Miss Colorado on Miss America fallout: ‘I am a nurse and that’s my talent’

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BURBANK, Calif. — Kelley Johnson, the Miss Colorado who gave a monologue during the Miss America pageant about her career as a nurse and wearing scrubs, spoke publicly about it after it generated a lot of reaction nationally.

Johnson, from Windsor, told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview on “Ellen” that she was advised not to give the monologue she did.

“A lot of people told me not to do a monologue,” Johnson said. “I am a nurse. And that’s my talent, taking care of people and caring about other people. And so I wanted to give the nurses that don’t have that voice, that voice and that recognition of just somebody going up there and just being a little bit different and unique.”

Johnson, who finished as second runner-up, also spoke about an Alzheimer’s patient at the pageant.

“I know that that hits home for a lot of people and it’s not something that’s really easy for people to talk about,” Johnson said. “I just thought, ‘You know, I want to go up there and I want to be authentic. I want to be Kelley. And if I’m ever going to win Miss America or win Miss Colorado, I want to do it being myself.’ And I’m a nurse!”

The day after the pageant, co-hosts of “The View” mocked Johnson’s monologue. Co-host Michelle Collins said 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.”

But Joy Behar took it to another level during the segment when she said: “Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope around her neck?”

That prompted a social media revolts against the show, with nurses defending Johnson and the profession.

On Wednesday, Collins said on “The View” “We love nurses … we adore you, we respect you,” adding her comments got “misconstrued.”

Behar said she was trying to be funny but, “it was stupid and inattentive on my part.”

DeGeneres and Johnson did not mention the comments of “The View,” but Johnson talked about its fallout.

“Especially being able to bring all these nurses together and have everybody standing up for our profession and giving them the voice that they deserve,” Johnson said. “They work so hard and they are life savers. That’s all the message I wanted to give. It’s about them, it’s not about me.”

Johnson, 22, said her winnings from becoming Miss Colorado and second runner-up in the Miss America pageant allowed her to pay off her student loans, but the interview ended with DeGeneres giving Johnson $10,000 so she can attend graduate school.

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