Congratulations! Miss USA was crowned as Miss Universe during the live telecast on Dec. 19 — bringing the crown home to America for the first time in more than a decade.
Olivia Culpo, 20, beat out 88 other beauty queens from six continents at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas strip on Dec. 19, taking the title from Leila Lopes of Angola.
Olivia Culpo’s Many Dresses Revealed
Olivia wore a tight navy mini-dress with a sequined bodice as she walked onstage for the opening number. Later in the night, the Boston University sophomore walked in a purple and blue bikini, and donned a red velvet gown with a plunging neckline during her winning moment!
An American has not won the Miss Universe title since Brook Lee won in 1997, so Olivia’s win is a big deal for the competition, co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC.
Olivia’s Family Was Stunned
Ironically, Olivia’s family “looked at her like she had three heads” when she told them she was entering the Miss Rhode Island contest last year, her father Peter says.
“We didn’t know a thing about pageants,” he said.
Olivia won that contest in a rented $20 dress with a hole in it, and began working out, dieting and studying current events on flashcards in preparation for the Miss USA pageant that soon followed. She, of course, won that competition as well.
Olivia Hopes To Bring Good News After Sandy Hook Shooting
After being crowned Miss Universe, Olivia shared her interest in bringing the country good news in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred on December 14.
“It’s such an honor to be representing the USA in an international beauty contest in spite of all the tragedy that’s happened in this country lately,” she said. “I really hope that this this will raise everybody’s spirits a little.”
Olivia was chosen by a panel of 10 judges including The Voice judge Cee Lo Green, Iron Chef star Masaharu Morimoto and San Francisco Giants player Pablo Sandoval.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Did Olivia deserve the Universe crown?