Miss Connecticut Crowned New Miss USA, but Utah Steals the Show

Credit: Miss Universe Organization/NBC

All of Miss Connecticut’s (née Erin Brady) dreams came true when she was named 2013’s Miss USA during Sunday night’s pageant. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, however, another contestant stole the spotlight — and the headlines.

While Brady donned her crown and thanked God for the invention of waterproof mascara, Miss Utah (Marissa Powell) was well on her way to becoming a viral Internet sensation. In a fail the likes of which we haven’t seen since Miss Teen South Carolina’s bumbling disaster of an answer in 2007 (“Like… such as… the Iraq…” — facepalm), Powell went down in flames while attempting to answer judge NeNe Leakes’ question about unequal pay in the workforce. 

The question, as posed by Leakes, was as follows: “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?”

To which Powell responded (thanks to Deadspin for transcribing this mess): “I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are … continuing to try to strive to [epic pause] figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem. And 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 educate better so we can solve this problem. Thank you.”

Watch it here:

Ironically, following her win, Brady told the Associated Press of the pageant, “I think that now more than ever, they’re accepting that we’re all intelligent individuals and that it’s really not a stereotype.” 

Better luck next time, Powell.

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