A Miss USA beauty queen has raised eyebrows with a rambling answer to a judge's question about pay parity between men and women.

Miss Utah Marissa Powell's answer was filled with awkward pauses, incoherent statements - and eye rolls.

The incident happened during the question and answer portion of Sunday's competition when Powell was asked by a judge why women earnt less than men and what it said about society.

Her reply is sure to become the stuff of viral video legend.


"I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are continuing to try to strive to (pause) figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem.

"I think, especially the men are ... erm ... 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. Thank you."

Her reply conjured up images of Miss South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton, who delivered a stumbling rant during a 2007 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant after being asked why some US children couldn't locate the USA on a world map.

The incident didn't seem to affect Powell's chances too badly in the Miss USA pageant, as she was named third runner up.

The competition was won by Miss Connecticut Erin Brady.

- nzherald.co.nz