So I have a connection to Sunday night’s Miss USA winner, Erin Brady of Connecticut.
I judged the Connecticut Miss USA qualifier in 2011. That was Erin’s first try at the Miss USA crown. She placed first runner-up in the competition, and earned a second place vote from me.
Brady was just as beautiful then, but what held her back in my eyes was her inexperience. She admitted she dealt with social anxiety and even on stage told the audience how ridiculously nervous she was. I thought that if she was having a hard time with a local pageant in Hartford, Vegas might be too much at this stage.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I still feel we made the right decision. She would have competed against Olivia Culpo last year, who of course went on to win Miss Universe. I’d like to think that the extra year of going through the pageant system helped Brady move on to the USA crown, but then again, that would be pure speculation on my part.