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Miss USA Wins Miss Universe: Olivia Culpo PHOTOS

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from rhode island to usa to miss universe

Olivia Culpo, the reining Miss USA, was crowned 2012 Miss Universe Wednesday at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

The 20-year-old represented Rhode Island when she took the crown in June and bested 88 contestants last night to win the ultimate pageant title.  It was the first time in 15 years that an American won the international beauty competition.

Culpo hit Twitter to thank her followers, "What an honor!  This night was a dream come true.  Thank you everyone for your support tonight!!! USA finally did it."

The Miss USA and Miss Universe organization is owned jointly by Donald Trump and NBC Universal.  The newly crowned Miss Universe posed with the real estate mogul, who puckered up for photographers ... we apologize if these images cause you distress.

trump goes in for a kiss

Her platform will be the importance of music education.  A cellist for 13 years, she has performed with the Boston Symphony and at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

We've included the 2012 swimsuit poses that helped to cement her various victories with judges during competitions for Miss Rhode Island, Miss USA and Miss Universe.  Check out the leggy evening gown poses here:

olivia culpo during 2012 pageant poses

Photos:  Judy Eddy-WENN

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