Miss USA crowned Miss Universe in 8th American win

LAS VEGAS Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:23am IST

Miss USA Olivia Culpo reacts after being crowned during the Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada December 19, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Miss USA Olivia Culpo reacts after being crowned during the Miss Universe pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada December 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A 20-year-old beauty queen who plays the cello and is a breast cancer advocate was crowned Miss Universe on Wednesday, the eighth time an American has won the pageant where the world's most beautiful women parade in bikinis and ball gowns.

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

Culpo, wearing a red, long-sleeved dress for her final look, was the eighth winner from the United States in the contest's 60-year history, and the first Miss USA to take the title since 1997.

Miss Philippines, 23-year-old Janine Tugonon, was the runner-up and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, came third after the top five answered brief questions posed by the judges.

Culpo takes the place of last year's winner Leila Lopes, who was the first ever Miss Universe from Angola.

Miss Guatemala, Laura Godoy, was chosen Miss Congeniality after the two-hour pageant that featured live performances by U.S. pop group Train and Nigerian-born Australian singer and dancer Timomatic.

Contestants must be aged between 18 and 27, unmarried and with no children.

The contest was broadcast live on U.S. television from the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas and seen by an estimated 1 billion viewers on TV and online in 190 countries, organizers said.

Culpo will travel the world for the next year representing the Miss Universe Organization 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.

The contest, owned jointly by businessman Donald Trump and the NBC network, held a moment of silence for the 20 children and six staff gunned down at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Movie Review

Reuters Showcase

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Read 

Jihadi John

Jihadi John

British PM Cameron vows to hunt down 'Jihadi John'.  Full Article 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Read | Ab Tak Chhappan 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83.  Full Article 

Gown Returned

Gown Returned

Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscar gown returned by thief via TMZ.  Full Article 

NZ vs Australia

NZ vs Australia

Boult destroys powerful Australia batting lineup.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage