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Miss Utah 2013 Marissa Powell’s Flub refers to a fumbling answer about income inequality given by the Utah representative at the 2013 Miss USA beauty pageant. Shortly after its broadcast, a video of the incident was uploaded online and mocked in a similar fashion to the Miss Teen South Carolina clip from 2007.
On June 16th, 2013, 21-year-old Marissa Powell competed as Miss Utah in the Miss USA beauty contest held in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the question portion of the competition, actress NeNe Leakes asked Powell about economic inequality between genders, to which the contestant responded with a fumbling and incoherent answer (shown below).
NeNe Leakes: “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?”
Marissa Powell: “I think we can re … relate this back to education and how we are … continuing to try to strive to … [smiles] … figure out how to create jobs, right now. That is the biggest problem in … I think, especially the men, are, um … seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to try to figure out how to … create education better so that we can solve this problem.”
That evening, the keywords “Miss Utah” became a trending topic on Twitter with over 9,500 mentions, according to the analytics site Topsy (shown below).
Many of the tweets mocked her grammatically incorrect statement “create education better” and compared her to Miss Teen South Carolina’s fumbled response during the 2007 Miss USA pageant.
Hey, Miss South "Maps" Carolina! You're finally off the hook. Send the thank you card to Miss Utah! #missusa— Ryan (@RyanWoodDFW) June 17, 2013
On June 17th, 2013, Redditor sorzer submitted a clip of Powell’s answer to the /r/videos subreddit, where it received over 3,600 up votes and 850 comments within the first 16 hours.
News Media Coverage
That same day, several news and Internet humor sites published articles about Powell’s appearance, including People,MSN, E Online, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. Also on June 17th, the Gawker Media sports site Deadspin posted a transcript of the beauty contestant’s answer, accompanied by the Ultimate Insult Man quote from the 1995 comedy film Billy Madison.
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