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Miss USA 2012: Olivia Culpo Wins!

On Sunday night in Las Vegas, Olivia Culpo put the pint-sized state of Rhode Island on the map as she was crowned Miss USA 2012. According to her profile on the Miss USA website, the 20-year-old beauty queen is currently a star Boston University sophomore, who lands on the Dean’s List every semester. The 20-year-old brunette is also a talented cellist and has nabbed spots in several New England-based ensembles and orchestras. PHOTOS: Celebrities with pageant pasts During the competition, Culpo addressed the recent controversy revolving around transgender contestants being allowed to compete in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. The subject made headlines when transgender pageant queen Jenna Talackova was initially prohibited from competing in Canada. (In April, that ruling was overturned.) PHOTOS: Celebrities from Canada! “I do think that would be fair, but I could understand how people could be apprehensive to take that road,” she explained to the judges panel, which included Joe Jonas, Rob Kardashian and Ali Fedotowsky. “However, there are so many people who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country.”

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