City life suits royal roommates Miss USA and Miss Universe

Miss USA Nana Meriwether, left, and Miss Universe Olivia Culpo.

Their biggest catfight is about who is more talented – but not in the way you think.

Brand-new roomies Miss USA and Miss Universe are good pals, and the only battle they have is to sing each others’ praises, or at least that’s what happened when Metro visited the Midtown apartment they share.

The apartment is one that’s available for Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA during their reigns. Right now, that’s Miss USA Nana Meriwether and Miss Universe Olivia Culpo. Miss Teen USA Logan West sometimes stays there.

“I just got really lucky to have Olivia as my roommate,” Meriwether said.

The place they share isn’t the palace most people might suspect, Meriwether noted. No floor-to-ceiling windows, although they do have a convenience many New Yorker’s envy – a washing machine.

That doesn’t mean their apartment, with views of 57th Street and Central Park, could be mistaken for any typical Brooklyn pad with 20-something roommates, though.

Wake-up calls at 3:30 a.m. for makeup before an international interview are not unusual. Each night, they receive minute-by-minute schedules.

“I had something at 10:21 yesterday,” Meriwether said.

Safe to assume most roommates don’t brainstorm how to travel to the Sundance Film Festival together, working it around one’s trip to Indonesia. 

In the kitchen, coffee sits in a red “You are loved!” cup. Thirty-calorie yogurt fills the fridge, and makeup spills out on sinks next to boxes where shoes jut out. (Meriwether, officially crowned last week, is still in the process of moving in.) 

A vanilla cupcake Yankee Candle joins piles of journals and quote books under Culpo’s passport, along with a book she’s reading, “The World’s Best Advice from the World’s Wisest Women.”

And yes, they share shoes and makeup tips.

“We’ll ask each other what we think looks better,” Culpo said.

Andrea Chafouleas, manager of talent development for Miss Universe, said the girls complement each other well, something not always guaranteed when winners are randomly thrown together to share adjacent rooms.

“This is beautiful,” she said.

The beauty queens are taking a break from taxing pursuits – Meriwether is a lauded college athlete who finished pre-med studies before taking the crown, and Culpo interrupted her studies at Boston University to take a year off for her reign.

“We’re both very practical,” Culpo said. “We have other ambitions.”

New to the city

Culpo, originally from Rhode Island, and Meriwether, who was born in South Africa but raised in Maryland, are newbies to the city. Once the weather gets nicer, they’re excited to try out Bryant Park movies in the summer. Meriwether, 27, recently attended the opening of Marquee nightclub and Culpo, 20, sticks to a local coffee shop and stops at the New York Public Library to indulge her transition from being a full-time undergrad. “I like to research,” she said. Most difficult for Meriwether to adjust to was the city’s pace. “Walk fast, or you’re getting trampled,” she summarized.

Maybe she’ll come over for a drink

New York attracts more than just out-of-state beauty queens – the latest is from one of the five boroughs. Mallory Hagan, crowned Miss America this weekend, lives in Windsor Terrace. She is an Alabama native who moved to New York within the last few years and has said, “Brooklyn has grown very close to my heart.”

Culpo and Meriwether showed Metro their new digs one recent afternoon:

All photographs by Miles Dixon.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison.


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