Miss Universe is American for First Time in Over A Decade

Miss Universe 2012 is 20-year-old Olivia Culpo and she is pictured here being crowned by last year's winner Leila Lopes of Angola.

The Miss Universe pageant has been around for more than 50 years and it seeks to find a woman who can represent both beauty and brainpower.  But last night’s competition was a little different because the woman crowned was American…and it’s been a little while since that has happened.

Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe Wednesday night at Las Vegas’s Planet Hollywood Casino.  She unseats Leila Lopes of Angola, who won in 2011.  According to the Huffington Post, Culpo will receive “an undisclosed salary, a wardrobe fit for a queen, a limitless supply of beauty products, and a luxury apartment in New York City.”

The Boston University sophomore is 20 years old and is the first winner from America in 15 years.  The last time an American won the competition was when Brook Lee won in 1997. She was also Miss USA and Miss Hawaii before competing in the Miss Universe competition.

Miss Universe describes herself as a “cellist nerd” and she has played the cello alongside world-renowned classical musician Yo-Yo Ma. Both of her parents are professional musicians as well. Her aspirations are to pursue a career in film or television.

The panel of Miss Universe judges included Cee Lo Green, “Iron Chef” star Masaharu Morimoto and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.  In case the hint of celebrity judges and locale didn’t give him away, the competition is co-owned by by Donald Trump.

The competitions qualifications include never previously being married or having children and you must be younger than 27 and older than 18 by Feb. 1 of the competition year.

Read more here.

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