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Sunday, May 20, 2012 | 7:35 p.m.
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It was all about sexy, dangerous and glamorous outfits for the stars arriving on the white carpet at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena this afternoon.
Miley Cyrus looked to be wearing no bra or pants under her long, white, open-to-the-navel blazer and onstage was a wardrobe malfunction seconds away from happening. On the other hand, Lisa Marie Presley was quietly elegant in her floor-length gown, while Julianne Hough sparkled in a sequined mini.
Carrie Underwood won my vote for prettiest gown of the night, a gray-blue and ballooning chiffon number, and our hometown Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, who will return to “Dancing With the Stars” for its finale this week, wore a black cocktail dress that was understated elegance.
In contrast, Albanian pop-star Bleona Qereti, “the Madonna of Albania,” wore a black-netted, see-through, peek-a-boo dress by Jerell Scott. Dark fabric was used to cover up only the front and back strategic areas. Bleona, who speaks and performs in four languages, is the first Albanian artist on iTunes and the first southeastern European artist to sell more than 800,000 albums.
Music is definitely a worldwide business. Hotel mogul Donald Trump booked Bleona to sing at his Florida Mar-A Lago mansion for a fundraiser, and Prince Albert of Monaco is a big fan. Kerli, with her underwear, garter belt and stockings on display, wore the wildest outfit.
The 2012 BMAs attracted some interesting VIPs: Steve Wynn and wife Andrea were there with Tommy Hilfiger and timed their arrival to coincide with The Wanted so that Andrea’s children could meet the British boyband. Also at the show, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and original MTV DJ Downtown Julie Brown, who is a longtime friend and was with me in Australia for the filming of “I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here.”
Cee Lo Green skipped the carpet, but I learned that he’s begun describing his new show “Loberace” that will premiere at Planet Hollywood on Aug. 29 as a “real late-night adult party.” Cee Lo promises plenty of surprises for “Loberace,” which will run through year’s end. However, it looks as if “The Voice” will be renewed for another season, and contractually he will have to judge again, which will force him to wait on further “Loberace” shows.
His rep told me that the Liberace Foundation had invited Cee Lo to view the late Las Vegas entertainment legend’s memorabilia, wardrobes and jewelry and to pick out what he wanted to use in “Loberace.”
Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo were the happiest and most romantic couple on the carpet. Jason performs on the “American Idol” season finale this week after battling a neck injury. Backstage, Jason said: “She was my backbone while I recovered. She took care of me. She tended to me, and we really fell in love as a result.” So how soon before he pops the question? “We’re only 22, so I have no idea” he said. Jordin joined with John Legend for a tribute to Whitney Houston and the Millennium Award presentation to Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
It also was an emotional night with last-minute script changes until curtain up to enable producers to note the death of Bee Gees founder Robin Gibb within the hour of the start of the three-hour broadcast. There also were tributes to disco diva Donna Summer and The Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, both of whom also succumbed to cancer.
Hosts and Emmy Award winners Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell of “Modern Family” -- or at least their life-size cardboard alter-egos -- filmed segments to promote Las Vegas on the awards at Hyde Bellagio, Qua Spa at Caesars Palace, the Grand Canal Shops in the Venetian and the new Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris, where the cutouts caught on fire and were extinguished by a waiter.
My favorite pre-performance moment was pop princess Katy Perry introducing her 93-year-old grandmother, who lives here, to everybody and making us laugh saying they were going off to do shots afterward.
Our thanks to Tom Donoghue, Glenn Pinkerton of Las Vegas News Bureau, Steve Marcus of the Las Vegas Sun and ABC for our photo coverage and to Richard Corey for his videos posted on YouTube (please keep checking back). And please check back Monday for our full coverage of the awards, including behind-the-scenes backstage highlights.
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.
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