Miss USA Olivia Culpo reacts after being crowned during the
Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Reuters
A 20-year-old beauty queen who plays the cello and is a
breast cancer advocate has been crowned Miss Universe, the
eighth time an American has won the pageant where the world's
most beautiful women parade in bikinis and ball gowns.
Olivia Culpo, 20, a brunette from Rhode Island, was chosen by
a 10-judge panel from 89 contestants representing countries
ranging from India to Kosovo and Britain.
Culpo, wearing a red, long-sleeved dress for her final look,
was the eighth winner from the United States in the contest's
60-year history, and the first Miss USA to take the title
Miss Philippines, 23-year-old Janine Tugonon, was the
runner-up and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero,
came third after the top five answered brief questions posed
by the judges.
Culpo takes the place of last year's winner Leila Lopes, who
was the first ever Miss Universe from Angola.
Miss Guatemala, Laura Godoy, was chosen Miss Congeniality
after the two-hour pageant that featured live performances by
U.S. pop group Train and Nigerian-born Australian singer and
Contestants must be aged between 18 and 27, unmarried and
with no children.
The contest was broadcast live on U.S. television from the
Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas and seen by an
estimated 1 billion viewers on TV and online in 190
countries, organizers said.
Culpo will travel the world for the next year representing
the Miss Universe Organization and a charity of her choice.
After reaching the top five, Culpo was asked to name one
thing she would never do again. "Picking on my siblings
growing up," she replied.
The contest, owned jointly by businessman Donald Trump and
the NBC network, held a moment of silence for the 20 children
and six staff gunned down at an elementary school in Newtown,
Connecticut, on Dec. 14.