Craig’s own Babin named Ms. United States
Brandi Babin wasn’t expecting to hear her name called, she swears.
But when it was all said and done — at just her second major pageant — the tiara, the sash and the title were hers.
Babin, who grew up in Craig, is the newest Ms. United States.
“When they called my name, I thought, gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Babin said by phone Tuesday. “I remember thinking about how much fun this year will be and all I can accomplish, and, oh my gosh, my boyfriend and my roommate were right. They said, ‘You’re going to win, we know it.’ Oh my word.”
Babin was crowned last week as the queen of her division of the national pageant, which includes contestants between the ages of 20 and 35 who have a child, have been divorced or are widowed.
She counted among her sponsors Craig businesses King Realty and Trapper Fitness. Her parents, Tom and Robin Brumback, still live in Craig, though Babin lives in Loveland now.
Babin, a mother of four young kids, said she was in shock that things ended the way they did. She’d done, she said, one pageant before as an adult, and before that was in a pageant at around 10 years old, but she was hardly a pageant-world lifer.
“I was looking for a fitness goal, and wasn’t thinking I wanted to do a fitness competition, so my boss said (I) should do pageants,” Babin said. “It’s great networking, and I’m wanting to start my own business and write a book, so she said do a pageant and make connections. I did one, got in seventh, was recruited to another system, and I won.”
The women beside her, she said, included plenty of longtime pageant contestants. But the newbie came out on top.
“They’d done it years and years — I was sure, I knew they’d win,” she said.
Even her previous recent pageant experience was extremely limited, given it happened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything then was different. We wore masks, only had one person on stage at a time, and the finale, finding out who won, was done in a drive-in movie theater three days later,” Babin said. “We didn’t stand on stage, there were no awards, no crowning even. It was odd, and I’m so glad my experience winning was a true pageant experience. We were up on stage, the whole classic holding hands with the top two, hugging, fireworks, music. The flowers, the sash, the whole thing. It was a really cool experience.”
Additionally exciting: The pageant she won was the same system from the Sandra Bullock movie Miss Congeniality, a favorite film of Babin’s for years.
“You don’t know how much I love that movie,” she said with a laugh. “So to become real life, oh man I felt like Sandra Bullock. It felt like a dream come true.”
The event, which took place in Las Vegas, is something Babin hopes springboards her career, as well as a book she’s written and is nearing publication.
“It’s called a reclaim journal, and it’s a self-discovery, self-development journal,” Babin said. “It’s habit tracking, what changes you’d like to make and what you already love about yourself. You foster two habits from each category and it guides you through a year of accomplishing your goals.”
The pageant offers winners resources to help with both goals, Babin said, not to mention the value of networking with other contestants and those involved.
Next comes some official functions — Nuggets and Rockies games, public speaking and traveling — but most importantly, first comes celebration with the family.
“(My kids) are extremely proud,” Babin said. “They didn’t expect any less. They’ve drawn pictures of me since I’ve been home with my big crown. Actually they’ve been drawing pictures of me with a crown for a while, just imagining I’d have one.”
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