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During last night’s Miss USA pageant, one contestant really stood out, and I was happy (and not at all surprised) when her state was called as the new Miss USA. Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo displayed both beauty and brains during the annual pageant, and she was rewarded with the coveted crown. Let’s get to know the new Miss USA, who will be representing our country in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. Here are 10 things to know about Olivia:
1. Duh, she’s from Rhode Island! Some beauty queens represent the state of their college or they move across stateliness for a better chance at the crown – but not Olivia! The 20-year-old hails from Cranson, Rhode Island.
2. She’s book smart. Olivia is a sophomore at Boston University, where she’s made the Dean’s List every semester. She’ll be taking a year off school to fulfill her Miss USA duties.
3. She’s an accomplished musician. Olivia has been playing the cello for 13 years. She also sings and plays the piano. Both of her parents are musicians, so it clearly runs in the family.
4. Like, seriously accomplished. As a cellist, Olivia has played in the Boston Symphony Hall and New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall.
5. It’s a classic ugly duckling to swan story. Olivia revealed she was short and chubby as a kid (and she spent her summers at band camp…) but after a growth spurt, her body transformed.
6. Wonder how she maintains her killer body? Olivia works out six days a week: She does cardio three days and strength training three days. She also eats small, healthy meals every 2-3 hours.
7. She loves Audrey Hepburn. During the pageant, Olivia cited the classic starlet as her source of inspiration. “She was beautiful on the outside, but also beautiful on the inside,” she said of her idol.
8. Her favorite movie is Hepburn’s Funny Face. Duh.
9. She loves Italian. Her passion for the language inspired her to take part in two foreign language programs in Milan, Italy, during high school.
10. Beginner’s luck? Miss Rhode Island was her first pageant! Though she has been modeling since she was 16, Olivia didn’t have any pageant experience prior to her go for the Miss Rhode Island title. Her inexperience didn’t stop her from winning the crown, though!