Miss Utah Chokes On ‘Final Question’

Image via NBC screenshot

Ouch! When asked about income equality, Miss Utah Marissa Powell choked during last night’s Miss USA competition, fumbling to find words and struggling to answer the current-events question with any sensible response.

The cringeworthy moment occurred when celebrity judge and “Real Housewife” NeNe Leakes asked 21-year-old Powell why women continue to earn less than men, even during a time when they are the primary earners in 40 percent of American families with children. Obviously Miss Utah hadn’t prepared for such a topic. Her awkward attempt to answer Leakes ended with the statement,

“We need to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem.”

You can imagine how gracefully she reached that conclusion—or watch the video above.

Powell’s expression indicates she knew she blew her chance at the crown—ultimately awarded to 25-year-old Miss Connecticut Erin Brady. And according to Twitter, the nation knew it, too.


Miss Utah’s flub  was so obvious, she drew references to 2007’s Miss South Carolina Teen USA Caitlin Upton, who cumbersomely tried to explain why some Americans can’t pin-point the United States’ position on a map, describing “South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like… such as…”