Laura Kaeppeler, the 23-year-old beauty from Wisconsin, has been crowned Miss America 2012.

The pageant, which was held in Las Vegas, saw the winner wowing the judges singing opera and strutting in a white bikini and black beaded evening gown, The Associated Press reported.

Asked if beauty queens should declare their politics, Kaeppeler said: "Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well. And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all."

Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson became the runner-up while Miss New York Kaitlyn Monte came third.

Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan crowned the winner, who will hold the title for one year and bags a cash prize of $50,000.