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December 21st, 2012
08:46 AM ET

Miss USA Wins Miss Universe; Olivia Culpo says pageantry 'just made sense' to her

American Olivia Culpo, a self-described cellist-nerd from Rhode Island won the Miss Universe contest Wednesday night in Las Vegas. She became the first American to win the pageant in 15 years. Culpo beat 88 other contestants for the crown. She was originally crowned Miss USA back in June and joins “Early Start” live from Las Vegas this morning.

Culpo says she was herself surprised that USA took home the title. “I kind of figured that USA could never win this pageant,” Culpo says. “So it was refreshing and I’m really honored.”

While beauty pageants are often criticized for being superficial, Culpo says she never considered it superficial. She entered pageantry to practice her skills for her future while studying acting and communications in school. “It just made sense.”

When Culpo was asked in the pageant if there was something that she’s done that she would never do again, she answered, picking on her siblings. She says she wasn’t nervous answering the question, but was disappointed she wasn’t asked a more difficult one. “I wish that there was a little bit more controversy in the question.”

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