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, who was 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.”