Olivia Culpo: 5 Interesting Facts about Miss America turned Miss Universe

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 09:52 AM

By Megan Anderle

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For the first time in a decade, a United States competitor took home the Miss Universe crown. Olivia Culpo beat out 88 other beauty queens from six continents in the prestigious beauty competition.

At the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Culpo took the title from former champion Leila Lopes of Angola.

Culpo's coronation ends a long losing spell for the U.S. in the competition co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC. An American had not won the Miss Universe title since Brook Lee won in 1997.

She is the first Rhode Island native and the eighth American to win the pageant in the event's 60-year history, according to the Providence Journal.

The 20-year-old pageant star who attends Boston University is more than just a pretty face. Here are five interesting facts about the beauty queen.

  • She’s a self-described “cello-nerd.” Culpo’s parents are both professional musicians. Growing up, she spent her summers at band camp, and her hard work paid off when she played alongside world-renowned classical musician Yo-Yo Ma and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
  • She wasn’t always the poised and seemingly flawless woman the world saw on television. When she was younger, her brother said she was “really chubby and sort of weird.” Her father says she is the “nerdiest” of her siblings.
  • In her first pageant, for Miss Rhode Island last year, she won the contest in a rented $20 dress that had a hole in it.
  • Unlike most beauty queens, she says she’s really laid back. "Any joke, I'll get it,” she said in a pretaped segment of the show. “I mean, I think a lot of the times they think of beauty queens as almost being plastic, but I can take jokes and I can take anything."
  • She hung out with Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte at New York Fashion Week in September. Though the rumored couple have been spotted together a few times, Culpo denies that they were ever exclusive.

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