Lebanese immigrant Rima Fakih recognized the look from that tipped her off that she had won the 2010 Miss USA title. It was the same one she'd seen him give to winners on his television game show.
The 24-year-oldbeat out 50 other women to take the title Sunday night, despite nearly stumbling in her evening gown.
She told reporters later that she believed she had won after glancing at pageant owner Trump as she awaited the results with the first runner-up,.
"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.
Fakih took top honors at 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.
Fakih, an Arab-American from Dearborn, Mich., 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.