Miss Brooklyn is from … Manhattan

Miss Brooklyn is from … Manhattan
The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

There she is … Miss Manhattan?!

The Miss Brooklyn pageant — a stepping stone to the Miss America crown — reappeared after a 16-year absence last week and was plunged immediately into controversy because the winner is a queen who’s not from Kings.

Leigh-Taylor Smith, 22, captured the sparkling tiara Saturday afternoon and promptly whisked it across the East River, forcing the borough to wait at least another year before it can crown one of its daughters with top honors.

“This is fantastic!” Smith said, seconds after the crown was settled atop her perfectly coiffed brown mane.

There were only seven contestants, but the Miss Brooklyn pageant was every bit the precursor to Miss America, ranking the belles on their appearance in a swimsuit and evening wear, their talent in a song-and-dance number, and their intelligence in interviews with four judges (thankfully, none of the competitors said she’d work for “world peace”).

Julya Vekstein: Park Slope
The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

The judges lobbed some softballs at the contestants — “What do you do on your downtime?” asked one judge — but went after others with curveballs.

One official wanted to know whether women who’ve had cosmetic surgery should be disqualified from such pageants, the equivalent of asking should baseball players who use steroids be banned from the major leagues.

“I don’t think so,” said Theresa Tokarowski, explaining that some women choose surgery to “be more comfortable” or “correct problems.”

The talent portion of the program ranged from tap-dancing to opera arias to a comedic bit about a Jewish secretary who embarks on a hip-hop career.

“I’ll be the first rapper with an exclusively clerical content,” joked Julya Vekstein, a Park Sloper.

Nicole Clark: East Flatbush
The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

She got laughs, but it was Smith who tore the roof off the Kumble Theater at Long Island University on Flatbush Avenue Extension, where tickets were going for $30 a pop. Smith’s rendition of “Nobody Does it Like Me,” from the musical “Seesaw,” was amazingly appropriate (given its inappropriateness, that is).

“It’s about being incapable of being a lady at all times,” Smith said. It was an odd choice for Smith, whose main qualification for being Miss Brooklyn — other than her looks, talent and charm — is that she is a parishioner at the Brooklyn Tabernacle on the Fulton Mall in Downtown.

Plus, she’s made the hajj to Junior’s and the Coney Island Boardwalk since moving to New York after graduating from the University of Virginia last year.

“Living in Manhattan, it’s nice to come to a low-key place like Brooklyn,” she told The Brooklyn Paper.

Before Brooklynites take umbrage at Smith’s victory, partisans should remember that it might never have happened had more genuine Brooklynites signed up.

Carlon Alexandra: Brooklyn Heights
The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

“We only had a few committed girls from Brooklyn,” said Kim Thomas, executive director of the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Program. “We couldn’t have a contest with only three girls.”