Miss South Carolina talks back

Remember the painful — or wildly hilarious, depending on your tastes in comedy — clip of Miss South Carolina mangling her response to a question on geography?  Yesterday on the Today Show, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry gave Miss South Carolina (Lauren Caitlin Upton) a chance to respond. (AfterEllen.com user evolve also points this out in the original blog.)

But first, Lauer and Curry made Upton watch the clip of herself. I always suspected Lauer of having a sadistic streak, but this was almost as uncomfortable to watch as the original answer. 

Lauer asks, “At what point, Caitlin, during the answer did you start to think to yourself, is this making any sense?”

She responds, “I am laughing at myself, because I feel like, is that really me answering that question?” To be fair, Upton does manage to complete some of her own sentences this time around.

Her excuse for what happened: Being on national TV put her in shock. “I was overwhelmed and I made a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. I’m human.” Also, “I seriously think I only heard about one or two words of the actual question itself, and I misunderstood.” (You would think that, of all the times to be paying attention … Oh, never mind.)

(Video is after the jump.)

I’m not sure what my favorite part of the interview is.  Maybe when Curry patronizes Upton with, “Good girl. Good girl, you.” Throw her a treat and pat her on the head, Ann. She already knows how to speak on command.

I also like Upton’s question-and-answer strategies. This just has to be something that they teach pageant queen wannabes right between the seminars on “Swimsuit Strutting” and “How to Wipe All Human Emotion from Your Facial Expressions”:

Curry: I’m sure everything came at you at once?
Upton: Yes, everything did come at me at once.
Lauer: You just kind of drew a blank? 
Upton: Yes, I drew a blank.

And Upton’s revised answer to the question about why one-fifth of Americans can’t find the U.S. on a world map?  Here’s the transcript:

Well, personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map.  I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t, and if the statistics are correct, I believe that there should be more emphasis on geography in our education so people will learn how to read maps better.

It’s coherent if inelegant, foregoing references to random geographical locations or grammatical train wrecks, although the gratuitous use of “else” technically contradicts her first sentence. Way to almost answer the question.

I’ll never get over being onstage for a school spelling bee and losing my head over “crayon” (C-R-Y-A-O-N), so I’m almost ready to chalk the incident up to stage fright.  What say all of you?

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