Miss USA Olivia Culpo is Miss Universe 2012Twenty-year-old Miss USA Olivia Culpo is Miss Universe 2012, the Associated Press reports. The event marks an important moment in the US international beauty contest area, as there hasn’t been an American beauty queen crowned as Miss Universe since 1997.

On Wednesday night, at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Leila Lopes, last year’s Miss Universe, passed the crown and the title to a new champion. Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, was named Miss Universe.

During the three fashion apparitions of the competition, owned by magnate Donald Trump and NBC, Culpo wore a tight blue-navy mini dress covered in sequins, a purple and blue swimsuit and a vibrant red velvet gown with a seductive cleavage. The jury and the telecasters noticed how she tripped during the evening gown round, but also how she managed to recover with grace.

When, in the final round, she was asked whether she had done something she regretted, the Boston University sophomore answered that every life experience, no matter if good or bad, is a lesson. “That’s just life”, she said. “But something I’ve done I’ve regretted is probably picking on my siblings growing up, because you appreciate them so much more as you grow older.”

The brunette beauty beat out 88 other competitors, thus winning the Miss Universe title for the US after 15 years of constant losing. Before her, the last Miss USA who was crowned Miss Universe, was Brook Lee, in 1997.

As Culpo became Miss Universe, Miss Maryland, Nana Meriwether was promoted to the status of Miss USA.

The two other finalists of Miss Universe are:

Janine Tugonon, Miss Philippines – second place

Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, Miss Venezuela – third place