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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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After botched answer, Miss Utah tries to redeem herself on “Today”

Miss Utah USA, Marissa Powell, tried to redeem herself on "The Today Show" on Tuesday morning - and she did a pretty good job.

Powell made headlines with her halting, nonsensical response to a question about pay inequity for women.

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"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,’’ she said on Sunday night. "That’s 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 education better so that we can solve this problem."

That went viral, and Powell - the third runner-up at the Miss USA pageant - became more famous than the winner ... um ... what’s-her-name ... Miss Connecticut, Erin Brady.

As for that botched answer, Powell explained it to "Today" host Matt Lauer like this:

"I was so excited, and I was so nervous, and I got up to this top-five question,’’ she said. "I was the first one. I got up, and the question was a little bit confusing to me, and I just started speaking without really processing.’’

And she had a much better answer to the pay-equity question when it was posed by Lauer.

"This is not OK,’’ Powell said. "It needs to be equal pay for equal work. It’s hard enough already to earn a living, and it shouldn’t be harder just because you’re a woman."



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