‘Miss USA’ Flub Turns Miss Utah Into TV Sensation: Watch

by | June 18, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Late Night, The Today Show, TV News

Co-host Giuliana Rancic (left) reacts to Miss Utah Marissa Powell's infamous answer during Sunday's Miss USA Competition on NBC (Photo: Getty Images)

A flubbed answer at Sunday night’s Miss USA Competition has made a pageant runner-up more famous than the event’s winner, “Miss Connecticut” Erin Brady.

Thanks to the garbled answer she gave on national TV about pay-equality for women, the runner-up, Miss Utah — aka Marissa Powell, 21 — became one of the top subjects on the late-night monologues Monday night.

She then turned up Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show to share a segment with Miss Connecticut and, in the process, overshadowed the contest winner in an interview conducted by Matt Lauer.

What happened? It was just one of those “pageant moments” when a highly trained contestant seems outwardly confident but inwardly nervous — so nervous that she loses the thread of what she’s saying and her words tumble out incoherently.

That’s what happened when Miss Utah was asked: “A recent study showed that in 40 percent of American families with children women are the primary earners, though they continue to make less than men. What does this say about society?”

By now, her answer has been seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times on TV, including every time a late-night host referred to the subject on Monday night.

Jay Leno got things started on NBC’s “Tonight Show” by showing the clip, then using it for a sight gag that involved a speech by President Obama.

Watch what Jay did with it about two minutes into this clip:

Later in the evening, Jimmy Fallon showed the pageant clip during his monologue on NBC’s “Late Night,” He then commented on it, using the same verbiage that Miss Utah garbled in her answer.

Watch Fallon’s Monday night monologue on NBC’s “Late Night”:

Over on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel hopes to go one better than the other late-night shows when he actually hosts Miss Utah on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Tuesday night, after the NBA game.

We give her credit: Everyone’s making fun of her but she’s not avoiding the spotlight. Instead, she’s going on national TV and talking about it. That’s what she did Tuesday on “The Today Show,” where Matt Lauer gave her a second chance to answer the pageant question that gave her so much trouble.

You can see what she said in the clip below in which she appears alongside the pageant’s winner, Erin Brady. Also, make note of Ms. Brady’s reaction to Ms. Powell’s presence. Maybe we’re reading a bit more into it than is really there, but we detect a slight irritation on the pageant winner’s part about having to share this morning-show segment with a runner-up, and one who flubbed an easy question too!

Watch the two pageant contestants with Matt Lauer on “Today”: