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updated: 6/3/2012 10:31 PM

20-year-old Rhode Island cellist wins Miss USA

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  • Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo is crowned Miss USA 2012 during the Miss USA pageant Sunday in Las Vegas.

      Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo is crowned Miss USA 2012 during the Miss USA pageant Sunday in Las Vegas.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- A 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island won the Miss USA crown and will represent the United States in this year's Miss Universe pageant.

Olivia Culpo topped a field of 51 beauty queens on Sunday to take the title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. She strutted across the stage in a purple bikini and a purple evening gown with sparkly belt.

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She answered a question about transgender contestants by saying it would be fair for a man who became a woman to be named Miss Universe.

The pageant had three competitions: swimsuit, evening gowns and interview question. Midway through the contest, pop band Cobra Starship performed as the beauty queens modeled their string bikinis.

Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella from California crowned Culpo her successor at the end of the night.

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