Forget beauty: All you need to win the Miss America crown is to get "Happy" -- and a red cup.

That's what the latest pageant queen, Kira Kazantsev, discovered Sunday night when she performed a rendition of the hit Pharrell song inspired by Anna Kendrick's "Cups" routine from "Pitch Perfect." Kazantsev, who was the third consecutive Miss New York to nab the Miss America title, sat cross-legged on the stage and knocked around a plastic red cup to the beat of the song, while singing along.

While the 23-year-old received her fair share of criticism from fans on social media, the routine was enough to charm the judges, and, Kazantsev said, was a personal triumph.

"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 told ABC News. "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 told ABC that she was directly inspired by the 2012 collegiate a cappella flick, is set for academia herself, once she finishes her Miss America duties: She's been accepted into Fordham's law school, and will use her $50,000 winnings to attend. That's enough to make anyone happy, indeed.

via: ABC News

Photo credit: Associated Press

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