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Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo appears on stage at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino after winning the title of Miss Universe 2012 on Dec. 19, 2012. - Provided courtesy of Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2012 crowned -- the winner is Miss USA Olivia Culpo

Get more: Beauty Pageants, TV
12/19/2012 by OnTheRedCarpet.com Staff

Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo, 20, was crowned the winner of the 2012 Miss Universe pageant, marking the first time a U.S. contestant has won the competition in 15 years.

Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, came in second and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero placed third.

The last U.S. contestant to win the title of Miss Universe was Brook Lee in 1997. Culpo was the first Miss USA winner from Rhode Island when she took the national crown in Las Vegas in June. She is a sophomore at Boston University.

This year's pageant took place on at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Los Angeles. The event aired on NBC and was hosted by Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The 89 Miss Universe Contestants competed in swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories at the 61st annual pageant in hopes of winning the Diamond Nexus Crown.

The top 16 finalists included Miss USA Olivia Culpo as well as contestants from Australia, Croatia, Brazil, Kosovo, India, Poland, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, France, Hungary, Venezuela, Peru, Russia and the Philippines.

The judging panel was made us of "The Voice" coach and singer Cee Lo Green, Scott Disick of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Lisa Vanderpump of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Pablo Sandoval, Brad Goreski, actor Diego Boneta, Nigel Barker, Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Ximena Navarrete and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

The Miss Universe pageant is co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC.

(Copyright ©2014 OnTheRedCarpet.com. All Rights Reserved.)
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