Kira Kazantsev, the new Miss America is crowed by outgoing title holder. (Photo: Miss America Pageant)

Kira Kazantsev, the new Miss America is crowed by outgoing title holder Nina Davuluri, also of New York. (Photo: Miss America Pageant)

Kira Kazantsev, the reigning Miss New York, defied the odds and became the third contestant in a row from the Empire State to be crowned the new Miss America last night (Sept. 14) in Atlantic City.

The event, broadcast live on ABC, ended with Kira’s crowning by last year’s Miss America, Nina Davuluri, who also is from New York.

Miss Virginia, Courtney Paige Garrett, was first runner-up and will take over Miss America duties in the event Kazantsev is unable to fulfill them.

Contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands competed in the contest.

Kira seemed to have the right platform at the right moment. She made domestic violence her cause at a time when the subject is in the national spotlight.

Kira Kazantsev, the New Miss America
(Click Photos to Enlarge!)

Ray Rice, the star runningback for the Baltimore Ravens, was fired by his team and banned indefinitely by the NFL for punching and knocking out his fiance during an argument earlier this month.

Kazantsev, a graduate of Hofstra University, will embark on her national speaking tour to publicize her campaign, titled: “Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence.”

Kira also collectd a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education.

For the talent portion of the competition, Kira performed a vocal performance of the song “Happy”.

Miss Arkansas, Ashton Jo Campbell, was named second runner-up and the winner of a $20,000 scholarship.

The most popular contestant among viewers, who could vote for their favorite, was Miss Idaho, Sierra Sandison.

Miss North Dakota, Jacky Arness, was the winner of the Judge’s Choice Award, an on-air, surprise opportunity for the judges to jointly select an additional contestant to compete among the finalists.

Jacky also won the coveted Miss Congeniality Award, awarded live for the first time on national television during the pre-show.

Chris Harrison and Lara Spencer hosted the event.

Check out the photos of Kira from the event and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest celebrity news.