To stumble and fall is embarrassing enough, but to do so in front of one billion television viewers during a celebration of all that is glamorous and feminine, is almost unthinkable.
Except that this is the second year running that the American entrant in the beauty pageant has stumbled on stage.
At least it means Crystle Stewart, a 26-year-old model, athlete and motivational speaker from Texas who tripped on the train of her sparkling dress during the evening grown section of the contest, is likely to live on in cyberspace.
In the same section of last year’s event, Rachel Smith, the reigning Miss USA, landed squarely on her tailbone but managed to compose herself enough to tip a wink to the television cameras afterwards. Miss Smith became a favourite on YouTube, the video-sharing website.
After her lapse of grace, Miss Stewart encouraged the audience to applaud by clapping her hands.
Miss Stewart persevered as a runner up in multiple Texas beauty pageants since at least 2002 before winning her moment in the limelight.
In an interview over the weekend she dismissed the possibility that she would repeat Miss Smith’s disastrous stumble. “Nerves don’t come into it,” she claimed.
She finally finished eighth in the contest.
The author of the motivational book “Waiting to Win”, Miss Stewart plans to establish a character development school in Texas.