The Miss USA 2013 winner seems cut from a different cloth than the typical pageant contestant.
Erin Brady, a 25-year-old from South Glastonbury, Connecticut, is a financial accountant when she’s not competing in pageants, enjoys bowling, and is looking to dispel the myth that pageant contestants are intellectual lightweights.
“I think that now more than ever, they’re accepting that we’re all intelligent individuals and that it’s really not a stereotype,” she said.
Brady was crowned the Miss USA 2013 winner on Sunday in Las Vegas. Along with her title Brady will get an apartment in New York for one year and is expected to spend the next year raising awareness of breast and ovarian cancers. She will also make appearances and hold speaking engagements.
In the competition on Sunday, Brady showed her mastery of current events. When asked about the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold widespread DNA tests, she said she agreed with the decision.
“If someone is being prosecuted and committed a crime, it should happen. There are so many crimes that if that’s one step closer to stopping them, then we should be able to do so,” she said, answering the question without hesitation.
It likely helps that Brady minored in criminal justice at Central Connecticut State University, where she earned a finance degree. Brady said she also struggled with alcoholism in her family, and hopes to become an advocate for children of substance abuse addicts.
“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,” she told The Associated Press.
Unlike the MIss America competition, Miss USA does not ask contestants to perform a talent. That change was likely helpful to Erin Brady, who said her special talent is cooking — which doesn’t translate too well on stage. Brady said she also loves bowling.
Fresh off the high of the competition, the Miss USA winner said she wants a low-key week. Brady said she plans on going to the gym and catching up on some sleep.