DENVER -- Kelley Johnson, the Miss Colorado from Windsor whose monologue during the Miss America pageant about her career as a nurse while wearing scrubs drew attention and snarky comments from two co-hosts of "The View," said Wednesday she is grateful for all of the support she has received.
Johnson spoke on "Good Day Colorado" about the attention she has received in the past week since the pageant, where she spoke about a patient with Alzehimer's.
The next day, "The View" co-host Michelle Collins poked fun at the monologue, saying Johnson "basically read her emails out loud -- and shockingly did not win." Collins added, "She helps patients with Alzheimer's, which is not funny, but I swear, you had to see it."
Co-host Joy Behar quipped during the segment, "Why does she have a doctor's stethoscope around her neck?"
That set off a revolt in social media, with nurses defending their jobs and starting a #NursesUnite backlash on Twitter.
"For me, it’s all good attention," Johnson said Wednesday. "Those comments that were made were upsetting to some people, but the way we’ve been able to turn it around and the nursing community has gotten that respect and that recognition, it’s been just fine.
"And the support of people, the nurses and the people who have had family and friends with Alzheimer’s … it’s just been an outpouring for me. And it’s so much fun to read. I love these people that are sharing with me. It’s very personal. It’s great."
Despite all the attention on the monologue and the reaction, Johnson said the biggest surprise was that she finished as the second runner-up.
"No, not in a million years," she said when asked if she expected to finish as high as she did. "I was really wondering how far the monologue would go on the Miss America stage. It’s such a testament to humanity and pageantry of how authentic you can be. … I hope it’s inspired young women to participate in something that might be unique or a-typical for them to do as well. ...
"I wanted so to do my monologue for the world so they could see it and nurses could have that. … I was so shocked to have gotten that far."