2012 Miss USA Olivia Culpo swimsuit photos as Miss Rhode Island

Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo at the official Miss USA afterparty at Lavo in Las Vegas

It was the creme de la creme of sashes and lashes bashes in Las Vegas last night as 50 of America’s most beautiful women competed for the crown of Miss USA 2012. Coming out on top was cellist and self-described nerd Olivia Culpo, a sophomore at Boston University representing the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island.

UPDATE – Olivia has since gone on to win the 2012 Miss Universe PAgeant! Click here to see those Olivia Culpo swimwear photos and video of her crowning!

The 20-year-old brunette lists Aubrey Hepburn as her inspiration and says that as soon as the festivities are over in Las Vegas, one of the first things she plans to do is visit Tiffany & Company in New York City to recreate the iconic opening scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “She was beautiful on the outside, but also beautiful on the inside,” said Culpo of Hepburn.

And speaking of beautiful on the outside, Olivia Culpo participated with a number of her fellow Miss USA contestants in a Kooey Swimwear Fashion Show at Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas on May 23.

Olivia Culpo bikini swimwear photo

Olivia Culpa wore a revealing violet and bright yellow bikini and looked ***literally*** flawless.

Miss Rhode Island 2012 Olivia Culpo swimwear photo

And let’s not forget “beautiful on the inside!” Olivia showed off her inner beauty in the interview portion of the show when celebrity interviewer Rob Kardashian asked her a difficult question (See: Carrie Prejean) posed by a pageant follower on Twitter, “Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?” (The question was obviously inspired by the recent controversy in Canada in which the Miss Universe Organization decided to allow transgender contestants.)

“I do think that that would be fair,” she answered without hesitation, “but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country.”

And here’s a video interview in which Olivia reveals that she aspires to be the female Albert Einstein in addition to voicing her opinion on pornography and marijuana:

(Her pageant coach must have drilled her on the “free country” parachute!)

Olivia swapped out her Kooey purple and yellow bikini for a tough pink swimsuit during the Miss USA Preliminary Competition held May 30 at The Theater of Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas:

2012 Miss USA Olivia Culpo swimwear photo

Culpo was the epitome of strength and confidence with her bold posture combined with her choice of swimsuit and some imposing stiletto high heels!

But, just in case you prefer to measure beauty with clothes on, here are a couple photos of Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpa in her fuchsia formal evening gown both during competition and after:

2012 Miss USA Olivia Culpo evening gown

2012 Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo crowned Miss USA 2012

And as a parting glance, here is one looooooong last look at your Miss USA 2012…

Olivia Culpo swimwear photo Kooey fashion show

Photos: Judy Eddy/WENN.com