Miss USA Oliva Culpo Is Crowned Miss Universe 2012

Miss USA Oliva Culpo Is Crowned Miss Universe 2012A 20-year-old beauty queen from Rhode Island was crowned the new Miss Universe on Wednesday, beating out 88 other women during a televised competition at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Olivia Culpo took the crown from Leila Lopes of Angola after strutting in a purple and blue bikini and a red velvet gown.

‘End a long losing spell’

In the final stages of the competition, she answered a question about her regrets by saying she wished she hadn’t picked on her siblings. Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon, came in second, while Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, placed third. Contestants from 89 countries on six continents spent the past two weeks in Sin City, where they posed in hardhats at a hotel groundbreaking, took a painting lesson, and pranked hotel guests by hiding in their rooms.

Culpo, from Rhode Island, was trying to end a long losing spell for the U.S. in the competition. An American had not won the right to be called Miss Universe since Brook Lee won the title in 1997. The contestants voted to give the Miss Congeniality crown to Miss Guatemala.


‘Undisclosed salary’

Andy Cohen of the Bravo network and Giuliana Rancic of E! News returned to host the pageant, which was back in Las Vegas after being held in Sao Paulo last year. The panel of 10 judges included singer Cee Lo Green, “Iron Chef” star Masaharu Morimoto and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.

Contestants in the pageant cannot have been married or have children. They must be younger than 27 and older than 18 by Feb. 1 of the competition year. The winner of the crown receives an undisclosed salary, a wardrobe fit for a queen, a limitless supply of beauty products, and a luxury apartment in New York City.

The pageant started as a local revue in Long Beach, Calif., organized by Catalina Swimwear. It is not affiliated with the Miss America pageant and unlike that contest, does not include a talent section.

Are you happy with the result of the Miss Universe 2012 pageant? Which contestant were you rooting for?

Source: Associated Press, Fox News

Image: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Former Miss Venezuela Succumbs to Breast Cancer at 28

Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by Venezuelans, has died at age 28. Her family said Ekvall died Saturday at a hospital in Houston.

Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela  at age 17 in 2000, and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico. She went on to work as a model, actress and television news anchor. She also authored a book, “Fuera de Foco” (“Out of Focus”), about her struggle with cancer, which included images by Venezuelan photographer Roberto Mata.

She told the newspaper El Nacional in an interview last year after the book was published that “I needed to send the message of the need for cancer prevention.” On the cover was a portrait in which she appeared with makeup and her head shaved. The book also included images of her while going through chemotherapy. At the time, she was hopeful of overcoming cancer and wanted to write more.

Ekvall’s family said in a statement Sunday that her remains were being cremated in Houston on Monday and that a service is to be held in Venezuela once her remains are returned to the country.

She was married to radio producer John Fabio Bermudez and had a 2-year-old daughter. Her father, Eric Ekvall, recalled in the book that his mother, also named Eva, had died of the same type of cancer at age 39.

Her death brought an outpouring of condolences from Venezuelans, including from some prominent artists and politicians who praised her in messages on Twitter. Ekvall’s husband posted a photo on Twitter Sunday showing a close-up of his hand holding hers, resting on a bed, with the words “Always together … I love you wife.”

 

Source: Yahoo! News

Image: Mirror.co.uk