January 30, 2013

A Tribute to Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012

It is always nice knowing a pageant rookie like Olivia Culpo who was once short, weird and chubby can win it all and bring back the glory of Miss Universe after fifteen long years to United States. Just like what I read before, her story is a story that Hollywood couldn’t dream up, and it is a role that Audrey Hepburn could certainly have played. Olivia wants to be a movie star in the same standing as her legendary actress heroine Audrey Hepburn. Well, absolutely, they look similar, too.

Olivia was born in May 08, 1992, thus when Brook Lee was crowned Miss Universe, she was only five years old and the universe would wait for her blossoming before they can crown another American beauty at Miss Universe.

Olivia Culpo

She was brought up in Edgewood (Cranston), Rhode Island, and is the daughter of Susan Curran ( Irish and Italian ancestry) and Peter Culpo (Italian descent). Thus, we now have an idea where the last name "Culpo" originated. Olivia is the middle child of five. She graduated from St. Mary Academy – Bay View in 2010 with high honors and as a member of the National Honor Society. In high school she participated in two foreign language trips to Milan, Italy.

Genetically inclined to music, Olivia's parents are professional musicians. Thus, Olivia began studying cello in the second grade. She participated in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, RI Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, Bay View Orchestra, Rhode Island All-State Orchestra, and Boston Youth Symphony, playing the cello. Culpo also studied voice. As a cellist, she played in Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and in England. She attended the Brevard Music Center, in North Carolina two summers, and performs with the Boston Accompanietta.

In September 18, 2011 in Cranston, Rhode Island, Olivia won Miss Rhode USA 2012 while wearing a $20 rental dress and had a hole in the back. She then competed in the Miss USA 2012 competition on June 3, 2012, representing the state of Rhode Island. She won Rhode Island's very first Miss USA title and was crowned by the outgoing titleholder Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011 who became one of her closest friend.

In an interview after her coronation, she mentioned "I was just happy to make that cut to 15 contestants. I wanted to do at least that much so that the trip my family and friends made out there would be worth it."

Olivia's pageant win has only served to expand an already impressive Culpo family resume. The Culpos, in fact, have cast a rather long shadow on the city for the better part of 50 years, and the clan agrees that Olivia’s Miss USA crown rests securely on the top shelf in family lore.

After a month, a special homecoming celebration honoring her for her pageant win, a story time program was held at the Cranston Public Library at which Culpo read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to a group of children. At an outdoor ceremony held at Cranston City Hall, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung presented Olivia with the key to the city.

Olivia Culpo

Olivia was a sophomore at the Boston University and from her latest interview, she said it’s unlikely she’ll return to BU. ‘‘I do want to finish my education,’’ she said. ‘‘I just don’t think that Boston has a big enough market for what I want to do,’’ she added.

During the Miss Universe finals, Olivia, who wore a red, long-sleeved dress for her final look of the evening, emerged as the eighth winner from the US in the pageant’s 60-year history. She will travel the world for a life-changing year journey representing the Miss Universe Organization and as an advocate for HIV prevention.

Pageant owner Donald Trump estimated a worldwide audience of 1 billion in 90 countries tuned in to watch the fairytale story as it unwound at the 61st annual competition. In early ratings released at noon today, the 2-hour NBC primetime telecast beat ABC and CBS and increased its rating share over last year’s pageant.

Minutes after the coronation, Olivia said: “I never, ever thought that I would ever be here today. One year ago, in October, I entered the Miss Rhode Island Pageant, and I was in a $20 rental gown that was too short and had a hole in the back of it. I did not know how to walk onstage, I had never been in pageants or anything like that, and I just wanted to test my abilities and practice my interview skills.Then, I end up winning Miss Rhode Island, and then Miss USA, and now Miss Universe, and I love that story and love being able to tell it because it is not about being the most glamorous, or wearing the most expensive dress; it is just about being yourself and working hard and being optimistic."

Despite the tragedies that have happened in US prior to Miss Universe 2012, Olivia felt it is an honor to represent her country in an international beauty contest as was able to uplift her country and hoping that she will raise everybody’s spirits a little. She believed that the turmoil teaches them to appreciate every day like it is your last day as we never know what will happen.

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