Miss USA Crowned Miss Universe 2012

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American Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012 late Wednesday, beating out beauties from around the world to claim the coveted title.

Olivia Culpo, 20, from Rhode Island, was chosen by a 10-judge panel from 89 contestants representing countries ranging from India to Kosovo.

The title of first runner-up went to the contestant from the Philippines, Janine Tugonon.

Last year’s winner Leila Lopes of Angola, crowned jubilant Culpo, 20 years old, to succeed her in a year-long reign.

It is the first win for an American woman since 1997, when the title was won by Brook Lee.

Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third in the contest. Fourth place went to Miss Australia Renae Ayris, and fifth to Miss Brazil, Gabriela Markus.

The title Miss Congeniality was given to Miss Guatemala Laura Godoy by the contestants.

The pageant, which purports to pick the world’s most beautiful woman, was held this year in Las Vegas, and saw 89 contestants compete in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview.

Culpo will travel the world for the next year representing the Miss Universe Organisation and a charity of her choice.

After reaching the top five, Culpo was asked to name one thing she would never do again. “Picking on my siblings growing up,” she replied.

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