Miss USA Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012 on Wednesday night, beating 88 other women competing for the title. Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about the beauty queen.
1. Olivia Culpo Won Miss USA in June
Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Rhode Island in September and recently won Miss USA in June. She is remembered for her response to an interview question during Miss USA in which she voiced her support for transgender pageant contestants.
“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,” 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.”
She now holds the title of Miss Universe, winning every pageant she’s ever been in.
2. America has not Won a Miss Universe Title Since 1997
Culpo is also America’s eighth Miss Universe winner in the competition’s 60-year-history.
3. A Panel of 10 Judges Picked Miss Universe
A panel of 10 judges voted on Miss Universe, including singer Cee Lo Green and Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval.
4. Miss Universe Receives a Salary and a Luxury Apartment in New York City
The lucky winner of the pageant receives an undisclosed salary, an expensive and stylish wardrobe, a limitless supply of beauty products and a luxury apartment in New York City. Not bad for the 20-year-old Rhode Island native.
5. Culpo Says she’s not Plastic
“I’m really easy going. Any joke — I’ll get it. A lot of time, people think of beauty queens almost being plastic. I can take jokes. I can take anything,” she said in an interview during the show.
6. She Regrets Picking on her Siblings
When asked one thing that she would never do again, the Miss Universe winner said she regretted picking on her siblings while growing up.
7. Culpo Attends Boston University
Olivia Culpo is a sophomore at Boston University. She also graduated from St. Mary Academy Bay View in 2010 with high honors and was a member of the National Honor Society. After winning Miss USA, she decided to take a year off to fulfill her duties as a pageant winner.
8. She is a Native of Cranston, R.I.
Miss Universe 2012 is from the smallest state, Rhode Island. She grew up in Cransten and was raised by two professional musicians for parents. She plays the cello herself and has played alongside world-renowned classical musician Yo-Yo Ma. She desires a career in film or television.
9. Culpo Replaces Leila Lopes of Angola
Olivia Culpo replaces Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola. Lopes was the first ever Miss Universe winner from Angola, a country in Southern Africa. She also won Miss Angola UK in 2010.
10. Miss Philippines is Runner Up
Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, was the runner up in this year’s competition and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, came third.