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Miss Michigan crowned as Miss USA

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    Isaac Brekken / FR159466 AP

    Image: Rima Fakih, Morgan Elizabeth Woolard

    2010 Miss USA

    Fifty-one hopefuls were whittled down to one pageant winner after the swimsuit, evening gown and interview rounds.

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    Miss USA 2010

    Fifty-one contestants from every state and the District of Columbia took to the stage Sunday at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to compete for the title of Miss USA and the opportunity for a place in the Miss Universe pageant.

    Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih, 24, took home the crown after the swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions. When asked how she felt about winning, she said, "Ask me after I've had a pizza."

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    Immediate reaction

    Fakih, from Dearborn, Mich., covers her mouth in shock after winning the Miss USA pageant. Earlier, she nearly fell during the evening gown portion of the competition while finishing her walk in a long, strapless gown because of the length of its train. She made it without a spill.

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    Showing off her swimwear

    Fakih, of Lebanese descent, is believed to be the first Arab American, immigrant and Muslim to become Miss USA. She told pageant organizers her family celebrates both Muslim and Christian faiths. She moved to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York. Here she is competing in the bathing suit portion of the competition.

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    Dreaded interview question

    During the interview portion, Fakih was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance. "I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it's a controlled substance," Fakih said.

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    Hugs from the hopefuls

    Fakih is surrounded by contestants after she was crowned Miss USA 2010. The 51 hopefuls became an online sensation during the week after they posed for racy photographs that some thought were too revealing.

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    Awaiting the results

    Fakih and Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, left, stand together seconds before Fakih was named Miss USA. Woolard, the first runner-up, will take over official duties if Fakih is unable to or is relieved of her official duties.

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    2010 Miss USA

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    Her final walk

    Kristen Dalton, the winner in 2009, takes her final walk as Miss USA prior to crowning her successor. Earlier in the program, Dalton said traveling to Haiti to help the earthquake relief efforts was the most memorable part of her year-long reign.

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    The evening's emcees

    TODAY's Natalie Morales and celebrity chef Curtis Stone co-hosted the event. Before flying out to Las Vegas, Morales told TODAY it was an "honor" to be asked to be on the stage. "It's always such a glamorous event and I look forward to meeting the gorgeous contestants," she said.

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    Letting loose in Las Vegas

    The 51 contestants were joined by musical guests Trace Adkins and Boys Like Girls during the show. Here they dance to music by Ke$ha at the opening of the pageant.

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    Heads above most of the hopefuls

    Host Curtis Stone teases Miss Maine Katherine Ashley Whittier, about her height during the Miss USA 2010 pageant.

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    The beauty from El Paso

    Miss Texas Kelsey Moore, from El Paso, was one of the youngest contestants in this year's ceremony at 19 years old.

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    A Rose from New Mexico

    Miss New Mexico Rosanna Aguilar competes in the Miss USA 2010 pageant. A panel of eight judges, including NBA star Carmelo Anthony and Treasure Island casino-hotel owner Phil Ruffin, were judging the girls throughout the night.

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    Crowding the stage

    Most of the field of contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia were eliminated just after the pageant began. Ten more were eliminated after the swimsuit and the evening gown rounds. The winner was selected after the interview portion of the competition.

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A 24-year-old Arab American from Michigan beat out 50 other women to take the 2010 Miss USA title Sunday night, despite stumbling in her evening gown.

Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Mich., won the pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip after strutting confidently in an orange and gold bikini, wearing a strapless white gown that resembled a wedding dress and saying health insurance should cover birth control pills.

When asked how she felt about winning the crown, she said, "Ask me after I've had a pizza."

Fakih, a Lebanese immigrant, told pageant organizers her family celebrates both Muslim and Christian faiths. She moved to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York, where she attended a Catholic school. Her family moved to Michigan in 2003.

Pageant officials said historical pageant records were not detailed enough to show whether Fakih was the first Arab American, Muslim or immigrant to win the Miss USA title. The pageant started in 1952 as a local bathing suit competition in Long Beach, Calif.

Fakih told reporters she sold her car after graduating college in Michigan to help pay for her run in the Miss Michigan USA pageant.

She said she believed she had the title on Sunday after glancing at pageant owner Donald Trump as she awaited the results with the first runner-up, Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard.

"That's the same look that he gives them when he says, 'You're hired,'" on Trump's reality show "The Apprentice," she said.

"She's a great girl," said Trump, who owns the pageant with NBC in a joint venture.

In a moment that was replayed during the broadcast, Fakih nearly fell while finishing her walk in her gown because of the length of its train. But she made it without a spill and went on to win.

"I did it here, I better not do it at Miss Universe," she said. "Modeling does help, after all."

Fakih replaces Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton and won a spot representing the United States this summer in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant. She also gets a one-year lease in a New York apartment with living expenses, an undisclosed salary, and various health, professional and beauty services.

During the interview portion, Fakih was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance, and she said she believed it should because it's costly.

"I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it's a controlled substance," Fakih said.

Woolard handled the night's toughest question, about Arizona's new immigration law. Woolard said she supports the law, which requires police enforcing another law to verify a person's immigration status if there's "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the country illegally.

She said she's against illegal immigration but is also against racial profiling.

"I'm a huge believer in states' rights. I think that's what's so wonderful about America," Woolard said. "So I think it's perfectly fine for Arizona to create that law."

"The Office" actor Oscar Nunez was booed as he asked the question and asked the audience to wait until he finished the question before they reacted. The panel of judges came up with the questions themselves.

Miss Virginia USA Samantha Evelyn Casey was the second runner-up, Miss Colorado USA Jessica Hartman was third runner-up, and Miss Maine USA Katherine Ashley Whittier was the fourth runner-up.

The young women already glammed up for lingerie shots that became an online sensation and received online ratings from the public before the women face a panel of seven celebrity judges in the live pageant.

The racy photo shoot posted on YouTube generated some debate about whether it went too far while drawing thousands of viewers.

Most of the field of contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia were eliminated just after the pageant began and the entire group danced onstage to "TiK ToK" by Ke$ha.

A panel of eight judges, including NBA star Carmelo Anthony, Treasure Island casino-hotel owner Phil Ruffin and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, were judging the girls throughout the night. It was hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone and TODAY's Natalie Morales.

After 15 contestants strutted in swimsuits, five were eliminated. Another five were eliminated after the evening gown competition.

Miss Nebraska USA Belinda Renee Wright won the Miss Congeniality award, roughly one week after her father was killed in a farm accident. Miss Alabama USA Audrey Moore won Miss Photogenic after an online fan vote.

The pageant aired live to East Coast viewers on NBC.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture between NBC Universal and Microsoft.)

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