Miss New Jersey Michelle Leonardo made the Miss USA pageant Top 10 but it was a fellow northeasterner who took home the crown during Sunday night's pageant in Las Vegas.

Miss New Jersey USA 2012 Michelle Leonardo and Miss California USA 2012 Natalie Pack

Olivia Culpo from Rhode Island topped a field of 51 beauty queens to take the title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Leonardo, a Tinton Falls resident, earned the title Miss New Jersey Teen USA while a student at Red Bank Catholic. She currently studies at  Suffolk University in Boston where she is working toward earning a Bachelor of Science in Journalism according to her official bio. Her Twitter profile says she aspires to be a "future Erin Andrews" as a Jets or Yankees sideline reporter. She works as a college reporter for Boston based television show “Style It Up.”

During the top 10 swimsuit competition Leonardo revealed her love of dance. ""Everyone should experience dance," she exclaimed. In her pageant video, she talked about how she uses dance to express her and her feeling, good and bad.

Leonardo did not make the competition's top 5.

She had a moment earlier in the contest when host Andy Cohen had several contestants on his Bravo show "Watch What Happens Live," asking them to name the Vice President of the United States. Leonardo failed to name Joesph Biden, holding her head saying "This is so bad. I just read an article in the New York Times."


New Jersey was indirectly represented twice in the top 10. Miss Nevada, Jade Kelsall, is originally from Berlin, New Jersey and still has family in south Jersey.

Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella from California crowned Culpo her successor at the end of the night.