From Falls to Flubs: 7 Beauty Queen Fails and Pageant Mix-Ups

PHOTO: Crystle Stewart, Miss USA fell down during the evening gowns segment of the Miss Universe 2008 beauty pageant in Nha Trang,Vietnam, July 14, 2008.
Vincent Yu/AP Photo

With their perfectly coiffed hair and gorgeous gowns, beauty queens are often known for their poise and grace.

But over the years, pageant contestants have also been known for their slips, mix-ups, or flubs on and off the runways.

Oops! Miss USA Does It Again

Miss Universe Canada Crowns Wrong Contestant

Miss Utah’s Equal Pay Response Flub

From one of the most viral beauty pageant question-and-answer round responses to the wrong queens being crowned, check out these pageants fails and mishaps.

PHOTO: Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina answering a question from host Mario Lopez, left, during the interview portion of the Miss Teen USA 2007 competition at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Aug. 24, 2007.
Patrick Prather/Miss Universe/AP Photo
Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007

When Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007 Caite Upton was asked why a fifth of Americans cannot locate the United States on a world map, she gave a rambling answer, including an explanation that “some people out there in our nation don’t have maps.”

"You’re supposed to supposedly only give like a three-sentence answer to a question. I didn't know that, and sometimes I just ran along and be like uh-la-la-la, cause I like to talk," Upton told "20/20."

Her response quickly became a viral video on YouTube.

"Sometimes when I get really excited I’m not really listening to other people, and I’m just kinda in my own world, especially when there’s something glittery going on up in my mind. Just kidding," Upton said. "But to tell you the truth, after I finished, I was just like, okay, well I didn't win. So when can we go to the after-party?"

While Miss Colorado Teen USA Hilary Cruz was crowned Miss Teen USA 2007, Upton went on to appear in Weezer's music video for "Pork and Beans" and hopes to become a television host.

"I did whatever I could to make myself come out on top and to show people that I am smart and I am intelligent, and I’m fun and I’m funny, and I’m athletic," Upton said. "Show everybody every side of me, not only my mistake."

PHOTO: Crystle Stewart, Miss USA fell down during the evening gowns segment of the Miss Universe 2008 beauty pageant in Nha Trang,Vietnam, July 14, 2008.
Vincent Yu/AP Photo
Miss USA 2008

When Miss USA 2008 Crystle Stewart competed at Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam, the beauty queen made a unique entrance during the evening gown competition.

Oops! Miss USA Does It Again

After taking a few steps across the stage, Stewart slipped and fell. Fortunately, she was able to pick herself back up.

With a smile on her face, Stewart even clapped as she continued her walk across the stage. Miss Venezuela Dayana Mendoza ended up taking the title of Miss Universe 2008.

PHOTO: Miss USA 2009 1st runner up Carrie Prejean poses for photos at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, April 19, 2009, in Las Vegas.
Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images
Miss California 2009

In 2009, Miss California Carrie Prejean didn’t take the title of Miss USA, but people were still buzzing over the contestant and her response during the question and answer round.

Perez Hilton 'Floored' by Miss California

Judge Perez Hilton asked Prejean about her thoughts on gay marriage. “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage,” Hilton said. “Do you think every state should follow suit, why or why not.”

“I think it’s great Americans are able to choose one or the other,” she said. “We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what in my country, in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman.”

The audience had mixed reactions to the answer. On television, both booing and applause could be heard.

Hilton blogged about the response after the show, calling it the “worst response in pageant history.”

VIDEO: Miss Asia San Diego Pageant Crowns the Wrong Winner
ABCNEWS.com
Miss Asia San Diego 2011

At the 2011 Miss Asia San Diego competition, event officials announced the wrong winner at the Aug. 27, 2011, event.

Pageant Crowns Wrong Winner

Martina Lo, who was crowned Miss Asia San Diego, was actually the fourth place runner-up. At the event organized by the Little Saigon Foundation, the emcee, who announced the winner, was given a piece of paper with three names on it.

But the emcee thought that the name not on the list was the person who won.

More than two weeks later, Kristen Paruginog, the rightful winner, was given the pageant’s top prize, a $3,000 scholarship.

Miss Universe Canada 2013

Twenty-four hours after being named Miss Universe Canada 2013, Denise Garrido had her crown taken away and placed on the head the first runner-up, Riza Santos.

Miss Universe Canada Crowns Wrong Contestant

During a third-party audit the day after the competition comparing the judges’ handwritten scores with the inputted computer scores, a pageant employee’s typo was discovered. The mistake moved Garrido down from the winner to third runner-up.

“I knew it wasn’t my fault,” Garrido told ABC News. “I have no bitterness or anger or resentment towards the organization at all. They’ve been very transparent.”

Pageant officials quickly admitted their mistake and honored the judges’ decision.

“A typo was discovered in the top five entries, which significantly impacted the final results of the competition,” Miss Universe Canada national director Denis Davila said in a statement. “This is the first instance of this type of error in the 11 years that Beauties of Canada (BOC) has produced the Miss Universe Canada pageant.”

PHOTO: Television personality and host Giuliana Rancic
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Miss Utah 2013

Miss Utah 2013 Marissa Powell told ABC News' "20/20" that she had a lot of things in her head that she wanted to articulate when she answered her question at the 2013 Miss USA pageant.

"I was just so caught up and wrapped in the moment that when she asked me the question, I didn't process it. I didn't give myself time to think about it," Powell said.

"And it just turned into something where it just was happening, and I was speaking, and I just felt like I just had to wrap it up and smile and, you know, carry on."

Miss Utah’s Equal Pay Response Flub

Judge NeNe Leakes asked Powell, "A recent report shows that in 40 percent of families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men–what does this say about society?"

“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 and that is the biggest problem. Especially the men are um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem,” Powell answered. Her response went viral on social media for its incoherence.

When asked what she meant to say, Powell said, "Initially I was thinking about education for women, basically understanding that they get 77 cents for every dollar the man makes ... But I wasn't able to articulate the fact that women need to be educated about this so that they can stand up and have something to say about it."

Afterwards, Powell said she was embarrassed and frustrated but was thankful for the support from family, friends and even strangers.

"I've been able to respond to some of the really positive, awesome things that people have said, because most of the people have been really supportive, and I'm really grateful for that," said Powell.

Powell finished third in the pageant, while Erin Brady, Miss Connecticut, was named Miss USA 2013.

VIDEO: Miss Florida Loses Crown Due to Tabulation Error
ABCNews.com
Miss Florida 2014

After wearing the crown for less than a week, Elizabeth Fetchel, who thought she would go on to compete at the Miss America 2014 pageant, was stripped of her title.

Due to a tabulation error, the wrong Miss Florida was crowned, and the runner-up, Victoria Cowen, was the real winner.

According to the Miss America Organization, a judge made a change to the score sheet that was not caught. The points were each contested and later reviewed.

“We understand the impact that news of this type may have on these women and each of these state organizations and the great concern that goes with it,” the Miss America Organization said in a statement.

“This is something I’m taking and moving forward it,” Fetchel said of the incident.

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