Miss USA 2012 Winner Olivia Culpo Rhode Island crowned in L A
Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo, a bubbly brunette beauty from Rhode Island, bested 50 other women to win Sunday night's 2012 Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas.
Miss USA 2012 Culpo, 20, of Cranston, dazzled judges with her poise and looks and didn't miss a beat (after a deep breath) when thrown a tough question via Twitter about whether someone who is transgender should be allowed to participate in pageants.
"I do think it would be fair, but I understand if people could be apprehensive," she said. "I do accept that because I believe it's a free country."
Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo: Three Things to Know About the New Miss USA
Miss USA 2012 Culpo follows Alyssa Campanella and will represent the United States at Miss Universe in December.
If Miss USA 2012 Culpo can't fulfill her duties, she will be replaced by Miss Maryland, Nana Meriwether, who was the runner-up.
Judges included Rob Kardashian, Joe Jonas, Chef Cat Cora, Arsenio Hall, and Mary Lou Henner.
For the fifth year in a row, the Donald Trump-owned contest was held at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Miss USA 2012 Culpo was established as the odds-on favorite by the Wynn Las Vegas sports book prior to the competition at 9 to 1 odds.
On Sunday night in Las Vegas, Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo put the pint-sized state of Rhode Island on the map as she was crowned Miss USA 2012.
According to her profile on the Miss USA website, the 20-year-old beauty queen is currently a star Boston University sophomore, who lands on the Dean's List every semester. The 20-year-old brunette is also a talented cellist and has nabbed spots in several New England-based ensembles and orchestras.
Miss USA 2012 Winner is Miss Rhode Island, Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo (Photo)
Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island was crowned Miss USA 2012 besting 50 other contestants in the 61st annual beauty pageant finale held at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. She will represent the United States in the upcoming Miss Universe 2012 pageant this December, with location yet to be announced.
As seen on NBC on Sunday night, June 3, 2012, which was hosted by Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic, the pageant had three competitions: swimsuit, evening gowns and interview question.
Miss USA 2012 Culpo strutted across the stage in a purple bikini during the swimsuit competition and a purple evening gown with sparkly belt during the evening gowns competition.
In the interview question, Miss USA 2012 Culpo was asked with the most difficult question that night: “Would it be fair for a person born a man to be named Miss Universe after becoming a woman?”
Miss Rhode Island never stumbled as she embraced the Miss Universe Organization’s recent decision to admit transgender contestants. She explained why it would be fair if a transgender woman, just like Canada’s controversial Jenna Talackova, win the title.
“I do think that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road,”Miss USA 2012 Culpo answered. She then added that there are “so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it is a free country.”
Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo is a 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island who had just completed her sophomore year at Boston University. Despite her busy schedule for the pageant, she reportedly didn’t slack on her studies based from the feedbacks of people who knew her at school.
“She has this very wonderful way about her that’s very calming. Think about the stress level just being a college student can cause, and then think about what she’s been doing,” says Louis Mayhew,Miss USA 2012 Culpo’s academic advisor at Boston University.
Miss Maryland was the runner-up while contestants from Nevada, Ohio and Georgia completed the top five finalists. Miss Iowa USA Rebecca Hodge was named Miss Congeniality, and Miss Oregon USA Alaina Bergsma was named the Most Photogenic. They both won $1,000.
The judge’s panel included Chef Cat Cora, TV personality Arsenio Hall and singer Joe Jonas. Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella of California crowned Miss USA 2012 Culpo her successor at the end of the night.
A "nerd" cellist from the smallest state in the union who supports transgendered pageant contestants won the Miss USA pageant Sunday night.
Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo, a Boston University sophomore who considers herself a modern-day Audrey Hepburn, will take a year off from her studies to tackle her duties as Miss USA and represent the nation in the 61st Miss Universe contest in December.
After making it to the final five, the 20-year-old was asked a question about transgender beauty queens during the make-or-break interview round. A transgendered contestant was allowed to compete in another pageant that feeds in to the Miss Universe pageant, as does Miss USA.
"Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?" asked Kim Kardashian's brother Rob.
"I do think that that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women," Miss USA 2012 Culpo said. "But today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it's a free country."
The owner of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, Donald Trump, told FOX News that he vetted all of the questions, including the one about transgendered contestants.
"Whoever gets that one ... that's a tough one," he said he thought after okaying the question. "She gave a great answer."
Miss USA 2012 Culpo said after the pageant that she wasn't put off by the question when she heard it.
"This is a free country and to each their own," she said.
Culpo said she was short and chubby as a girl, but blossomed after a growth spurt. She spent her summers at band camp after learning to play the cello in second grade. Her parents are also musicians, and her love for music saw her perform at Symphony Hall in Boston and Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Miss USA 2012 Culpo is a 2010 graduate of St. Mary Academy Bay View, an all-girls Catholic school in Riverside, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. She said she comes from a big, Italian family and speaks some Italian. On her Twitter account, she describes herself as a nerd and model.
"I was just so surprised, so shocked, so honored to be there," she said of her win.
Rounding out the top five contestants were first runner-up Nana Meriwether of Maryland, second runner-up Audrey Bolte of Ohio, third runner-up Jade Kelsall of Nevada and fourth runner-up Jasmyn Wilkins of Georgia. As Meriwether and Miss USA 2012 Culpo held hands waiting for the winner to be announced, Miss USA 2012 Culpo bit her lip and cringed with anticipation.
Miss USA 2012 Culpo demonstrated an outgoing personality throughout the competition, blowing a kiss and shimmying across the stage during the opening number. She cited Hepburn as her source of inspiration, noting her many years of volunteer work.
"She was beautiful on the outside, but also beautiful on the inside," said Culpo, who sang the chorus of "Funny Face" from her favorite movie of the same name after her win.
Miss Iowa USA Rebecca Hodge was named Miss Congeniality, and Miss Oregon USA Alaina Bergsma was named the most photogenic. They both won $1,000, but didn't make the top 16.
The judge's panel included Chef Cat Cora, TV personality Arsenio Hall and singer Joe Jonas. Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic stepped in to host. Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella of California crowned Miss USA 2012 Culpo her successor at the end of the night.
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