Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo Crowned 2012 Miss USA

Miss Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo walks away with the 2012 Miss USA crown.

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AP
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo reacts after being announced the 2012 Miss USA, as Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether applauds during the Miss USA pageant, Sunday, June 3, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo waves to the audience after being crowned Miss USA on June 3 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Click to see more photos from 2012 Miss USA pageant, and to meet all 51 of the lovely contestants.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo is crowned Miss USA 2012 by her predecessor Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo celebrates on stage after being announced the 2012 Miss USA, as first runner-up Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether applauds Culpo's victory.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
The five top five finalists, from left, Miss Ohio, Miss Maryland, Miss Rhode Island, Miss Nevada and Miss Georgia stand together during the 2012 Miss USA pageant.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo struts across the stage during the swimsuit competition at the 2012 Miss USA pageant.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
The top 10 finalists, looking radiant in their evening gowns, pose during the 2012 Miss USA pageant.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Andy Cohen, center left, and Giuliana Rancic open the 2012 Miss USA pageant from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Click to see the 50 lovely ladies who competed to be Miss USA 2012.
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Olivia Culpo, Rhode Island: Newly-crowned Miss USA, Culpo began studying the cello in second grade and went on to participate in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. She continues to perform with the Boston University Accompanietta and loves Gustav Maler’s symphonies.
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Katherine Webb, Alabama: When she’s not wearing the crown as Miss Alabama, Webb can often be found working as a Chick-fil-A training director in Columbus, Georgia. She also models professionally and hopes that competing for the title will allow her to explore more opportunities in the entertainment industry.
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Jessica Kazmierczak, Alaska: Kazmierczak isn’t your typical beauty queen. She spent most of her childhood living in a log cabin with no electricity or running water, and her family grew and hunted almost everything they ate.
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Erika Lane Frantzve, Arizona: When she was only 17, Frantzve founded Everyday Heroes Like You, a charity dedicated to assisting other nonprofits across the country. Aside from philanthropic work, her number one love is sports. She played basketball for Regis University and enjoys volleyball, golf and track.
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Kelsey Dow, Arkansas: After completing her upcoming senior year at Arkansas State University, Dow plans to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. She’s held numerous positions in the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and founded her campus’s organization against texting and driving.
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Natalie Pack, California: Like any typical California girl, Pack loves the ocean. But her time with the waves has decreased as she balances her pre-med biological science major and budding modeling career. She was a top six contestant on Cycle 12 of “America’s Next Top Model.”
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Marybel Gonzalez, Colorado: An avid horseback rider, Gonzalez is a member of the state championship equestrian sidesaddle team Las Amazonas de Colorado. When she’s not at the stables, Marybel enjoys cooking, reading and salsa dancing.
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Marie-Lynn Piscitelli, Connecticut: Piscitelli dreams of becoming the first tax accountant to be featured on the cover of “Oxygen” magazine. The North Haven native is also the owner of Makeup by Marie-Lynn and Perfect Body Online.
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Krista Clausen, Delaware: Clausen believes in giving back to her community. She’s earning her degree in special education and regularly volunteers in area schools.
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Monique LaShone Thompkins, Washington, D.C.: Thompkins loves to dance. She discovered her passion at a young age and is currently a Washington Redskins cheerleader.
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Karina Brez, Florida: Brez can wear a crown and appraise it! The graduate gemologist is originally from Ukraine but says she fell in love with Florida after seeing her first palm tree.
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Jasmyn Alexandria Wilkins, Georgia: Wilkins comes from a sports family. Her father and brother may have played in the NBA, but "Jazz" too can frequently be found on the basketball court, lacrosse field or track.
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Brandie Cazimero, Hawaii: Miss Hawaii enjoys the sweeter things in life. She loves creating specialty wedding cakes and participates in various pastry arts courses at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific in Honolulu.
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Erna Palic, Idaho: Born in Bosnia, Palic speaks four languages. She loves to travel and names skydiving and zip lining as favorite activities.
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Ashley Hooks, Illinois: In 2009, Hooks ran her father’s election campaign for the Cook County Circuit Court Judge. As the ultimate voice on all campaign field operations, she takes great pride in his victory. Currently, she works full time as the special legal projects manager for Illinois’ Department of Central Management Services.
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Megan Myrehn, Indiana: This spring, Myrehn became the first undergraduate marketing intern to work for Eli Lilly and Company. When she’s not at the office, her favorite hobbies include running, reading and swimming.
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Rebecca Hodge, Iowa: Hodge may have grown up on a small farm, but she’s traded in her overalls for a different uniform. For the past two years, she’s been on the University of Iowa’s cheerleading squad.
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Gentry Miller, Kansas: For Miller the importance of education was instilled at an early age. The 24-year-old recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kansas School of Business. And, she’s proud to say her entire education was funded by scholarships and grants.
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Amanda Ashlee Mertz, Kentucky: Mertz is a registered nurse from Louisville. When she’s not with her patients, her time's spent kickboxing, watching sports, cooking, and playing with her two dogs.
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Erin Edmiston, Louisiana: Cancer prevention and treatment is an issue near and dear to Edmiston’s heart because her father is a throat cancer survivor. She’s an active volunteer for Miler Perret Cancer Services in Lafayette and a proud donor to St. Jude Chidren’s Research Hospital.
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Rani Williamson, Maine: Williamson has always loved being in front of the camera. She started modeling for the L.L.Bean Kids catalog at a young age, but she’s not a total girly girl. Since she was five, she’s been collecting baseball cards and played year-round, competitive soccer.
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Nana Meriwether, Maryland: For Meriwether it’s all about balancing her passion for medicine with her love of sports. This two-time NCAA All-American holds three national volleyball records and is currently applying to medical schools.
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Natalie Pietrzak, Massachusetts: While still in school, Miss Massachusetts launched a career in event planning, orchestrating fundraising events with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has also done public relations work in Boston for clients in the fashion, health and restaurant industries.
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Kristen Danyal, Michigan: Danyal graduated from the University of Detroit this May. Originally, she planned on becoming a physician’s assistant. But, during her reign as Miss Teen USA Michigan 2009, she was inspired to change her career path to event planning.
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Nitaya Panemalaythong, Minnesota: Panemalaythong was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the USA as an infant in 1986. In high school, she was a member of the honors acapella ensemble, and currently attends Normandale Community College.
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Myverick Garcia, Mississippi: Garcia spent a great deal of her youth traveling with her grandmother in an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer. She loves Marvel comics and imagines herself as a cross between Wonder Woman and Dr. Jean Gray.
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Katie Kearney, Missouri: A St. Louis native, Kearney hopes to obtain a career in broadcast journalism. She loves attending sporting events and says playing golf is her top hobby.
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Autumn Muller, Montana: Miss Montana loves all things pageants. As a child, she’d sit in front of the TV in a makeshift blanket. And in the future, she hopes to open a formal and wedding gown boutique.
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Amy Spiker, Nebraska: When Spilker isn’t working, attending class or making appearances across Nebraska, she loves being outdoors. She enjoys four wheeling, fishing and camping on her family's acreage.
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Jade Kelsall, Nevada: Kelsall may be a New Jersey native, but she says she instantly fell in love with the bright lights of the silver state. Jade has since found a love for fashion and is now the brand ambassador for Top Shop clothing.
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Ryanne Harms, New Hampshire: Despite the upcoming Miss USA pageant, Harms continues to indulge in her favorite food…nachos. She’s a self-proclaimed fanatic and would like to add a nacho-making portion to the completion.
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Michelle Leonardo, New Jersey: Leonardo works as a college reporter for the Boston based television show “Style It Up.” She hopes to someday be a reporter for ESPN, working either as a sideline reporter for the New York Jets or in the dugout at Yankee Stadium.
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Jessica Martin, New Mexico: Martin says her life has always revolved around sports. She’s participated in gymnastics, softball, volleyball, basketball and track. Her future plans include pursing a career as a marketing director for ESPN.
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Johanna Sambucini, New York: Miss New York is an energetic fitness and yoga guru. Sambucini’s appeared in magazines like Women’s Health and Shape, but hopes to one day open her own Dominican restaurant.
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Sydney Perry, North Carolina: Perry is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, majoring in marine biology and psychology. She loves the beach. But, despite being so involved in aquatic live, can’t stand the taste of fish.
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Jaci Stofferahn, North Dakota: Stofferahn grew up with a lot of pets, including chinchillas, Bengal leopards, parakeets, iguanas, and rabbits. She's lived on a farm and says milking cows is a preferred pastime.
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Audrey Bolte, Ohio: Bolte loves the outdoors. Despite her glamorous title, she can often be found cleaning stables or riding horses.
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Lauren Lundeen, Oklahoma: She’s only 20, but Lundeen has been dancing for 16 years. Her longterm goal is to partner with a nonprofit organization to open a dance studio that reaches out to underprivileged children.
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Alaina Bergsma, Oregon: Bergsma is an outside hitter and captain of the University of Oregon Ducks volleyball team. Standing at 6’3”, she’s even taller than her two brothers.
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Sheena Monnin, Pennsylvania: Miss Pennsylvania plans to continue her journey in higher education by returning to school for a doctorate in theology. Monnin also enjoys studying rock formations and geology.
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Erike Powell, South Carolina: Powell was raised in musical surroundings. She’s played the clarinet since she was 12 and was most recently seen in the New York Philharmonic’s 2011 production of Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen.”
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Taylor Nelsen, South Dakota: A sophomore at Black Hill State University, Nelsen is studying exercise sciences. She claims to be “freakishly flexible” and can put both of her legs behind her head and walk on her hands.
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Jessica Hibler, Tennessee: Hibler grew up showing horses on an international level and was ranked No. 1 in Tennessee from age 5 to 17. Currently she rides only recreationally but would soon like to return to the ring as a competitive rider.
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Brittany Booker, Texas: Booker lives by one motto: “True beauty comes from within.” As a regular volunteer at Hope Village Home for the Mentally Disabled, she prides herself on being a positive role model in words and actions. In the future, she’d love to be a Victoria’s Secret model.
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Kendyl Bell, Utah: Bell was a competitive figure skater growing up. The Miss Utah representative has continued her healthy lifestyle as a Zumba instructor for various gyms in the Salt Lake Valley.
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Jamie Dragon, Vermont: Dragon believes her strongest talent is her work as a hair stylist. She’s the owner of Lush Boutique in Stowe, Vermont. Her number one beauty tip for customers is go as long as you can without washing your hair.
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Catherine Muldoon, Virginia: Muldoon’s dream career would be as the dentist television personality for a makeover show. When this Virginia cosmetic dentist isn’t treating patients, she enjoys playing water sports and spending time with her dog, Winnie.
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Christina Clarke, Washington: For two years, Clarke was a Seattle Seahawks cheerleader. But now, this singer/guitarist is less likely to be on the football field and more likely to be listening to Elvis Presley.
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Andrea Rogers, West Virginia: Rogers lists skiing, cooking and dancing as her favorite hobbies. She’s auditioned to be a member of the New York City Rockettes and claims to be able to hula-hoop forever.
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Emily Guerin, Wisconsin: She may be new to the pageant world, but that didn’t stop Guerin from securing the Miss Wisconsin crown. She’s obsessed with the Green Bay Packers and doesn't miss a game.
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Holly Allen, Wyoming: Allen refers to herself as a “true Wyoming country girl.” She spends her summers leading tours of her family’s farm. It’s home to 85 horses she considers to be her extended family.
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