Luxe Life Blog
Miss USA Rima Fakih returns to Las Vegas for first time since crowning
For the first time since winning the Miss USA Pageant crown, 24-year-old Rima Fakih returns to Las Vegas tomorrow to start promotion of the Miss Universe Pageant here for the first time in its 59-year history in August.
Rima, who won the Miss Michigan title to reach the Miss USA Pageant, hosts a goodwill dinner with Mandalay Bay President Renee West tomorrow, and then watches Carrot Top’s show at the adjoining Luxor. If the comedian is still dark because of his bout of food poisoning we reported yesterday, Rima will watch Disney’s The Lion King at Mandalay Bay.
Then I’ll meet with her in The Foundation Room for her first return interview. Video cameras and photographers will record her every move, and she’ll film promo spots and commercials for the NBC telecast Aug. 23. When Rima won May 16, she became the U.S. representative at the Miss Universe Pageant with more than 60 contestants taking part. They arrive here the first week of August for the 21-day visit.
Rima is the first Arab American to win the Miss USA Pageant, which was at Planet Hollywood. She was born in Lebanon, raised Christian and Muslim and moved to Queens, New York, when she was 5. The family moved to Michigan, where she grew up and graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with a degree in economics.
She had three jobs in order to pay for her expenses to enter the Miss USA Pageant and finance her trip to Las Vegas last month. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue covered the pageant for Vegas DeLuxe.
On Thursday, Rima has a photo shoot for additional publicity stills and TV magazine covers and layouts focused on the August pageant, which will be seen in some 200 countries. Rima also will meet with media at a press conference at Mandalay Bay.
Here’s the official Miss Universe video about the world’s top beauty pageant, on YouTube:
Last year’s Miss Universe winner was 19-year-old Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela. She arrives in Las Vegas ahead of the contestants in early August to film her own promos and segments for the global broadcast.
In advance of Miss Universe, Rima appears on Fox’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? to be filmed in Hollywood. She just returned to her PS 69 School in New York and was grilled by fifth-graders to help prepare her for the program.
“It’s a tough and exciting schedule for Rima, but it puts Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas front and center around the world. Everywhere she goes, Mandalay is right there in every photo and video,” I was told. “It’s an incredible coup for Las Vegas to land the Miss Universe Pageant, and both The Strip and the property will receive extraordinary worldwide publicity from it.”
We’ll have our sit-down with Rima right here at Vegas DeLuxe on Thursday, and we’ll have live Twitter reports and photos tomorrow night.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.