After days of ridicule, Miss Utah finally had a chance to redeem herself on the "Today" show this AM -- and this time she answered the infamous pageant question WITH FLYING COLORS!!! For a beauty queen.
Marissa Powell sat down with Matt Lauer and explained -- as TMZ previously reported -- that nerves got the best of her during Sunday night's Miss USA contest ... causing her to give one of the most confusing answers in pageant history.
Matt, being the saint he is, gave Marissa ONE MORE SHOT to get the question right ... see how she did this time. And remember folks she only had 48 hours, the Internet and a team of people to help her prepare.
Talk about pressure.
The "Today" show will NOT STOP shooting segments outside the studio ... despite this morning's frightening incident with a knife-wielding man ... this according to co-anchor Natalie Morales.
Morales was leaving the studio after the show today (which happens to be her birthday) ... when she told us why she believes the show MUST continue to feature outdoor segments.
"It's part of our identity as the show," Morales said ... "We'll still be out there."
Morales also gave credit to the show's security team -- which took down the man when he started cutting himself in front of the crowd.
A man slashed his wrists Thursday during a live broadcast of the "Today" show.
It happened as Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie were outside in Rockefeller Plaza. The man -- who is in his 50s -- slashed both his wrists and his forearms. NBC's cameras didn't show the incident, but several people in the crowd captured photos and video.
The New York Daily News obtained a photo of the man as he attempted to cut himself.
Immediately afterward, the show moved inside the studio. Matt talked about the incident on the air ... saying the man only wanted to harm himself and no one else.
As for the man ... he was taken to the hospital and he's in stable condition.
Kathie Lee Gifford says there will be a "revolt" at NBC if the powers that be allow Matt Lauer to leave the "Today" show, telling TMZ ... she'll do whatever it takes to keep him around.
Kathie Lee was leaving Rockefeller Center in NYC Monday morning when she made it clear -- she thinks Matt has been unfairly demonized in the media in the wake of Ann Curry's firing.
Kathie tells us, she wanted to buy a full page ad in an NYC newspaper defending her longtime co-worker, but Matt talked her out of it.
Bottom line, if Lauer ever gets ousted ... Kathie no happy.
Wade Robson just said on TV ... he never forgot what Michael Jackson did to him -- he just didn't know it was wrong until recently ... but Wade's testimony in 2005 suggests if he didn't forget, he might have been lying.
Robson said on "Today" Michael performed sexual acts on him and vice versa when he was a child.
Wade told Matt Lauer on "Today," "I've never forgot one moment of what Michael did to me but I was psychologically and emotionally completely unable and unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse."
But we've looked at the trial transcript from the 2005 molestation case, and Wade was asked very specific questions about the physical contact he had with MJ.
Prosecutor Ron Zonen grilled Robson on cross examination and asked very specific questions:
-- Zonen: Mr. Jackson would periodically kiss you.
-- Robson: No
-- Zonen: Periodically hug you?
-- Robson: Yes
-- Zonen: Touch you?
-- Robson: Hug me.
-- Zonen: Did he ever kiss your lips
-- Robson: No
-- Zonen: On occasions you stayed in bed with Mr. Jackson would you ever cuddle in bed?
-- Robson: No
-- Zonen: Would you lie next to one another?
-- Robson: No
-- Zonen: Would you touch?
-- Robson: No
Short story ... Robson says he "never forgot" anything Michael did to him ... he just didn't know it was wrong. So if he never forgot, did he lie on the stand or is he making it up now? Fair question.
9:00 AM PT -- Howard Weitzman, the attorney for MJ's estate, tells TMZ, “Mr. Robson has adamantly denied under oath and in numerous interviews over the past 20 years that Michael Jackson ever did anything inappropriate to him. He now wants us to believe that he committed perjury at least twice and has been lying to anyone and everyone about Mr. Jackson since the early ‘90s so he can file a claim for money. Mr. Robson’s transparent lawsuit comes nearly 4 years after Michael passed. His claim is outrageous and sad.”
Wade Robson says the only reason he's now changing his story ... accusing Michael Jackson of sexually abusing him for 7 years is because Michael engaged in a campaign of manipulation to keep him silent, especially during MJ's 2005 child molestation trial.
Robson went on NBC Today and said, Michael "performed sexual acts on me and forced me to perform sexual acts on him" from the age of 7 ... until Robson was 14.
Robson claimed he testified in 2005 that Michael did NOT sexually abuse him because Michael told him what they were doing was "an expression of love" ... and added, "if you ever tell anyone what we're doing both of our lives and our careers will be over."
TMZ broke the story ... Robson filed a creditor's claim against Michael Jackson's estate last week, insisting MJ sexually abused him during his childhood for years, but according to sources he didn't take action until he saw a therapist following a nervous breakdown.
Robson referenced the breakdown on Today, saying ... "For the first time in my life I began to realize that my completely numb and unexplored feelings in relation to what Michael did to me might be a problem and maybe I need to speak to someone about it."
Interestingly, Robson denied repressing memories of the alleged abuse ... instead saying he was merely "psychologically and emotionally completely unable and unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse."
Robson added he doesn't excuse the alleged abuse, but he believed Michael was a "troubled man" who was an amazing talent, but "also a pedophile."
Michael Jackson's estate has told TMZ Robson's allegations are an "outrageous and pathetic" money grab.
Maria Shriver is almost single and now gainfully employed ... as a "special anchor reporting on women's issues" for the "Today" show.
TMZ has previously reported ... Shriver wanted to get back into the broadcasting game, but didn't want the day-to-day grind. She also wanted a TON of money. We're told Arnold repeatedly told her she was always worth way more than NBC wanted to pay.
Now Shriver will report on "Today" from time to time about all things women -- from faith to finances.
As for her divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger ... our sources say it's close but no cigar yet -- still some squabbling over finances.
CB sat down with Matt Lauer on "Today" this morning and actually opened up about his relationship with Rihanna, rather than throw a chair through a window when asked about it.
"As far as me and her are concerned," Brown said ... "She knows my heart and I know her heart. I'm not really focused on the negative, everything about it is positive for me. I did my 52 weeks of counseling and learned that it was absolutely wrong."
So that's a 23-year-old man ... having to learn that beating the living crap out of a woman ... is wrong.
Gold star for you, Chris.
Matt Lauer definitely got the finger from co-host Savannah Guthrie this morning ... live on 'Today' ... only question is -- which finger?
During a segment on vacuum cleaners ... Matt cracked, "By the way this is the first time Savannah has ever used a vacuum."
Savannah apparently thought she was off camera when she fired off a one-finger salute in Matt's direction!
But wait ...
Savannah immediately hit her Twitter page to claim it was NOT the bird, and just her index finger.
She might have a point, but still -- considering all the crap Matt's been catching lately -- Savannah's intent is there, no?
Sources connected with NBC tell TMZ ... network honchos approached Anderson Cooper about the possibility of replacing Matt Lauer on the "Today" show at some point ... not immediately but at some point.
There is a story on Deadline.com that Matt made a call to Anderson to express his disapproval ... TMZ has confirmed that is inaccurate and that call never happened.
In fact, sources connected with the network and Lauer tell TMZ that Lauer is actually on board with the idea of Anderson replacing him ... and he actually planned to have a meeting with Anderson to sit down and discuss it. We're told Matt put that meeting on hold because of a negative article that appeared in "NY Magazine" a few days ago.
Maria Shriver was a smash hit on the "Today" show Monday and sources say NBC honchos are talking about a more permanent deal ... but we're told something big is standing in the way ... MONEY.
Maria -- who was a fixture at NBC for a long time and hosted "Dateline" -- has been courted by the network for years ... especially when hubby Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of CA.
The former first lady of CA -- who reported from the Vatican -- has turned down the overtures of NBC as well as other networks. Sources say several networks and cable stations have approached her to do a talk show and she turned them down flat.
Maria, sources say, doesn't want a daily gig because she just doesn't want to work that hard. She's deep into charity work and also raising her kids, and she's just not that into it.
But here's the real deal breaker ... Maria is loaded. Her reported worth is north of $100 mil and that could increase by as much as $200 mil when her divorce is final. We're told the networks have offered her money at various times and for most people it would be a huge deal -- for Maria ... sources say it's not gonna change her life and isn't nearly enough to make her sign a contract.
Short story -- Maria may tease NBC by coming on from time to time, but it's unlikely you'll ever see her every day on TV ... ever again.