Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday to discuss her Miss America monologue about being a nurse, which went viral earlier this week.
“A lot of people told me not to do a monologue for talent, it’s very unique. But, I am a nurse and that’s my talent is taking care of people and caring about other people,” Johnson said. “I wanted to give the nurses that don’t have that voice, that voice and recognition of somebody going up there and just being a little bit different and unique.”
For this year’s talent portion, Johnson came out in a nurse’s uniform and stethoscope to deliver a monologue about Joe, an Alzheimer’s patient who she says reminded her of the reason she became a nurse in the first place.
The following day, The View co-hosts Michelle Collins and Joy Behar made several controversial comments regarding Johnson’s speech, which created a backlash on social media. The hashtag “#NursesUnite” began trending, as many nurses called for an apology from the show. The two co-hosts have since addressed the controversy.
But the Miss America contestant definitely doesn’t regret choosing the monologue for her talent. Johnson explained that if she was going to win, she wanted to do so by being “authentic.”
“I really do care a lot and it was just so much fun to perform that and see it trend on Twitter and Facebook, especially being able to bring all those nurses together and have everybody standing up for our profession and giving them the voice that they deserve. They work so hard and they are life savers and that was all the message I wanted to give. It’s about them, not about me.”
To see the interview — including DeGeneres’ big gift to Johnson — check out the video below.
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