Miss USA crowned Miss Universe 2012

Miss USA Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas.
Miss Philippines (Janine Tugonon) placed second, and Miss Venezuela (Irene Sofia Esser Quintero) took third.
Culpo (20) hails from Rhode Island and beat out contestants from 88 other countries to take the prize.
An American hadn’t won Miss Universe since Brook Lee won the crown in 1997.

Miss USA crowned Miss Universe 2012
Olivia Culpo.

American Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012 late Wednesday, beating out beauties from around the world to claim the coveted title.
The title of first runner-up went to the contestant from the Philippines, Janine Tugonon.
Last year’s winner Leila Lopes of Angola, crowned jubilant Culpo, 20 years old, to succeed her in a year-long reign.
It is the first win for an American woman since 1997, when the title was won by Brook Lee.
Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third in the contest. Fourth place went to Miss Australia Renae Ayris, and fifth to Miss Brazil – Gabriela Markus.
The title Miss Congeniality was given to Miss Guatemala Laura Godoy by the contestants.
The pageant, which purports to pick the world’s most beautiful woman, was held this year in Las Vegas, and saw 89 contestants compete in three categories – swimsuit, evening gown and interview.

A 20-year-old beauty queen who plays the cello and is a breast cancer advocate was crowned Miss Universe on Wednesday, 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 since 1997.
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 dancer Timomatic.
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 December 14.

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