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November 27, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Ryan Lochte vs. Shaq; Mario Batali restaurant delayed; Miss America voting

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Jeremy Womack/Womack Photography

Ryan Lochte at Azure Luxury Pool in the Palazzo on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.

Ryan Lochte Parties at Tao Beach

Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte celebrates at Tao Beach in the Venetian on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

Launch slideshow »

It’s Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors galore today.

Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte has challenged NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal to a contest at Azure Luxury Pool at Palazzo, where both are hosting parties this weekend — Ryan on Saturday and Shaq on Sunday.

Birthday boy Ryan says he’ll swim the pool with his arms tied behind him and still beat Shaq. The two athletes exchanged tweets Wednesday trying to work it out, but no word yet that Shaq has agreed. Palazzo execs are quickly trying to create a gold prize for the winner if it happens.

Don’t hold your breath hoping the US Magazine report is true that Holly Madison will return to the Las Vegas stage this fall or winter. Yes, she’s been in discussions with producers, but I’ve learned that they are “very, very preliminary and far too early to be discussing dates or venues.”

Construction delays have wrecked hopes by celebrity chef Mario Batali to complete the 100-day renovation o Rattlecan at the Venetian to open his B&B Burger this month. I’m hearing that work crews have said they’ll finish construction Nov. 5, and the restaurant can open shortly afterward.

The singing cabaret experiment by Zowie Bowie star Chris Phillips at Heraea in the Palms has paid off, and I can reveal that he’ll launch “Zowie Bowie’s Playground” as a Saturday engagement starting Aug. 24.

Chris continues with Friday shows at Red Rock Resort and in September starts Thursday shows on Fremont Street. His finale “Late Night Las Vegas” wraps tonight with a sendoff with Gordie Brown, Frankie Scinta, “Jersey Boys” stars and other midnight minstrels after work. Watch for the Palms marketing campaign with Chris pushing his backup singers in playground swings.

2013 Miss Nevada Diana Sweeny

Miss America Pageant officials have decided to bring back the viewer-voting element for the pageant Sept. 15 in Atlantic City. The voting segment began when Miss America relocated to Planet Hollywood but was dropped last year. The votes name one contestant as America’s Choice and guarantee her spot in the Top 15. All 53 hopefuls’ videos go live today. Here is 2013 Miss Nevada Diana Sweeny.

Paris officials are planning a big welcome celebration when the 10 millionth visitor takes the elevator up to the 460-foot viewing platform of its Eiffel Tower Experience. They expect the lucky guest early fall based on ticket sales, and whoever it is wins a luxury seven-day trip for two to the Eiffel Tower built in 1889 in the French capital.

I’ve never forgotten watching Robbie Madison’s amazing 2008 New Year’s Eve jump over the Arc de Triomphe replica with the half-sized Eiffel Tower as the background. The admission counter indicates that they are less than 50,000 visitors away.

Robbie Madison

QUICK TAKES

Expect fan frenzy when “Twilight” hunk Kellan Lutz attends next week’s MAGIC convention at Mandalay Bay to preview his pre-Spring 2014 men’s and women’s Abbot + Main fashion line.

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs will be pouring champagne at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace beauty boutique Monday after the launch of his cosmetics line with more than 120 products.

National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photos exhibition at the Venetian has been extended through Jan. 13. Curator Tom Zaller’s guest column was posted July. 17.

This year’s dates for Nevada Ballet Theater’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker” have been set for Dec. 14-22, and the collaboration between NBT and Cirque du Soleil choreographers and performers is set for two weekend dates, Oct. 6 and 13, at Treasure Island’s Mystere Theater.

Professionals and contestants on next Tuesday’s “So You Think You Can Dance” on Fox will perform a routine to the Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls of Fire” number from “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s.

Hotel mogul Steve Wynn has put a collection of basketball memorabilia on display through the end of October. It includes Team USA Olympic gold medals from Beijing (2008) and London (2012), autographed basketballs from the 2012 and 2013 teams, playing shoes from Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, plus, Steve’s own framed FIBA championship photo of him with the 2007 team and ex-wife Elaine Wynn with Kobe and 2007 coach Mike Krzyzewski.

STAR SURVEILLANCE

Vintage Trouble vocalist Ty Taylor and “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere star Claire Sinclair watched “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian and posed for photographs with the cast.

Friends for Life Humane Society Benefit

Murray Sawchuck, Rick Harrison, Chloe Crawford and Gallagher arrive at the Friends for Life Humane Society benefit at Tropicana on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Friends for Life at Tropicana/Richard Corey

Tropicana headliner magician Murray Sawchuck and his “Fantasy” at the Luxor dancer wife Chloe Crawford hosted the Friends for Life Human Society benefit at Tropicana on Wednesday. Red-carpet guests included Chris Phillips, newlywed Rick Harrison (“Pawn Stars”), Gallagher, Paul Shortino and cast members of “Fantasy,” “Rock of Ages” and “The D* Word.”

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Project Ethos, a runway show with emerging Las Vegas designers, artists and musicians, is unveiled at 1OAK at the Mirage and sponsored byScion. Fly Panda performs after the fashion show, which includes “America’s Next Top Model” Season 19 runner-up Kiara Belen.

The Magic Live magicians convention wrapped Wednesday night, but illusionist and masked man Jeff McBride has a full lineup at his monthly Wonderground show in Green Valley with Bizzaro, Michael Trixx, Mr. Right, Rudy Coby and Xavier Mortimer, with four shows from 8 p.m. to midnight.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

It’s the weekend that the underwear pages of Victoria’s Secret come to life at Midsummer Lingerie Carnival at the Palms. The guys wear pajamas, and the girls wear the least they can accented in lacy frills, garters and stockings. Plus, our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview with Robin Thicke, Jason Derulo, Lyle Lovett and more.

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.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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