Ten seconds Miss USA Rachel Smith would probably like to forget: Slipping and landing on her behind while modeling her evening gown at Monday night’s Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City. (See video below.)
Smith, a Clarksville, Tenn., native whose chance to be crowned may have been diminished by her fall, was booed during her interview and many in the audience taunted her with chants of “Mexico! Mexico!” until she spoke in Spanish, the Associated Press reports.
Smith’s response was to say “Buenas noches Mexico. Muchas gracias!” (“Good evening, Mexico. Many thanks”), which earned her applause.
She also ended up being the fourth runner-up in the contest, as Riyo Mori, a 20-year-old dancer from Japan, was named Miss Universe 2007.
“My brain went white, and then two seconds later I was so thankful, thankful to my parents, my national director, people who supported me. I’m so thankful, thank you so much,” Mori said at a post-pageant press conference.
First runner-up was Natalia Guimaraes of Brazil; second, Ly Jonaitis of Venezuela; and third, Honey Lee of Korea.
Also speaking afterwards, pageant co-owner Donald Trump said of Smith’s treatment, “Rachel has been a great Miss USA, and she’s really a nice person, and I don’t think they were booing Rachel, perhaps they were booing some policies of the United States, to be honest with you.”