TODAY   |  June 18, 2013

Miss Utah: Pageant question was ‘confusing’

Marissa Powell, who famously flubbed her response about equal pay for women during the Miss USA competition, explains what happened that night and gets a second chance to answer the question from TODAY’s Matt Lauer.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> where were you standing when miss utah was answering her question that has gotten so much attention.

>> i was standing right behind her. i was the second girl to go right behind her and you're nervous for her because in a matter of seconds that can be you. you're going to have a similar question. you're in front of millions of people.

>> even though you're competing your heart goes out to her.

>> yeah because you developed a relationship with them.

>> let's take a look at that moment and talk about it on the other side.

>> i think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to create jobs right now. that is the biggest problem and i think, especially the men are seen as the leaders of this so we need to figure out how to create education better so we can solve this problem. thank you.

>> thank you utah. thank you sweetheart.

>> you probably want to give her a hug.

>> you do.

>> we'll give you that chance right now, marissa powell is here in the studio. we'll give her a second chance. nice to see you. how are you? it's good to see you here. have a seat, please.

>> what was going through your mind.

>> oh my gosh. so much, i can't even tell you. i was so excited and i was so nervous and i got up to this top 5 question. i was the first one and i got up the question was a little bit confusing to me and i just started speaking without really processing.

>> and you're 21 years old. it's only your third pageant at that stage, at that level and it had to be one of those moments you wish you could have dug a hole and crawled in it for a second. can i give you a second chance at the question.

>> please.

>> here was the question, in 40% of american families with children women are the primary earners yet they continue to earn less than men. what does this say about society?

>> so this is not okay. it needs to be equal pay for equal work and it's hard enough already to earn a living and it shouldn't be harder just because you're a woman.

>> that was very well done.