Erin Brady entered the Miss Connecticut USA pageant in 2011, seeking to represent The Nutmeg State in the Miss USA 2012 competition. The East Hampton, Conn. Native placed first runner-up; not bad considering it was her first pageant, ever.
About a month after the October 2011 event, Brady’s boyfriend Tony Capasso proposed, and she said yes.
“He had it planned and he said, ‘Thank God you didn’t win because it totally would’ve blown our plans,’” Brady recalled in an interview with “The Ralphie Show.” “After the first Miss Connecticut (USA) we left for Italy, about three weeks later.”
The current titleholder revealed that she and Capasso discussed the idea of another try for the crown before she entered in 2012.
“It was, ‘If this is something you want to do, by all means,” Brady noted of her fiancé’s response to her idea. “Obviously not knowing that I’d become Miss USA!”
For full disclosure, I was a member of the judges’ panel that placed Brady second in 2011. While she had the look, I felt her lack of experience would have hurt her during the national competition in Las Vegas. Hindsight is 20/20 of course; Brady concurred.
“I hadn’t really had any clue as to what was involved and what I needed to prepare for the next year,” she said. “Coming first runner-up for me, never having done it in that system, was just overwhelmingly exciting.”
Little did Brady know, the “overwhelmingly exciting” part of her life was just getting started – the engagement, winning the state qualifier, and taking the Miss USA crown in Vegas last June. Now she finds herself yielding offers like the one she accepted to star in Gavin DeGraw’s new music video for his single, “Best I Ever Had.”
“I actually had really been a big fan of his even before he kind of came back and has this new flavor and this new sound,” Brady said, referring to the up-tempo, rhyme-driven verses in the artist’s new single. “It was just great, because I had never been a part of that before.”
The project did prompt another conversation between Brady and her fiancé: the Accounting degree holder and DeGraw lock lips at the end of the piece.
“It was a little interesting, but it’s part of the job, and I thought it was tasteful,” she remarked. “He’s a gentleman, and we’re in front of 50 other people.”
Later this year Brady will travel to Russia to compete for the Miss Universe crown, currently held by former Miss USA Olivia Culpo. The pageant airs on November 9. The same country winning the title in consecutive years is not unprecedented; Venezuela completed the feat in 2008 and 2009.