Connecticut’s Erin Brady was named Miss USA in Sunday’s national beauty pageant in Las Vegas:

She wore an orange bikini with a matching halter-top as she strutted to the Jonas Brother’s “Pom Poms.” Later, she donned a strapless gown with a spangled golden corset and long white train.

In the pageant’s final minutes, she answered without hesitation a question about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold widespread DNA tests.

“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.

Associated Press

Interviews on stage proved, as always, a trying segment of the competition for the contestants. Marissa Powell, Miss Utah, stuttered in responding to a question about equal pay for men and women. Michelle Holmes, a pageant coach, explained why the interviews can be difficult:

Holmes likens it to athletes choking, or that high school presentation when suddenly every fact you stayed up late cramming into your head slips away. Though thankfully your classroom wasn’t being broadcast to millions of people on live television.

Did [Powell] even hear or comprehend the question? Probably not.

“It is loud [on stage] and sometimes they don’t hear.” Instead of pausing and asking for the question to be repeated — which Holmes suggests Powell should have done — girls often feel the need to start speaking immediately. This can result in a bumbling jumble of words that the girl may not even realize she is speaking.

Cara Kelly

For more responses from the interviews, continue reading here.

Miss D.C., Jessica Frith, who is originally from Texas, talked to The Reliable Source last week:

Frith, 26, has talent, with a voice that got her to the “American Idol” Hollywood round a couple years ago. Which is harder? Miss USA. “You’re judged on so many different criteria.” Not that the fitness part is stressing her out. “It’s definitely been very intense,” but nothing compared to her days training as a pole vaulter. “It’s a much more of a relaxing type workout.”

Why is she doing this? Frith works in IT consulting and aims for a degree in microbiology and immunology — not the typical Miss USA career path. “As Jessica Frith I have a voice, but as Jessica Frith Miss USA, my voice [would be] that much more powerful and have much more of an impact as I could do on my own.”

The Reliable Source