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Miss Utah is the latest beauty queen to botch answer

By Hannah Dreier

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:32 p.m. HST, Jun 17, 2013

LAS VEGAS >> Miss Utah Marissa Powell is the latest beauty queen to trip on national television, not over her gown, but during the interview segment.

Asked about income inequality at the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas Sunday night, the 21-year-old Salt Lake City resident gave a rambling, awkwardly-worded answer that included several long pauses and the phrase "create education better."

The cringe-inducing response was getting lots of buzz Monday. As a video of the episode racked up hundreds of thousands of views, pageant co-owner Donald Trump scolded the haters on Twitter, saying anyone can lose their train of thought.

The question was a bit of a head scratcher itself.

"A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?" asked NeNe Leakes of the reality series "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."

Undaunted by the three-in-one prompt, Powell started off strong:

"I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are continuing to try to strive ... to ...," she said, before appearing to lose her way.

She picked up after a long pause: "... figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem. And I think, especially the men are ... seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to see how to . create education better. So that we can solve this problem. Thank you."

Despite the stammering answer, she came in third runner-up.

Miss Utah is not the only beauty to mangle the interview. Face palm answers are part of the appeal of the live show and hers was certainly not the worst recorded in a pageant.

Miss South Carolina took that crown with her 2007 "such as"-filled response to a question about why Americans can't find their own country on a map.

That word soup answer managed to include South Africa, Iraq, nation building and an allusion to a map shortage in the U.S.

Miss California 2009 brought the phrase "opposite marriage" into the mainstream when she told gay blogger Perez Hilton she opposed same-sex marriage.

Last December, Miss Venezuela became the talk of the Internet after she attempted to answer a question in English during the Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas. Her answer was unintelligible at times, and fans said it cost her the competition. But at least she had a language barrier to blame.

Miss Utah, who was still trending on Twitter a day after her flub, was keeping quiet amid the fallout.

But she did have this to say on her Miss USA page, "It's not all about winning. It's about examining yourself, improving and striving to showcase your individuality."

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allie wrote:
Look, it is a ridiculous contest. Trump owns it? "nuff said.
on June 17,2013 | 03:18PM
bully106 wrote:
what is truly ridiculous is all the media interest in this poor woman. i saw the clip and wasn't appalled or surprised that she gave such a flawed (meaning uncanned) answer. after all, this is the miss usa contest. but the media hasn't given any attention to the poor woman who won, only on the one who blew it. news reports suck so much these days. shame.
on June 17,2013 | 04:36PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
They should modify these beauty pagents to include a new category: best botched answer to a question. Most face-palmingly hilarious wins....
on June 17,2013 | 03:37PM
cojef wrote:
Never did watch this show! Dunno if I dislike Trump or just the show itself??
on June 17,2013 | 04:07PM
Graham wrote:
Ask the same question on any of our university campuses...or randomly on Bishop St...or at the Legislature...
on June 17,2013 | 04:07PM
bluespop wrote:
They should include a talent portion of the contest to up the unintentional comedy scale.
on June 17,2013 | 04:14PM
st1d wrote:
love them utah women. beauty without baggage.
on June 17,2013 | 05:42PM
mynah wrote:
i got what she was trying to say.
on June 18,2013 | 07:22AM
niceynicey wrote:
I'm glad, because I didn't.
on June 18,2013 | 11:00AM
niceynicey wrote:
She still was third runner up. Goes to show you that the interview portion of the competition probably doesn't carry that much weight anyway.
on June 18,2013 | 11:00AM
burymeagain wrote:
"... and she's not even blond!"
on June 18,2013 | 01:16PM
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