Monday, March 11, 2013 | 2:08 p.m.
For a few seconds, there was gnashing of teeth, plus, tears and sadness when real-estate mogul Donald Trump on Sunday night’s episode of “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” fired Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette.
But then the NBC host yanked his trademark flyaway hair and said he was “only joking.” Penn remained safe on the show, while rocker Dee Snider of Twisted Sister got the axe.
The Donald said Penn’s dismissal was just a “fake firing” on his part, and Las Vegas breathed a sigh of relief, especially the good folks at Opportunity Village, for whom Penn is playing to raise funds.
Sunday night’s episode took place at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., after the multimillionaire flew Penn and the entire cast there on his private jet. The two teams had to develop an interactive photo experience for the amusement park.
Team Power led by Omarosa won, and as manager she donated the $20,000 in honor of her late fiance Michael Clarke Duncan, who died in September. Dennis Rodman on camera blasted her teary win as “ambitious acting.”
Penn played on Team Plan B led by Dee, who went home after viewers were tricked into believing that Penn was exiting once the group nixed his 3D cutout-characters idea.
Next Sunday, Penn performs in a soap opera scene for Crystal Light. Daytime legends Susan Lucci and Jack Wagner help out in “I’m Being Punked by a Jackson,” which produces dramatic head-to-head outbursts and scream fests.
Arsenio Hall and Ivanka Trump join The Donald as boardroom advisers as to who goes and who stays.
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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Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.