US beauty Olivia Culpo crowned Miss Universe
Olivia Culpo, a 20-year-old Rhode Island native, beat 88 other beauty queens from around the world to be crowned as Miss Universe 2012 in a gala ceremony in Las Vegas.
Philippines' Janine Tugonon was adjudged the first runner-up followed by Venezuela's Irene Esser.
Culpo, who grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island and dreams of making it big in showbiz, has brought the title back to the US after a decade. Brooke Lee was the last winner in 1997.
Wearing a red gown, Culpo was crowned by 2011 winner Leila Lopez of Angola during the competition that last for two hours last night.
With two avid musicians as parents, Culpo and her siblings each studied different instruments throughout their childhood.
Culpo's choice instrument is cello. Her other interests include movies, museums, concerts, and making people laugh.
She hopes to land a career in either film or television.India's Shilpa Singh made only to the top 16 spot.
The panel of 10 judges included names like singer Cee Lo Green, 'Iron Chef' Masaharu M Orimoto and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.