By now you’ve heard of Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina, flubbing her response to the question “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”
Here’s what she said:
“I personally believe… that… U.S. Americans are unable to do so… because… uh…some … people out there in our nation don’t have maps and…. uh, I believe that our, ah, education like such as… in South Africa, and, uh, the Iraq, like everywhere like…such as… and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., or should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries… so we will be able to build up our future…for our children.”
And here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s explanation of what she said:
On the “Today” show, in response to her mess-up, Upton said:
“I would love to re-answer that question … 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 there should be more emphasis on geography.
“Everything did come at me at once. I was overwhelmed and I made a mistake. Everybody makes a mistake. I’m human … I seriously think I only heard about one or two words of the actual question.”
Upton’s former principal (Creig Tyler) remembered her as a well-rounded student, commenting that “she took college-prep and honors courses and performed well.”
Miss Teen Colorado Hilary Carol Cruz won the Miss Teen USA crown. Even with her answer, Upton was third runner-up.