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Olivia Culpo becomes Miss Universe 2012

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TNI Bureau: US beauty Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe 2012 on Wednesday at a gala ceremony in Los Angeles.

Philippines’ Janine Tugonon was adjudged the first runner-up while Venezuela’s Irene Esser became the second runner up.

20 years old 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. For US, Brooke Lee was the last winner in 1997.

India’s Shilpa Singh made it to the top 16 spot but failed to progress further.

Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola crowned Culpo as the new Miss Universe at the glittering ceremony held at Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

As many as 89 beauty queens from around the world descended on Las Vegas on Wednesday night to compete for the title of Miss Universe.

The panel of 10 judges included singer Cee Lo Green, Pablo Sandoval of the World Series champion Giants, “Iron Chef” star Masaharu Morimoto and US Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.

The Miss Universe contest is more than a beauty pageant: women aspiring to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered, and cultured. It is an annual international beauty pageant run by the Miss Universe Organization.

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