Olivia Culpo throws a kiss after being named Miss Universe 2012 during the Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 19, 2012. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 20-year-old beauty queen from Rhode Island was crowned the new Miss Universe on Wednesday, beating out 88 other women during a televised competition at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Olivia Culpo took the crown from Leila Lopes of Angola after strutting in a purple and blue bikini and a red velvet gown.
In the final stages of the competition, she answered a question about her regrets by saying she wished she hadn't picked on her siblings.
Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, came in second, while Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third.
Contestants from 89 countries on six continents spent the past two weeks in Sin City, where they posed in hardhats at a hotel groundbreaking, took a painting lesson, and pranked hotel guests by hiding in their rooms.
The beauty queens took the stage in tight, pleated mini-dresses with glittering sequin bodices and sky high platform shoes, strutting to the hit Live While We're Young, by English-Irish boy band One Direction.
Later in the two-hour show, they walked a stage decked with white Christmas trees and snow flurry effects, throwing off gauzy white wraps to show off tie-dye bikinis in purples, pinks and blues.