A Lebanese immigrant, the 24-year-old from Michigan snatched the crown after almost tripping on her gown and saying birth control pills should be covered by health insurance.
2009 Miss USA Kristen Dalton gave up her crown to 24-year-old Rima Fakih who represents Michigan on Sunday, May 16 night. Fakih is possibly the first winner of the pageant who is of Arab American descent. However, organizers said it's uncertain because record details were not specific and the pageant started in 1952 as local swimsuit competition.
Fakih beats 50 other women, particularly Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard in the final two. She rocked orange and gold bikini and wore a strapless white gown as part of the swimsuit and evening gown sessions. She almost tripped on her gown during the second walk due to the long train but managed to dodge an embarrassing scene.
Later in the Q & A, Fakih had to answer whether birth control pills should be covered by health insurance. "I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it's a controlled substance," she said. Woodlard meanwhile had to answer tough question about Arizona immigration law.
Minutes before the judges delivered the result, Fakih admitted that she already had an instinct of winning the competition when seeing the pageant owner Donald Trump. "That's the same look that he gives them when he says, 'You're hired'," she joked referring to Trump's show "The Apprentice".
Fakih's family moved to United States when she was a baby. She was raised in New York and attended a Catholic school although her family also embraced Muslim. They moved to Michigan in 2003 and Fakih took modeling. She sold her car after graduating from college in order to enter the Miss Michigan pageant.
As a winner, Fakih will represent USA in Miss Universe this year. Personally, she would receive a one-year lease in a New York apartment with living expenses, an undisclosed salary, and various health, professional and beauty services.