Matt Lauer and his co-anchors on “Today” found themselves in an awkward situation Friday when they interviewed a disqualified beauty queen who couldn't stop weeping.
Amanda Longacre wore the title of Miss Delaware for only two proud weeks before the Miss America Organization snatched it away because she was too old.
NBC invited the 24-year-old onto their morning program to share her unbelievable tale of woe, but as she talked about it on a live video feed, she became overwhelmed with emotion. She revealed that the Miss America Organization had seen her birth records before the competition even began, yet they still allowed her to compete.
“This doesn't make any sense,”offered Lauer, clearly feeling for the young woman. “They let you compete and then they booted you?”
Pageant rules say contestants must be between 17 and 24 and cannot turn 25 before year's end. Longacre won't be 25 until October and Miss America will be crowned well before then, but the strict organization is inflexible.
“Following the Miss Delaware Pageant, it was determined that Amanda Longacre exceeded the age requirement in order to be eligible to compete,” said pageant officials in a statement.
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The “Today” hosts comforted Longacre to the best of their ability, but even Lauer's glowing warmth couldn't keep her from breaking down. ”I deserve to represent my state,” pleaded Longacre, in between heavy sobs.
Though her crown has already been passed down to runner-up, Brittany Lewis, who doesn't turn 25 until 2015, Longacre won't give up hope. ”I'm speaking with an attorney right now,” she added. ”They're discussing options for me.”
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