Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss USA 2012 on Sunday night, June 3, 2012 (morning of June 4 in Manila). She was crowned by last year’s winner, Alyssa Campanella.
The pageant night was held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic were the pageant hosts.
Runner-up to the 20-year-old Olivia Culpo was Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether. Miss Ohio Audrey Bolte was second runner-up, Miss Nevada Jade Kelsall was third runner-up, and Miss Georgia Jasmyn Wilkins was fourth runner-up.
Culpo was the shortest among the top 5 but she stood out from the rest for her beauty and wit. She’s a consistent Dean’s Lister of Boston University where she’s a student of the College of General Studies.
During the final question of the night, she was asked, “Would it be fair if a transgender woman won the Miss Universe title?”
Culpo answered in favor of the organization’s decision to include transgender contestants in the competition. Her answer was clear and well-said. “I do think that would be fair, but I could understand how people could be apprehensive to take that road… There are so many people who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it's a free country.”
Olivia Culpo will represent the U.S.A. this December at the Miss Universe 2012 pageant, where Janine Marie Tugonon will be representing the Philippines.
Watch Olivia Culpo’s winning moment in the video below.