Black Fish Pier near Brigantine, and the Atlantic City Beach Patrol station.

"Atlantic City is facing a challenging economic climate and our hearts go out to all of those who have lost their jobs," said Sam Haskell III, CEO of the Miss America organization. "We hope that our Miss America telecast ... will generate great interest for Atlantic City on a national scale as we showcase their beautiful beaches and Boardwalk."

'Miss America' Winner Announced Despite Her Questionable Talent

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