A contestant in the Miss America pageant on Sunday caught everyone sideways when she decided to use her quick introduction to call attention to the Flint water crisis.
24-year-old Emily Sioma, the contestant from Michigan, introduced herself by saying: "From the state with 84% of the US fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma."
Sioma told BuzzFeed News the idea to use her seconds of air-time to address the water crisis in her home state came to her a few days before the pageant.
"I thought to myself, 'if you don't make top 15, you won't have the chance to speak on national television about things that are important to you," she said.
She then asked herself: "How are you going to make this moment meaningful?"
Sioma said she felt it was her personal duty to "leverage [her] privilege to be a voice for people from the state who feel they're forgotten about."
"The issue was too important to be brushed under the rug — I was just thankful I was allowed the opportunity to represent Michigan."
The attempt to bring attention to the ongoing health crisis of lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, caught people off guard, but in the best way.
"Well damn, Miss Michigan!"
"Miss Michigan has time today chile."
Sioma said after the pageant she was immediately getting alerts and messages from social media, and she was starting to realize the single moment had become "much bigger than a state and national issue."
She's humbled and thankful for the overwhelming amount of positive responses from people.
"I wanted to use the opportunity to highlight what it means to be empowered, to use your privilege — privilege of your beauty, your skin color, your class — to uplift others and give them the opportunity to speak their truths and to have their concerns listened to," she said.
Miss New York Nia Franklin was ultimately crowned Miss America, but people thought Sioma should also win "simply for stating there still isn't any clean water" in Flint.
BuzzFeed News has contacted Miss America for comment.