LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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.”
Watch Miss Utah Marissa Powell’s answer here: http://bit.ly/1bNeNBl.
Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier .
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Best selling author Adriana Trigiani appeared before a full house at The Lake Club in Poland on Wednesday.
Special needs students around the Valley got the chance to let loose Wednesday night.
The annual Carols & Cocoa concert by the Dana School of Music has become a Mahoning Valley holiday tradition.
As Cardinal Mooney prepares to play for its 9th state championship on Friday, WYTV anchor Stan Boney looks back at the career of Mooney football legend Ted Bell, who played on the school's 1973 championship team.
The 93rd annual Christmas party for visually impaired and special needs children sponsored by the Youngstown Lions Club was hel at the Saxon Club on Meridian Road.
The author of a new book revealed to some Trumbull County students the key to jolting their careers.
After the recent sale of bonds, Warren has retained an excellent credit rating.
UPDATE: Boardman officials are hoping all seven of the township's neighborhood groups will come together and work more collaboratively to reduce crime.
A financial advisor from Cortland is in the Trumbull County Jail after he was secretly indicted by a grand jury for stealing nearly $50,000 from an elderly Mineral RIdge woman.
It may still take another few weeks before Youngstown investigators can finally wrap up a high-profile police chase that involved a cruiser from neighboring Coitsville Township.
Warm air ahead of an approaching cold front will bring rain Thursday and push temperatures into the upper 50s. Behind the front, much colder will turn the rain to snow Thursday night. Snow is likely Friday with 3 to 6 inches possible by late Friday night.
In the span of less than 12 hours on Tuesday, Youngstown police found themselves caught up in three high-speed pursuits through parts of the city's South Side.
During a speech Tuesday trying to drum up support for the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama cited the example of a Poland woman who is battling cancer and is able to remain on her parents' health insurance to pay for treatment.
A robber made off with thousands in cash from a quick loan store in Warren.
A former Boardman teacher was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to sexual battery charges and admitting to having a sexual relationship with a student.
The Columbiana County Sheriff's Office welcomed its newest deputy Wednesday.