By Staff Reporter (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jun 04, 2012 12:33 AM EDT

Olivia Culpo, Miss USA 2012, is seen here with Miss New Jersey (Photo : Twitter / @OliviaCulpo)

The 20-year-old model and cello player faced a tough question on Sunday night after she was asked if it would be fair to have transgendered contestants participate in the pageant, to which she responded, "I do think it would be fair."

The response echoed an issue earlier this year related to Jenna Talackova, a participant who was momentarily banned from the Miss Canada 2012 contest on the grounds of not being a "naturally born" women.

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As for Culpo, she continued answering the question with, "I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road. So many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it is a free country."

Her response ended up winning the audience's approval as she made her way up to earning the judges' approval as well.

Amidst tears, she was finally crowned the new Miss USA.

The contest took place at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas, and the judges present were Chef Cat Cora, Arsenio Hall, Joe Jonas and Rob Kardashian.

Culpo currently attends Boston University and was raised in a musical family where both of her parents are professional musicians.

Now, she will represent the U.S. at Miss Universe 2012.

Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo (C) waits with Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether (L) and Miss Nevada Jade Kelsall during the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 3, 2012. Culpo was later crowned Miss USA 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo (C) waits with Miss Maryland Nana Meriwether (L) and Miss Nevada Jade Kelsall during the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 3, 2012. Culpo was later crowned Miss USA 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook
Olivia Culpo, Courtesy of Facebook

 

Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo competes in the swimsuit competition during the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 3, 2012. Culpo was named Miss USA on Sunday after saying it would be fair for transgendered contestants to win the pageant, giving her a crown that she will wear when representing the United States at the Miss Universe pageant later this year. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo competes in the swimsuit competition during the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 3, 2012. Culpo was named Miss USA on Sunday after saying it would be fair for transgendered contestants to win the pageant, giving her a crown that she will wear when representing the United States at the Miss Universe pageant later this year. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo competes in the evening gown portion of the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 3, 2012. Culpo was named Miss USA on Sunday after saying it would be fair for transgendered contestants to win the pageant, giving her a crown that she will wear when representing the United States at the Miss Universe pageant later this year. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo competes in the evening gown portion of the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 3, 2012. Culpo was named Miss USA on Sunday after saying it would be fair for transgendered contestants to win the pageant, giving her a crown that she will wear when representing the United States at the Miss Universe pageant later this year. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

 

 

 

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