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Miss USA Olivia Culpo crowned Miss Universe: Favorite American Miss Universe?

  • Olivia Culpo Reuters 660.JPG

    Miss USA Olivia Culpo reacts after being crowned during Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas. (Reuters)

  • Chelsi Smith Reuters 660.JPG

    Chelsi Smith, 21, of Texas, waves upon winning the Miss USA Pageant in 1995. (Reuters)

Miss USA Olivia Culpo crowned Miss Universe: Favorite American Miss Universe?

Last night in Las Vegas, 20-year-old Olivia Culpo was named Miss Universe — the eighth Miss USA to be awarded the crown. The Rhode Island beauty beat out 88 contestants from all over the world to bring home the title, taking it from last year’s winner, Leila Lopes of Angola.

Olivia won the Miss Rhode Island pageant in a $20 rental dress (with a hole in it!), and after working out and studying hard, she breezed into the Miss USA title. 

SODAHEAD SLIDESHOW: See U.S. winners of the Miss Universe pageant.

It’s been over a decade since an American brought the title home, but it wasn't always that way. Back in the ’50s and ’60s it was a regular occurrence for U.S. contestants to be crowned, with Miriam Stevenson (1954), Carol Morris (1956), Linda Bement (1960) and Sylvia Hitchcock (1967) all taking home the title.

After a lengthy hiatus for the U.S., Shawn Weatherly destroyed the competition to win all rounds of the competition at both Miss USA and Miss Universe in 1980. 

Then came another drought before Chelsi Smith, a Texan, took the prize in 1995, followed by a win for Brook Mahealani Lee in 1997 — the oldest winner to date, at 26!

PHOTOS: See the latest celebrity pictures to hit the Internet.

Who is your favorite American Miss Universe?

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/miss-usa-olivia-culpo-crowned-miss-universe-favorite-american-miss-universe/question-3403945/" title="Miss USA Olivia Culpo Crowned Miss Universe: Favorite American Miss Universe?">Miss USA Olivia Culpo Crowned Miss Universe: Favorite American Miss Universe?</a>

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