Miss USA captures the Miss Universe crown

Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, waves to the crowd after being crowned as Miss Universe during the Miss Universe competition, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Las Vegas.

Photo by Julie Jacobson, Associated Press

Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, waves to the crowd after being crowned as Miss Universe during the Miss Universe competition, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Miss USA Olivia Culpo, from Rhode Island, broke a long U.S. losing spell in the Miss Universe competition and captured the crown Wednesday night.

She was in the final five along with first runner-up Miss Philippines, second runner-up Miss Venezuela, third-runner up Miss Australia and fourth runner-up Miss Brazil.

The televised competition was conducted at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas strip.

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 modeled tie-dye bikinis and flowing evening gowns during earlier rounds of the two-hour contest.

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