Thursday, April 4, 2013 | 6 p.m.
BBR at Boulevard Theater
Hotel mogul Donald Trump announced today that his Miss USA Pageant, which always stokes controversy, returns to Planet Hollywood for the sixth consecutive year on June 16 for the NBC telecast.
Chelsea Caswell, a 23-year-old food and beverage venue manager at Wynn Las Vegas, represents Nevada. She defeated 18 girls to become 2013 Miss Nevada USA in January.
Chelsea said: “It was a first-time win for me. I never expected to get into the Top 12 or Top Five. I certainly never dreamed I’d win, and now I’ll be welcoming all the other 50 contestants from across the country to the Strip.”
“The Miss USA competition is one of the most anticipated live events of the year,” said The Donald in a news release. “Teaming with Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino has been a successful formula that enables us to produce one of the best shows year after year.”
Contestants are judged in swimsuits, evening gowns and interviews. The 2013 Miss USA succeeds Nana Meriwether, who was last year’s runner-up from Maryland but took over the crown when winner Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island won the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant at Planet Hollywood in December.
The rival Miss America Pageant has pulled up stakes at PH Live after seven years and has returned home to Atlantic City for its September pageant.
TICKET PRICES: Tickets for the 2103 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on ABC on May 19 with Prince, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Miguel and Taylor Swift went on sale today.
Unlike The Rolling Stones concert eight days before, these tickets start at $75. Fans vote for their favorite artists online, and one winner will join CeeLo Green onstage to present an award. Pitbull and The Band Perry are up for milestone honors.
As I reported on Twitter today, I have already seen scalper prices ranging from $3,500 to $8,300 for The Stones.
BLONDE, BRUNETTE, REDHEAD: Three Las Vegas showgirls with different hair colors have teamed up as BBR (a blonde, a brunette and a redhead), a new song-and-dance act, and they showcased their talent at the new Boulevard Theater on the Strip. Here’s the full one-hour production thanks to our friends at Vegas Video Network.
The lovely ladies Anne Martinez (blonde), Savannah Smith (brunette) and Tara Palsha (redhead) won much love and applause from an enthusiastic audience -- our Editor at Large John Katsilometes previewed the show -- and they’re hoping the adulation will win them a coveted spot in The Entertainment Capital of the World.
POKER STARS: Please support our beloved charity Opportunity Village’s Celebrity Poker Tournament at Caesars Palace on Saturday. Penn Jillette from The Rio will be there with his “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” co-star Omarosa, and I’ll handle the introductions for Adrian Zmed, Taylor Barton, Tia Mowry, Tamera Mowry and more. The winner receives a seat in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event donated by Caesars Entertainment.
A $300 registration fee lets you play alongside professional poker players Allen Cunningham, Melissa Hayden, Jon Friedberg, Karina Jett, Andy Bloch, Ben Lamb and Marco Traniello. There’s also a raffle with prizes, including a full-sized poker table, an autographed Trace Adkins cowboy hat and a visit with Howie Long, Curt Menefee, Jimmie Johnson and Michael Strahan in L.A.
MICHAEL JACKSON’S BELT: PR whiz Jerry Olivieri of Brenden Movie Theaters at the Palms finally saw his idea of a Michael Jackson belt get cleared for sale after a three-year battle among the executors of the estate and Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and the family he was assisting. The crystal-encrusted belts made by BBSimonOnline.com were blocked in a court fight, but an out-of-court settlement Wednesday gave the green light.
COPYCAT MAGICIAN FIGHT: Las Vegas-headquartered world-traveling magician Jeff McBride is being credited for helping end copycat magicians and manufactured knockoff tricks. Jeff’s successful plea to a Thai magician who copied his masks act in incredible detail has become an extraordinary story on Britain’s government broadcasting network. It will be broadcast here on the PBS program “The World.” Magic theft and intellectual property rights are investigated in depth, and it makes for fascinating reading. Local magicians are applauding Jeff for fighting to protect their secrets.
FOOD SCHOLARSHIPS: The Venetian and Palazzo chief Sheldon Adelson has agreed to award $12,000 in scholarships over the next three years to aspiring culinary students at UNLV. The James Beard Foundation will administer them, as the two hotels have more James Beard Award-winning chefs than any other hotel in the world.
Michael Jordan continues his Celebrity Invitational golf fundraiser at Shadow Creek through Sunday.
The Hot Rod driver meet-and-greets and fan fest take place at New York-New York in advance of three days of dragster racing this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Mello Yello drag-racing drivers Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Erica Stevens, Greg Anderson and Jason Line preview the racing at The Palm in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
And rapper and producer Nelly hosts and performs at Haze in Aria.
Our weekly rundown of entertainment highlights covers everything you need to know for the weekend, plus, updated news for the 2013 Academy of Country Music events and Michael’s celebrity golf benefit.
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.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.