Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Inspiring Story of Miss USA 2013

Erin Brady reacts after being named Miss USA 2013
She was not my favorite nor was she in my radar during the last two weeks leading to the Miss USA 2013 finals perhaps because she didn't have spin doctors churning out stories 

On pageant night itself when it mattered the most, she did everything right; not only the queenly stance,  the perfect smile, the spontaneity & sincerity that was on display during the interviews but also & most importantly, she exuded the warmth and charm that leaps out from the TV screens

HER INSPIRING STORY

But what made me love her the more was when I read her inspiring story.

She moved out on her own at 18, took in her younger sister, worked split shifts at Max Amore restaurant in Glastonbury, Connecticut where she relied on tips during her 12 hour shifts at night and in the day to pay for her books and tuition fees and put herself through a finance degree which she graduated with honors



The Day After Winning Miss USA 2013

She also took out student loans to make sure she got through college which she is still paying off today. She later got a job as a financial accountant with Prudential has been living in South Glastonbury.

She also had to cope with a father and mother who went through a divorce when she was young.

She had previously won Miss Connecticut 2013 which gave her a spot in the pageant - but only entered her first beauty contest last year.

She waited until then because, in her own words, she wasn’t ‘in the right state of mind’ to do so.


Erin has in previous interviews glossed over her troubled past.

She admitted that her family has seen its share of alcohol and substance abuse, and that it has been a ‘struggle but it shaped who I am’.

She has said: ‘Sometimes I feel like a 35-year-old in a 25-year-old body but the struggles helped me be better.’

The truth is more extraordinary and courageous than that - far more remarkable than her humility suggests.

TEARFUL REUNION WITH GRANDMA



Grandma Theresa was a strong and influential figure in Erin's life especially during her growing up years marked by turmoil.

When Erin Brady was growing up in Connecticut, she and her sisters to stage make- believe pageants.

Brady knew her win would mean she'd be separated from her beloved grandmother for months. 


But on TODAY Tuesday, Miss Connecticut and the woman who inspired her were able to share a surprise hug.“I just want people to know that you don’t have to get caught up with things like that,’’ she told Lauer. 

“You can actually make a better change for yourself and you can come out on top, and not be a stereotype and not fall into the tradition that sometimes happens when you’re in a family of that kind of reputation. You can rise up and become Miss USA.”




Whatever happened in the past, Erin has broken the back of her early struggles and her future could nothing but bright - winning the crown will bring opportunities galore and she also gets the use of an apartment in New York for a year.

But the rewards are not just financial.




Both her mother and her father and her sister Lauren were in Las Vegas to see her win Miss USA, suggesting they have put their differences aside for the moment.



She is also engaged to fiance Tony Capasso who her relatives say dotes on her and is deeply in love. 

SIDENOTE:  

They are supposed to get married this November 9 but all that has changed with her Miss USA triumph. 

Incidentally, Nov 9 is the pageant night for Miss Universe 2013 to be held in Moscow, Russia


Erin herself has said that she wants to use the platform of winning Miss USA to raise awareness for charities which help children of alcoholics.



She has said: ‘I grew up in a family influenced by that and I think it’s really important to help the children of families that are suffering from those problems’.






PAGEANT SIDEBITS:


From 51 to the Top Fifteen
Top Ten Semi- Finalists
Sensational Six with Texas saved by Twitter votes 







THE PINOY CONNECTION:

I was rooting for Louisiana and North Carolina mainly because of their Filipino roots and  glad both made the Top Ten.




MY THREE FAVORITES:

I was however placing my bets on Alabama, Utah and Minnesota.  

What happened? Minnesota didn't even make the Top Fifteen

ALABAMA HAD IT ALL EXCEPT:

The latter didn't make the first cut. Alabama's Mary Margaret McCord was the most stunning of them all but what she lacked was the warmth and the very important ability to connect with people. 

There was a certain aloofness in her that I just couldn't pinpoint. 


MISS UTAH LED THE WAY UNTIL THE Q & A

And what about the sultry Marissa Powell of Utah? 

Well, she was frontrunner alright and was neck to neck with Alabama UNTIL she bombed the Final Question & Answer. 

I wouldn't call her dumb or stupid..It was jut a case of sheer nerves getting in the way and Julianna Rancic in a later interview at E! disclosed that Miss Utah told her after the pageant that she didn't hear the question well and misunderstood it

Her interview answer is now up there with the infamous interview of Caitlin Upton, 2007 Miss Teen South Carolina , who gave one of the most incoherent answers in pageant history


Major Major Interview Mess



Alabama Versus Connecticut




Miss USA 2013 Swimsuit Competition


Miss USA 2013 Evening Gown Competition


Photo Credits:

Reuters
MailOnline
AP
Splash
Polaris

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