Miss USA Hopefuls Take Stage at Vegas Pageant

A 24-year-old brunette from Michigan has beaten out four blondes and 46 other women for the 2010 Miss USA title after nearly stumbling in her evening gown.

Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Mich., won the pageant Sunday night after swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

During the competition, Fakih nearly fell while finishing her walk in a long, strapless gown because of the length of its train, but she recovered without a spill and went on to win.

In the interview, Fakih was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance, and she said she believed it should.

Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard was first runner-up after handling a question about Arizona's new immigration law. She said she supports it.

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Five beauty queens are still vying for the 2010 Miss USA title after an evening gown competition at the pageant in Las Vegas.

Four blondes and a brunette were set to face interview questions to determine who will replace Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton and represent the United States in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant.

The women remaining in the competition are:

Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih
Miss Colorado USA Jessica Hartman
Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard
Miss Virginia USA Samantha Evelyn Casey
Miss Maine USA Katherine Ashley Whittier.

Most of the field of 51 contestants from around the country were eliminated just after the pageant began at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. After 15 contestants strutted in swimsuits, five were eliminated. Another five were eliminated after the gown competition.

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Ten beauty queens remain in the running for the 2010 Miss USA title after the swimsuit competition at the Las Vegas pageant.

The remaining contestants face two more competitions -- evening gown and interview -- Sunday night before a winner is crowned at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

The women remaining in the competition are:

Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih
Miss California USA Nicole Michele Johnson
Miss Colorado USA Jessica Hartman
Miss Tennessee USA Tucker Perry
Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard
Miss Missouri USA Ashley Strohmier
Miss Alabama USA Audrey Moore
Miss Virginia USA Samantha Evelyn Casey
Miss Mississippi USA Courtney Breanne Ponder
Miss Maine USA Katherine Ashley Whittier

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A group of 51 beauty queens had their eyes set on the 2010 Miss USA title, but just 15 remain in the competition after the pageant's opening number in Las Vegas.

The 15 finalists Sunday night are:

Miss Arkansas USA Adrielle Churchill
Miss Kansas USA Bethany Gerber
Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih
Miss Wyoming USA Claire Schreiner
Miss Pennsylvania USA Gina Cerilli
Miss California USA Nicole Michele Johnson
Miss Colorado USA Jessica Hartman
Miss Tennessee USA Tucker Perry
Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard
Miss Missouri USA Ashley Strohmier
Miss Alabama USA Audrey Moore
Miss Nebraska USA Belinda Renee Wright
Miss Virginia USA Samantha Evelyn Casey
Miss Mississippi USA Courtney Breanne Ponder
Miss Maine USA Katherine Ashley Whittier

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It'll be out of the boudoir and into the bright lights when 51 beauty queens take the stage in Las Vegas for the 2010 Miss USA pageant title.

The Sunday night competition from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino features contestants from 50 states and the District of Columbia competing in gowns and swimsuits before a panel of seven judges.

Contestants have already drawn attention for sultry poses in pageant lingerie photos posted online.

This year's winner will replace Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton, and compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone and NBC correspondent Natalie Morales host the telecast live at 7 p.m. on NBC. The network owns the pageant with real estate mogul Donald Trump.

The competition is not affiliated with the Miss America pageant.


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