Student, 20, plays the cello, crowned Miss USA

MISS Rhode Island Olivia Culpo will be the face - and body - of America at the Miss Universe competition after taking out the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas.

The 20-year-old from Cranston, Rhode Island, currently a sophomore at Boston University, beat out Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether in front of a large crowd at Planet Hollywood's Theater for the Performing Arts.

Rounding out the top five were Miss Ohio Audrey Bolte, Miss Nevada Jade Kelsall - the hometown favorite - and Miss Georgia Jazz Wilkins.

The finalists were whittled down from a field of 51 competitors.

Culpo, who will represent the US at the Miss Universe finals in December, has a musical background and began studying the cello in second grade.

She also took part in two foreign language exchange programs in Italy during high school, according to her website.

Other awards handed out Sunday night included Miss Congeniality, which went to Miss Iowa Rebecca Hodge, and Miss Photogenic, which went to Miss Oregon Alaina Bergsma.


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