Miss Utah Is a Mad Genius
By Matthew Breen
Between the gowns, the boob tape, the ready-made opportunities to reference Julia Sugarbaker’s “the night the lights went out in Georgia!” speech from Designing Women, beauty pageants are already an awesomely gay affair. But this Miss USA Pageant is really serving it up.
Yes, that’s Nick Jonas on the stage, in a tight suit and bow tie (evidence show producers are acknowledging their gay audience but clearly attempting top span the generations). And yes, Judge #3 is queen of the Housewives, Nene Leakes (pour one out for The New Normal getting canceled). So gay! And Miss Utah has cheekbones that could cut glass.
It’s not technically irony when Miss Utah Melissa Powell blunders through her question, posed by Leakes, about women as the primary earners with an ill-informed answer that mentions education a lot. She’d have to be answering with knowing sarcasm or speaking that which she knows to be untrue.
Or is she a mad genius? Fact: Miss Teen South Carolina, in a question about education, bungled her answer so endearingly, that she was invited on talk shows, morning shows, and The Soup to reenact. She even gets name-checked with politicians goof their answers on policy. Did Miss Utah know this? Could she have been counting on it?
The Internets piled on, but Deadspin was perhaps the meanest, commenting “Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.” Ouch.
So Miss Utah, for your seemingly spontaneous gaffe, I’m inclined to offer you a “well played.” We’ll just see if you’re running for United States Senate in a few years, buoyed by sympathy, well-fitting dresses, and a treasure trove of interview clips. Guessing you’re going to be a primary earner in your household.
Erin Brady, Miss Connecticut, actually won. But who’s going to remember that?