ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Miss New York Kira Kazantsev is defending the red plastic cup that helped her with the 2015 Miss America pageant.
"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."
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.
Here is a selection of tweets from those not impressed.
My Puppy has more talent than #MissAmerica 2015 winner, tapping a red plastic cup!!!!!!
— Veronica❤️ (@vero_vero) September 15, 2014
Hmmmm.... right... Banging a red plastic cup is NOT a talent. "The reason why I chose to do that talent is I... http://t.co/3sSRnqrwAi
— Rafa Delfin (@RafaDelfin) September 15, 2014
Please stop telling me this is a "scholarship" pageant when you have a girl sitting on the floor banging a red plastic cup. #MissAmerica
— Courtney (@ShirazSippyCup) September 15, 2014
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.
What do you think - is singing to your own red plastic cup drummer a talent?
The AP contributed to this report.