Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 | 12:03 p.m.
The new fall TV season officially kicks off tonight, and stars from “Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” will be hoping to keep ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” at the top of the ratings. This is the first time contestants are returning for an all-star season and another shot at winning the mirror ball trophy.
Six of them -- Shawn Johnson, Drew Lachey, Apolo Anton Ohno, Emmitt Smith, Helio Castroneves and “Peepshow’s” debut star Kelly Monaco have all won. In exclusive news for Vegas DeLuxe readers, I can confirm that after this season, a new “DWTS” cast will perform a new version at the Tropicana again for the holiday season.
Dancing With the Stars
All 13 couples -- celebrities and their pro-dancing partners -- start tonight in a two-hour episode performing either the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha. Then in Tuesday’s two-hour show, Justin Bieber and Pitbull will perform before the first couple is eliminated. Justin, who will sing his new hit “As Long As You Love Me” from his latest CD “Believe,” is at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday. Pitbull, who’ll perform his new single “Don’t Stop the Party” from his upcoming album “Global Warning,” performed the song as the closer for Saturday’s second and final iHeartRadio Music Festival concert, also at the arena.
Crotchety ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba return with hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet. Among the interviews newly crowned Emmy winner Tom will conduct with the stars tonight explaining why they wanted to return for a second shot will be Tropicana favorites Joey Fatone, Sabrina Ryan and Louis Van Amstel (Sabrina and Louis are paired).
Dancing With the Stars
Joey is once again teamed up with Kym Johnson, and they will dance first. Tony Dovolani, who performed in the Tropicana show, is paired with TV host and reality TV star Melissa Rycroft, who became engaged to Tye Strickland here; the couple also had their honeymoon here.
Viewers will have a microscopic look at racecar driver Helio Castroneves, who was often at Azure Pool at the Palazzo this summer, to see if he’s as fast on his feet this time around as he was when he won Season 5. While his competitors have practiced, he has been racing in the closing meets of this IndyCar season. He squeezed in only a few Foxtrot rehearsals with Las Vegas-born partner Chelsie Hightower while speeding 220 mph around the Fontana, Calif., track. Helio placed 5th in the race and 4th in the overall season.
Hometown hero Derek Hough will perform the Foxtrot with reunited Olympic gold medalist partner Shawn. Pinup princess Pamela Anderson is teamed with Tristan McManus, who competed with our Gladys Knight last season. Kelly, who opened “Peepshow” with Spice Girl Mel B in April 2009 at Planet Hollywood for three months before Holly Madison took over, is teamed with Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s brother Valentin.
Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson
Heartthrob Maks, who is a choreographer at Steve Wynn’s “Le Reve -- the Dream,” has said that he’s winding down his time on the show and will retire after the next two seasons. He told the New York Post: “What else do I have to do there after 15 seasons? The audience can’t expect for me to want to stick around, and the producers can’t expect for me to want to stick around.
“I loved doing it. But, to be honest with you, at 32, I am at what-about-me time. I am not thinking that with me leaving, the show will go off the air or anything. … I wish them the next 50 years of success. But I have to do something else. I need to move on for me.”
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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Tropicana Las Vegas sits on the south-east corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, an intersection which has the most adjacent hotel rooms in the world, also making it one of the most busy. The hotel has 1,658 rooms, three restaurants, a 62,011-square foot casino and a spa.The Tropicana's five-acre pool complex stretches throughout the center of the the hotel/casino and remains it's most recognizable feature. It features swim-up blackjack during the summer months, a swim-up bar, dining areas and a wedding chapel. The Tropicana is also home to Brad Garrett's Comedy Club. For pre-show dining, take advantage of one the casino’s dinner and a show packages or just head over to Cafe Nikki, Biscayne Steak, Sea & Wine or Bacio Pasta & Vino.