32 Fun Facts About America’s Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012

 

1. At the beginning of September, 2011, Olivia Culpo was elected Miss Rhode Island USA, allowing her to become a delegate for the 2012 Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas.

2. Olivia was born on May 8, 1990, in Cranston, RI (a small state on the coast of Atlantic Ocean), the daughter of Peter and Susan Culpo, both musicians.

3. She graduated from Academy St. Mary Bay View with highest honors in 2010.

4. In the second half of 2012, she gained the national title of Miss USA as a dark-horse candidate, ending along losing spell for RI in the NBC telecast (first Rhode Islander to do so in the contest’s 60-year history). From the beginning, the 20-year-old Boston University sophomore had not been a top contender for the national crown. In the meantime, Culpo’s election set off a wave of explosive emotion in her native Cranston (RI).

5. After her victory as Miss USA 2012, she had a series of meetings with Leila Lopes, the long-serving Miss Universe of Angola, in the States…

6. On December 19, 2012, Olivia, wearing a red and long-sleeved dress, led America to win the Miss Universe tiara by defeating Philippines (world’s most pageant-obsessed country) and Venezuela (Hugo Chávez’s country has won more trophies per capita than any other country on the planet). After not being a favorite during the beauty contest, she ended up winning the world trophy. A few days prior to the finals, Gabriela Rubi, a famous astrologer in the Hispanic community, predicted that Culpo would not make the top 10. Curiously, three years earlier, her fellow countrywoman, Rima Fakih —the first Miss USA of Arab heritage— failed to enter the top 16 (she was favorite in nothing but name). It was an unexpected defeat for the United States...

7. Miss Universe Olivia Culpo’s election was seen by an estimated worldwide audience of 1 billion viewers on TV and online, an event which included a significant number of delegates from the Third World and former Communist nations such as Croatia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Meanwhile, the NBC telecast was one of the top television programs in the States on December 19, 2012…

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8. With a Jennifer López- type look, the cello-playing brunette was named as the “most beautiful girl of the world” at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas.

9. She, self described “cellist-nerd”, succeeded Leila Lopes of Angola (Southern Africa), last’s year winner.

10. Despite tripping slightly during the evening gown competition, a 10-judge panel, including Nigel Baker (one of the most celebrated fashion photographers), elected Miss Culpo as the winner.

11. In the finals of the international pageant, she was asked to name one thing she would never do again, a question made by Mexico’s fashion model Ximena Navarrete. She said “Picking on my siblings growing up”.

12.Following Culpo’s win in December, RI became America’s 7th state to win the prize — During the past half-century, only six American states had received that award: South Carolina (Miriam Stevenson, 1954, Long Beach, CA), Ohio (Carol Morris, 1956, LB), Utah (Linda Bement, 1960, Miami Beach), Alabama (Sylvia Hitchcok, 1967, Florida), South Carolina (Shaw Weatherly Nichols, 1980, Seoul), Texas (Chelsi Smith, 1995, Windhoek, Namibia, Africa),and Hawaii (Brooke Lee, 1997, Miami Beach)…

13. Miss Universe 2012, who was one of the well-dressed women at Las Vegas 2012, is a breast cancer campaigner in her native region…

14.Culpo was the first MU to be elected in the month of December.

15. She is the 61st winner in the history of MU, a Latin American-dominated competition since July 1957, after being elected by the New York City-based organization.

16. She competed with women from 88 countries and territories, ranging from Arabic-speaking Lebanon and the small Pacific island nation of Guam to the former Georgia Soviet Socialist Republic and the Dutch-held Aruba…

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17. Olivia was the only woman in US history to have been both Miss USA and musician.

18.Like many icons such as Joe DiMaggio (hit safely in record 56 consecutive games, 1941), Frankie Valli (legendary performer of such hits as “December, 1963 — Oh What a Night”…), and Geraldine Ferraro (America’s first woman to be nominated by a major political party for vice president in 1984), Olivia Culpo is a American descendant of Italian immigrants. However, she is the “most famous Rhode Islander of Italian heritage” after John Pastore, who was the first Italian-American governor and senator (who long dominant in Rhode Island politics).

19. She -who stands 1.66m tall/ 5 feet ½ inches — was considered too small to win a beauty pageant. Nonetheless, Olivia became the world’s shortest Miss Universe titleholder in the twenty-first century.

20. Rhode Island (“Little Rhody”), birthplace and childhood home of the new Miss Universe 2012, is America’s smallest state (1,231 sq mi.).

21.She is the fourth Miss Universe of Italian origin. Back in the sixties, the world tournament was won by Argentina’s runway model Norma Beatriz Nolan, a woman who is also of Italian descent. Two decades on, by May 1987, Chile’s Cecilia Bolocco, whose family is Chilean-Italian, was crowned Miss Universe in Southeast Asia. Most recently, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela gained in Vietnam’s resort city of Nha Trang in 2008.

22. One of Olivia’s goals is to work in the entertainment industry, as a famous Tv personality or a star in film industry…

23. Miss Universe’s other deepest interests today are movies, museums and concerts…

24. Like Trinidad Tobago’s black beauty Wendy Fitzwilliam, who was Miss Universe in the late 1990s, Olivia’s role model is Audrey Hepburn, who was a Hollywood leading lady and at the same time a pioneer in her support of UNICEF, an world organization which provides financial aid to programs for children and mothers in the Third World.

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25. At the 2012 pageant, the 1.66-m-tall Rhode Islander made history when she placed first in the world tournament by beating heavily favorite Philippines’ Janine Mari Tugonon (whose fans and fellow countrymen and women “exploded on twitter with rage”). Over the course of the beauty contest, Miss USA Universe also defeated other bookmaker’s front-runners such as Mexico’s Karina González, South Africa’s Melinda Bam, and Irene Esser Quintero of Venezuela.

26. Rhode Island’s Olivia is proud to say that she has playing cello alongside France’s Yo-Yo Ma, a world-famous classical musician…

27. She is the first Rhode Islander to take home the Miss Universe tiara. No Rhode Islander had ever won a major title in the world pageant.

28. Olivia is the first MU from America elected by a jury with a native from Rhode Island. Her fellow countrywoman artist Claudia Jordan, an ex beauty queen in the late 1990s, was a telecast judge in the finals…

29. Olivia is the first Miss Universe with a professional career as a musician, which is highly unusual for a Miss Universe of her time…

30.Historically, she is the eighth American to win the Miss Universe trophy, a competition co-owned by businessman Donald Trump and NBC.

31.Aside from Grazia Maria Pinto (Italy’s entrant at Las Vegas 2012), the Rhode Island-born beauty was one of the two women of Italian descent, alongside Miss Dominican Republic and Miss New Zealand…

32.Olivia and her colleague Sung-hye Lee, South Korea’s contestant, were the two only delegates with a passion for playing cello in Las Vegas 2012…

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