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article imageMiss Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo crowned the new Miss USA 2012

By Pratidnya Bhat     Jun 4, 2012 in Entertainment
Las Vegas - Beating all the Latin beauties, Olivia emerged as the final winner to wear the much coveted ‘Miss USA 2012’ crown last night during the pageant held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
The biggest star of the 61st annual Miss USA Pageant hails from the smallest state in the nation. Culpo, a chirpy brunette beauty from Rhode Island outdid a number of beautiful and talented 50 other models to win Sunday night's 2012 Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas.
Culpo, 20, is a cellist and aspires to be more like Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn. Describing herself as a nerd, this Boston University sophomore dazzled the judges with her poise, confidence and beauty through all the rounds.
She won the hearts of the crowd and the judges by sashaying in a lilac bikini during the swimwear round and stood out from the rest, donning a sparkly flowing fuchsia gown for the evening gown round, where the color white ruled the stage.
In the final make-or-break interview round she got the twitter question (tweeted in from an audience member), a first for the competition, asking if it was fair that a transgender woman would win Miss USA over a natural born woman to which she answered, "I do think that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road." Adding further she said "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.” The question was asked by celebrity judge Rob Kardashian, reported The Huffington Post.
According to the Reuters, the audience gave a little perplexed reaction in the beginning at her answer, only to cheer and applaud later, while she flashed two thumbs ups.
Culpo demonstrated an outgoing personality throughout the competition. Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella of California crowned her at the end of the night.
The judge's panel included Chef Cat Cora, TV personality Arsenio Hall and singer Joe Jonas, Rob Kardashian and Mary Lou Henner. Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic stepped in to host.
According to the, Culpo cited Audrey Hepburn as her source of inspiration. As a follower and fan of Hepburn, Culpo now plans to go to Tiffany & Co. in New York and recreate Hepburn's iconic opening scene from "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
As a newly crowned Miss USA, Olivia will now represent the nation at the 61st Miss Universe contest in December this year. Miss Maryland, Nana Meriwether was the first runner-up followed by Miss Ohio, Audrey Bolte in the second place and third runner-up was Jade Kelsall of Nevada.
For more pictures from the pageant, click here.
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