sd Where’s Wilson? – Kira Kazantsev
Kira Kazantsev | Where’s Wilson?
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Where’s Wilson?

For the talent portion of the Miss America competition, I very well could have chosen a song that showcased more of my range or that fit more neatly into the mold of what is expected of pageant contestants…consequently fading into the background and probably not winning Miss America.

 

I stayed true to myself and took a risk. And…it paid off. I’m here to tell anyone that will listen: IT’S OK TO BE DIFFERENT. You just might win Miss America…just saying.

 

The first time I ever performed my cup routine in front of judges at the local level in New York, one judge came up to me afterwards and said, “Never lose that. You have something and it shines when you sit on that floor.” Over the past 2 years, I’ve also seen how kids react to it…and it’s priceless.

 

One of the most important job responsibilities of Miss America is being an inspiration to young children. And that means being relatable. My cup routine is entertaining for kids to watch, but more importantly, they can do it too. It has been a great way to connect and start a conversation about pursuing their dreams.

 

This week, I got to relive my Miss America talent performance all over again for the Boys and Girls Club in Atlantic City. Honestly, these kids were the brightest spot I’d seen all week. Their smiles melted away layers of stress while we clapped along and sang “Happy” together.

 

The best part of being Miss America is the kids. Hands down. They give my life meaning and purpose. Despite anything else, I can look into the face of a child and be touched by their unconditional love.

 

Don’t be surprised if you start to see crown cups in hospital gift shops or being left mysteriously at the bedsides of children nationwide. What Wilson (my cup) does is pretty remarkable. He brings pure joy to children. While a red plastic cup might not be the fanciest of contraptions, it does it’s duty…and I have a feeling that even the naysayers out there can’t help but clap along when they see those joyous smiles on kid’s faces.

12 Comments
  • Love you Kira! Still wish you had blinged Wilson out for the stage, but hey, I guess he’s got a classic, simple style 😉 Can’t wait to see the rest of what you do during your reign and see you soon. c:
    -Lauren

    September 26, 2014 at 9:33 pm
  • Gale Richmond
    Reply

    I am very glad that you stuck to your guns and stayed with the cup talent. When you performed it that night on the MA stage, I thought, how novel but then it hit me that you can do your talent at anytime and anywhere. And most importantly, EVERYONE can enjoy it if they let their pretentiousness step aside. You are going to do a marvelous job this year. God bless you and keep being “Happy”!

    September 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm
  • Alida Lott
    Reply

    When you started I was not sure what was happenning but I could only smile, just smile. Your singing was performed so well and yet I was in amazment at what you were doing. Your genuine heart and character shown through. Your beauty was inside as well as out, especially barefoot and sitting on the floor. Your talented voice did not go unheard, only seemed second by the glow of your character and soul. Fantastic DVR allowed me to reverse and see again and again with the explanation which really hit home. A fantastic example to children, but this old lady learned something to. Thank you, I loved it.

    September 26, 2014 at 10:07 pm
  • Amanda Elaine Harris
    Reply

    And THAT is why NY had a threepeat! If you are unafraid of being different, you will make an impact – and Miss America is a girl who is bound to make an impact in multiple ways. I was actually at the local you speak of a couple of years ago as a brand new NYC resident and local titleholder from Florida. It was so refreshing to see someone who was clearly down to earth dominate in a pageant – though I am a Florida girl through and through, that was something that I wished FL could follow the footsteps of NY in. Even though I was cheering for my friend, Melissa, I found myself cheering for you too because of how relatable you were and how real you were proud to be (glad you both won)! Though we haven’t had the opportunity to meet, I had been cheering for you since. Way to show girls that the best person to be is yourself – even if that’s corky and different!

    September 26, 2014 at 10:25 pm
  • George A Burson
    Reply

    I was a volunteer with MAO for thirty years and I want you to know that I think your talent was great! Your voice showed and so did your creativity. Congratulations and have a great year. I hope to meet you if you get to AZ.

    September 27, 2014 at 12:08 am
  • Mandy
    Reply

    You are amazing. Never stop being you.
    <3

    September 27, 2014 at 3:14 am
  • Sandi Z
    Reply

    you are the most beautiful miss America ever!!

    September 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm
  • Natasha
    Reply

    Kira,
    I wanted to say thank you. I have dealt with a similar situation with my sorority. I was able to keep my letters, however, still deal the judgement of an honest mistake (especially if they have the wrong story). You are the first person who has spoken about what happened and openly shared their side of the story while still standing by your sorority. I respect you and am excited to have a role model like you in my life time!

    September 28, 2014 at 12:23 am
  • Leisel
    Reply

    It’s true! It’s all about always being yourself! Go Miss America! You will have an affect on so many people this year! I think you are changing the “stigma” of what Miss America should be. You’re so relaxed and easy going! Also love your voice. Keep singing!

    September 28, 2014 at 3:46 am
  • I really liked what you wore when you did your Happy cup talent so much that if I can, I want to be you for Halloween and I am more than twice your age. I would love to give you a facial sometime when you are available.

    October 9, 2014 at 11:10 pm
  • Lisa
    Reply

    And at the end of the day I am happy

    October 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm
  • Hey, don’t pay attention to the haters. You’re doing an incredible job.

    October 24, 2014 at 6:30 am

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