Last night at the never-dull Miss America pageant, Miss New York Kira Kazantsev shocked the crowd by not only winning New York's third-straight crown, but also by performing a highly polarizing rendition of Pharrell's ubiquitous hit "Happy" with the aid of one red plastic cup.
New Yorkers immediately distanced themselves from the spectacle, but the merits of Miss New York's performance, given that it won her the crown, seem worthy of discussion. Amazingly, somehow, we have two Wire writers who disagree on Kira Kazantsev's performance. One, Adam Chandler, thinks the representative of our fair state held her own. The other, Kevin O'Keeffe, would like to ban cups. Together, they debate in a Cocktail Crossfire.
KO: So, Adam, you've made the unenviable choice to defend this mess. My question to you is this: Are you okay? Do you feel feverish, or light-headed? Because I'm assuming you have to be somehow affected to be saying this was actually good. I mean, not even getting into the technical aspects, it's freaking "Happy" on freaking cups. She combined two of our most loathed musical trends into one – and then performed it during the Miss America pageant. Can you explain what would make you stand up for this?