Eighty-nine contestants from six continents traveled to the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas to compete for the title of Miss Universe. The winner didn't have to travel far to claim her title.
Miss USA and Rhode Island native Olivia Culpo took the crown on Oct. 19 at the 61st annual Miss Universe pageant, becoming the 8th American to hold the coveted position.
The Christmas-themed pageant was hosted by Bravo’s Andy Cohen and E! News’ Giuliana Rancic at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
A bevy of celebrities judged the lovely ladies, including “The Face” host Nigel Barker, Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh, Iron Chef Morimoto and "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star Scott Disick.
Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, being crowned Miss Universe 2012 by Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes, center, and congratulated by Miss Teen USA 2012, Logan West, right, during the 2012 Miss Universe Competition.
Miss USA Olivia Culpo, right, is congratulated by Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon after winning the Miss Universe pageant.
“I’m dreaming … it’s a dream,” Culpo told fellow contestants with a shocked smile as they gathered around her after the announcement.
Train singer Pat Monaha, center, is flanked by Miss Philippines 2012, Janine Tugonon, left, and Miss Venezuela 2012, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, as he performs during the pageant.
TV personalities and pageant co-hosts Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic listen as Miss Venezuela 2012, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, answers a question during the interview portion of the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant.
Miss Brazil 2012, Gabriela Markus, Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo, Miss Australia 2012, Renae Ayris, Miss Philippines 2012, Janine Tugonon, and Miss Venezuela 2012, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, appear on stage after being named the top five finalists.
Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, competes in the swimsuit competition. Culpo knows how to play the cello, and has even played alongside Yo-Yo-Ma.
Miss Australia 2012, Renae Ayris, was named a top 10 finalist. Renae has worked as a professional model in both Sydney and Germany, according to the Miss Universe Organization.
Miss Venezuela Irene Sofia Esser Quintero competes in the swimsuit competition. She was raised on a cocoa plantation and her family owns a chocolate factory in Venezuela.
Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon competes in the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe pageant. Janine says she likes to make candies, or “pastillas”, that she then sells to friends and family, according to the Miss Universe Organization.
Miss Brazil Gabriela Markus competes during the swimsuit portion Miss Universe pageant. Gabriela is currently studying food engineering at the University of State of Rio Grande do Sul.
The beauty queens participated in a National Costume Show, showing off elaborate outfits designed to represent their home countries. It was announced during the broadcast that Miss China, Ji Dan Xu, in a gown with embroidered lotus flowers and dragons, took the top prize in the costume contest.
Miss South Africa 2012, Melinda Bam, performs onstage at the 2012 Miss Universe National Costume Show. Her dream job is to be a model for Victoria's Secret, according to the Miss Universe Organization.
Miss Venezuela 2012, Irene Sofía Esser Quintero, shows off her costume. The beauty queen said she loves surfing, and has competed on a national level.
Miss Puerto Rico 2012, Bodine Koehler, presents her coloful costume. Bodine has been playing piano since the age of 12, and writing music since the age of 16.
Miss Panama 2012 Stephanie Vander Werf, displays a feather-accented creation during the costume portion of the show. Apart from competing in beauty pageants, she hopes to one day own a newspaper, radio show, and news TV channel.
Miss Mexico 2012 Karina Gonzalez says her goal is to become a famous architect, so she can "improve construction from an ecological standpoint," according to the Miss Universe Organization.
Miss Great Britain 2012 Holly Hale shows off a British-inspired jumpsuit. Hale has different color eyes; one is green and brown, the other green and blue.
Miss Colombia 2012 Daniella lvarez Vasquez said she likes to wear yellow during special moments.
Miss Trinidad & Tobago Avionne Mark has some fun while presenting her fiery and colorful costume. She said she hopes to one day become a tourism ambassador.
Miss USA Olivia Culpo represents her country with a Statue of Libety-inspired costume. "It’s a dream,” Culpo said of winning the Miss Universe competition.
Miss Denmark Josefine Hewitt said her favorite outdoor activity is fishing, so it's no suprise her costume paid homage to the creatures of the sea.