A 20-year-old Boston University sophomore and a self-described ‘cellist-nerd’ brought the Miss Universe crown back to the United States for the first time in more than a decade when she won the televised contest on Wednesday.
Olivia Culpo beat 88 other beauty queens to take the title from Leila Lopes of Angola during the two-hour competition at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Culpo wore a tight navy blue mini-dress with a sequined bodice as she walked on stage for the competition’s opening number.
Crowning achievement: Miss USA, Olivia Culpo reacts after being named Miss Universe 2012 beside last year’s winner Leila Lopes of Angola, right, during the Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas
Swarmed: Miss Culpo is surrounded by contestants after being crowned Miss Universe 2012
Costume change: Miss Culpo went from sexy to elegant as she switched from the swimsuit portion of the night to the evening gown competition
Later in the night, she strutted in a purple and blue bikini, and donned a wintery red velvet gown with a plunging neckline. Culpo’s coronation ends a long losing spell for the U.S. in the competition co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC.
An American had not won the right to be called Miss Universe since Brook Lee won the title in 1997.
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