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Bragans niece & American Idols Taylor Hicks get together via Dating With a Star on TV
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A date with a star sent Julie Courtney, 31, out on a night in New York with American Idol Taylor Hicks. Courtney is the niece of Bragan Realty owners Carol and Dave Bragan. - photo by GLENN KAHL
The Bragan Realty family was glued to their TV set this week as they watched their niece Julie Courtney, 31, of San Francisco win a “Dating With the Stars” contest on Regis and Kelly Live.

She was selected to go out on the town in New York by American Idol Taylor Hicks with the TV cameras following them from their initial limousine ride to dinner in a fine restaurant, quiet moments  along the ocean front, and a chance to show their talent at Karaoke.

The talent was hard to miss and they sang together like true professional singers

Carol Bragan’s daughter Courtney Murphy spends a lot of time with her cousin as they drive back and forth to each other’s homes.   “Courtney was glued to the TV during the show and I had to stay home and watch,” Bragan said.  Uncle Dave had to take advantage of having it recording and seeing it later.

It was obvious that they wowed their audience, and the chemistry between them seemed perfect starting with Hicks’ presentation of a single, red rose, and a harmonica in the back seat of the chauffeured limo.

The Manteca Realtor said she doesn’t think it all ended between the couple that night as they have been emailing each other daily ever since they met on the show.

Hicks is starring in the production of “Grease” in New York until the end of March when he will be coming out to San Francisco for a West Coast production.

It was just last year that Julie emceed a segment for the Santa Cruz 100th birthday on television telling of the development of the Boardwalk and the roller coaster.  While she works in real estate, too, she graduated from U.S. Santa Barbara in Communications.

She grew up in Castro Valley where her parents continue to live, and where her dad is a developer.  Julie is also a professional singer, having entertained on the Bay Cruises.  She is a past Miss Contra Costa County.

Carol Bragan was quick to complement  Julie saying she is pretty and has a fabulous smile.