Miss Universe Organization
Friday, June 10, 2011 | 4:59 a.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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2010 Miss USA Rima Fakih is in hot water with New York tabloids and Fox News whipping up headlines of her high-spirited behavior involving a late-night party before flying to Las Vegas. Meantime on Wednesday, Flamingo headliner magician Nathan Burton successfully levitated her above the resort casino’s Go Pool.
“It’s the first time I did anything like that,” Rima, from Dearborn, Mich., told me after Nathan successfully raised her 10 feet in a lounge chair. “I was very nervous, but he made me feel secure. I’m still looking for magnets somewhere to figure it out.”
Nathan explained: “We only had one day to rehearse. It’s a very difficult illusion -- broad daylight, open air, sun blasting down. Absolutely no wires and all live surrounded 360 degrees by a close-up audience. No video editing after the fact! We worked on it in my workshop for over two months once we knew what we wanted to achieve. It’s the hardest illusion I’ve ever pulled off.”
The magic trick was just one of the events that NBC cameras filmed Wednesday on Day 3 of the 2011 Miss USA Pageant events in Las Vegas. The contestants also went backstage at Jubilee! at Bally’s; took part in a cupcake contest at The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace; toured the Four Seasons Hotel and Canyon Ranch SpaClub at the Venetian; and sampled ice cream delights at Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace. Thanks to Erik Kabik, Scott Harrison and the Miss Universe Organization photographers for keeping Vegas DeLuxe in focus for all the events.
The beauty brouhaha over 25-year-old Rima began when the Miss USA publicity team had a difficult time waking her for an early morning TV appearance. Fox said, “Sneaking out at night is a massive Miss USA no-no” and quoted pageant President Paula Shugart: “We usually like to keep a handle on them. We have talent managers to keep track, and they are supposed to tell us when they go out. Rima is definitely a high-spirited, fun person.
“If she went out that night, it wouldn’t surprise us. Maybe she went out to blow off some steam since she will be crowning her successor in a few days. It only happened once before the entire 12 months. She followed the rules ever since and sent out an apology promising to be on time for the rest of her reign.”
Naturally in the tabloid world, it was whipped into a frenzy. Paula also told Fox: “She has been an incredible titleholder, though. I’m not going to deny she was caught trying to stay out later than she should have. But she goes 100 percent on everything we ask her to do for us. She’s headstrong, and that keeps us on our toes.”
Meantime, the glamour girls satisfied their candy cravings yesterday with a visit to Sugar Factory American Brasserie at the Paris and crammed into the storefront window for a surprise photograph. Last night, they went to Tao at the Venetian. Today, they take part in a Chinese Laundry hula-hoop contest at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile with fitness guru Richard Simmons.
On Wednesday, the pageant announced that E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic is co-hosting the 2-hour 2011 Miss USA Pageant on NBC on June 19 with Andy Cohen, host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, while Kelly Osbourne is serving as a backstage commentator. Andy also is the programming development chief at Bravo overseeing The Real Housewives series and Top Chef who recently said there’s no green light for a Real Housewives in Las Vegas.
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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