| June 3, 2012|
| Akon, Cobra Starship|
| Andy Cohen, Giuliana Rancic, Jeannie Mai, Kelly Osbourne|
The AXIS, Las Vegas, Nevada
Miss USA 2012, the 61st Miss USA pageant, was held on June 3, 2012, at the The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alyssa Campanella of California crowned her successor Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island at the end of the event. Culpo represented the USA and became the eighth American to win Miss Universe.
Pageant protocol forces Culpo to "resign" her Miss USA title in order to be Miss Universe. In this case, the first runner-up, Nana Meriwether, who competed as Miss Maryland USA 2012, inherited the Miss USA title. Meriwether became the first woman from Maryland to hold the Miss USA title; the first time a woman from Maryland won Miss USA was in 1957 with Mary Leona Gage who was dethroned shortly after winning.
The 50 states and the District of Columbia competed for the prestigious title. The pageant was televised live on NBC in the U.S.A. The full preliminary round, as well as highlights from the event, is available over Xbox Live via their YouTube and MSN applications.
For the first time, a question was solicited from Twitter for the final question asked of one of the five finalists. That question picked by the pageant organizers - "Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?" - was answered by the winner, Culpo.
Miss USA 2012 Wikipedia
Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin claimed that the outcome was predetermined, a charge the organizing committee strongly denied, despite being corroborated by other contestants.
‡ Voted into Top 16 as America's Choice via Internet
∞ Culpo won Miss Universe 2012. Due to protocol, Culpo resigns her title as Miss USA 2012. 1st runner-up, Nana Meriwether, replaces her as Miss USA.
1 Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant
Preliminary JudgesMichael Agbabian
Stefan C. Campbell
Final JudgesSol Vargas
Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008 from Venezuela
Opening Fashion Show – "Turn Up the Radio" (Remix) by Madonna, and "LaserLight" by Jessie J featuring David Guetta (background music)
Swimsuit Competition – "#1Nite (One Night)" and "You Make Me Feel..." by Cobra Starship (live performance)
Evening Gown Competition – "Lights" (Original and instrumental versions) by Ellie Goulding (background music)
Top 5 Final Look – "America's Most Wanted" by Akon (live performance)
Rhode Island won Miss USA for the 1st time. Later won Miss Universe 2012
States that placed in the top 16 the previous year were Alabama, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Tennessee made its seventh straight placement.
Alabama and Maine placed for the third consecutive year.
Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas made their second consecutive placement. Maryland made its highest since Paulette Reck placed 1st Runner Up in 1968.
Ohio last placed in 2006.
Louisiana and Nevada last placed in 2007.
New Jersey and Rhode Island last placed in 2008.
Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan and Oklahoma last placed in 2010.
Arkansas's Kelsey Dow made it past the first elimination due to new media technology (internet/SMS vote).
Natalie Pack of California failed to place, breaking the state's 7 year placements.
1 contestant previously competed at Miss America 2006Miss South Carolina USA Erika Powell was previously Miss South Carolina 2005 and placed top 10 at Miss America 2006
1 contestant previously competed at Miss Earth United StatesMiss New Mexico USA Jessica Martin was previously Miss New Mexico Earth 2010 and second runner up at Miss Earth United States 2010
9 contestants previously competed at Miss Teen USAMiss Connecticut USA Marie-Lynn Piscitelli was previously Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2001
Miss Indiana USA Megan Myrehn was previously Miss Virginia Teen USA 2008 and placed top 15 at Miss Teen USA 2008
Miss Kansas USA Gentry Miller was previously Miss Kansas Teen USA 2006 and placed top 10 at Miss Teen USA 2006
Miss Michigan USA Kristen Danyal was previously Miss Michigan Teen USA 2009 and placed top 15 at Miss Teen USA 2009
Miss Montana USA Autumn Muller was previously Miss Montana Teen USA 2004
Miss New Jersey USA Michelle Leonardo was previously Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008
Miss North Carolina USA Sydney Perry was previously Miss Vermont Teen USA 2008
Miss Virginia USA Catherine Muldoon was previously Miss New York Teen USA 2004 and placed top 10 at Miss Teen USA 2004