Photo: Isaac Brekken / Getty Images
While Olivia Culpo may come from the country’s smallest state, she was the big winner at last night’s 61st annual Miss USA Pageant.The event was held at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and was hosted by Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic. Guest judges included singer Joe Jonas, reality star Rob Kardashian, TV personality Arsenio Hall, and celebrity chef Cat Cora.
The Rhode Island native, who describes herself as a “cellist and nerd,” won over the judges with her bubbly personality, elegance and poise, and thought-provoking answer when asked if a transgender individual should be allowed to compete.
Her response? “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, 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.”
The 20-year old Boston University sophomore will take a year off from school to fulfil her duties as Miss USA 2012. Later in December, she will follow in Alyssa Campanella‘s footsteps and represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe Pageant.
Olivia, a cellist and dean's list student at Boston University, walks the runway in the bikini competition for Miss USA 2012.
Miss Rhode Island makes it to the top 5 alongside Miss Georgia, Miss Nevada, Miss Maryland and Miss Ohio. She was one of few contestants who could name the vice president.
Olivia, a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, elegantly speaks at a press conference after being crowned Miss USA 2012.
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