Deja Vu: The Answer Miss Utah Should Have Given

Written by Christina Mozaffari (@PMRChristina) on June 17, 2013 – 11:10 am

To quote Yogi Berra, It’s like déjà vu all over again.

Another beauty pageant contestant is a YouTube sensation for colossally fumbling a competition question. This time, the awkward moment comes from Miss Utah USA, Marissa Powell. When asked about equal pay for women issues in the Miss America pageant last night, Miss Powell offered an incomprehensible answer that showed she clearly didn’t understand the issue.

While I sympathize with Miss Powell’s tough situation, she obviously could have handled the question better.

Most spokespeople get into trouble when they try to answer questions for which they don’t know the answer. They tend to give factually incorrect answers, or, as in Miss Powell’s case, answers that make no sense.  She could have said something to the effect of: “You know, the causes of pay inequality in the United States are very complicated and too much for me to take on in just a few seconds. But like so many things, this comes back to education for me…” It’s certainly far from a perfect answer, but it would have prevented her aimless answer and helped her transition to a safer topic.

 

Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell

 

Miss Powell is not the first pageant contestant to suffer such a fate. Miss Teen South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, had a similar gaffe in 2007’s Miss Teen USA competition when she froze up after being asked about why so many Americans can’t point to the USA on a map.

What do you think? How could she have delivered a better answer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    The Mr. Media Training Blog offers daily tips to help readers become better media spokespersons and public speakers. It also examines how well (or poorly) public figures are communicating through the media.

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