As the Miss Utah pageant for the Miss America system got under way this week, there was a lot of buzz about another national pageant system, Miss USA.
That's because on Sunday night, during the final interviews with the top six contestants, Miss Utah's answer to a question received national attention for being among the worst pageant answers of all time. She seemed to freeze and didn't answer the question.
"We need to figure out how to create education better," is a line from her answer for which she now is famous.
But Tuesday on the "Today Show," Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell got a chance to redeem herself.
During an appearance on the show, she was asked the same question and was allowed to answer. The question was about single mothers and gender equity. She was asked what the difference in wage-earning capacity between men and women said about society.
Her answer Tuesday: "This is not OK. It's hard enough to earn a living, and it shouldn't be harder just because you are a woman."
Her response to her forgetful moment has been the subject of admiration among those involved in pageants in Utah.
"I am so proud of her," said Steffani Nielson, director of the Miss Davis County scholarship pageant. "She didn't run from this. She is an amazing woman. She didn't let it hamper her life."
Nielson recalled a comment she heard from Alex Salimbene, Miss Davis County Outstanding Teen, who pointed out Powell's "outstanding" platform.
Powell, 21, of Salt Lake City, is the ambassador for Healing Hands for Haiti, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing rehabilitation medicine to Haiti.
"It is unfortunate that the one thing she will be remembered for is the answer to this one question," Nielson said.
Besides Powell's platform, she's also an accomplished vocalist.
She sang the National Anthem at the Real Salt Lake Rocky Mountain Cup for 10,000 people. She also is known for performing throughout the state with her group Genevieve.
Her biography says she also would like to be an advocate for adoption, as she feels without the gift of adoption her family wouldn't be complete.
Before the pageant began last week, Powell was selected by Thepageantplanet.com as one of the Miss USA contestants who website producers predicted would make it into the Top 10 at Miss USA.
"This girl does it all," the website said. "She is an athlete, a musician and a philanthropist. Versatility and variety are two important words when looking for a titleholder. I think Miss Utah has got a pretty good shot."
Her biography says that as a model and an actress she has been involved in runway, print and film.
She was featured in Fitness Magazine, television commercials and recently appeared on ABC's "What Would you Do?" TV episode as a lead actress.
She was an all-star high school volleyball player and played volleyball for Westminster College in 2010.
Powell's community involvement includes volunteering for Primary Children's Medical Center for the past five years as a member of the Kids Crew in the Forever Young Zone. She also plans to help promote programs at Primary Children's Medical Center this year during her reign as Miss Utah USA.
Nielson said the Miss USA pageant is a sister to the Miss America program.
"We will support her through heals, glitter and any blunder that she has," Nielson said.
"I thought she represented Utah beautifully. She was stunning on stage. It was unfortunate that she didn't answer her question as gracefully as she could."