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Miss America's 'Happy' Cup Performance Stirs Debate

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Kira Kazantsev celebrated Monday, one day after winning Sunday night's Miss America pageant with the help of a red plastic cup.

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

Video: Miss America's 'Happy' Cup Performance

Kazantsev's performance took its inspiration from actress and singer Anna Kendrick, who famously did a similar routine in the movie "Pitch Perfect." Kendrick herself took to social media to comment on the performance.

Kazantsev, who entered the competition as Miss New York, tells The Associated Press she realizes everything she does now will be scrutinized and commented on.

But she says she performed Pharrell Williams' "Happy" while tapping a cup on the floor because that's what she wanted to do, regardless of what anyone else might think.

Kazantsev followed in the footsteps of her predecessors and posed for pictures in the Atlantic City surf Monday.

It's the third year in a row that a contestant from New York has won the crown.

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