A 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island won the Miss USA crown and will represent the United States in this year's Miss Universe pageant after voicing support for transgender beauty queens.
Olivia Culpo topped a field of 51 contestants yesterday to take the title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
She strutted across the stage in a lilac bikini and a purple evening gown adorned with a sparkly belt.
In the dreaded final question round, Culpo was faced with the most difficult question of the night: "Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?"
Culpo never stumbled as she embraced the Miss Universe Organisation's recent decision to admit transgender contestants.
"I do think that that would be fair but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women," Culpo said.
She added: "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," Culpo said.