1 of 3
Mel Evans, Associated Press
Miss New York Kira Kazantsev performs during the talent portion of the Miss America 2015 pageant, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J. Kazentsev was crowned Miss America 2015 during the event.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The new Miss America says there are more important things for people to worry about than her little red cup

That was the message Monday from Kira Kazantsev (kah-ZANT'-sev) of New York as many social media users continued to pan her use of a plastic cup during the talent portion of Sunday night's pageant finale in Atlantic City.

Kazantsev 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 says she was inspired by the film "Pitch Perfect" in which a character did the same thing while auditioning for an a cappella group.