Erin Brady of South Glastonbury, Connecticut, won the beauty pageant at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on Sunday night after strutting in a white sparkly gown and answering a question about the US Supreme Court's decision upholding widespread DNA tests. Asked if she agreed with the decision to swab the cheeks of arrestees, Brady said she did, since they had committed crimes after all.
Brady, who started competing in beauty pageants two year ago, gets the crown and a New York apartment for one year. She is expected to spend her title reign on a nationwide speaking tour and raising breast and ovarian cancer awareness, the organisation's official cause.
As the stage emptied, Brady spoke about her commitment to fighting drug and alcohol abuse, which have marked her family, and her excitement at the prospect of telling her bosses at Prudential Financial she wasn't coming in tomorrow. Or ever again.
"They're going to be very upset to learn that I'm not coming," she said.
Asked what she was looking forward to, now that the competition is over, she described a routine that sounded not very different from her training regime: Getting in her beauty sleep and hitting the gym.
Her father Francis said he always knew his math-oriented daughter was a glamour girl. She and her sisters used to strut around and pretend they were beauty queens.
"My grandmother used to have a video camera and she's tell us to walk around the pool like Miss America," Brady's sister Lauren said.
Unlike the rival Miss America pageant, Miss USA doesn't ask its queens to perform a talent or choose a charity mission.
The pageant aired live on NBC, hosted by Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers pop act and Giuliana Rancic, co-anchor of E! News. The Jonas Brothers and DJ Pauly D were expected to perform.
The winner will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in the winter.
Last year's Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, won that international crown, becoming the first Miss USA to ascend to Miss Universe in 16 years.
Brady said she is determined to pull of that feat for the US again.
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