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Showgirls vs. supermodels: Will Vegas shake up the next ‘Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit issue?

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So fierce: Jennifer Romas of iCandy Burlesque might not be a full-time model, but we’d like to see her in a bikini.
Tom Donoghue

If the world really is ending in December, Robin Leach knows about it. The venerable entertainment journalist knows about everything before everyone else, including last week’s jaw-dropper on his website Vegas DeLuxe: “Our sexiest Strip showgirls will shed their glitter and gowns to model bikinis in a beauty battle against the supermodels in February’s blockbuster Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.”

According to Leach, a green-screen photo shoot already took place with 12 performers from Absinthe, Fantasy, Sirens of TI and iCandy Burlesque. The only ones he named were Absinthe’s Melody Sweets, Fantasy’s Lorena Peril and iCandy’s Jennifer Romas (who tweeted Leach’s post).

When asked about the photo shoot Leach referenced, a representative of SI said no details could be confirmed, as it was part of an advertising package, not the editorial package. So it sounds like the “beauty battle” won’t be an official affair. But the idea is intriguing, especially after the crapstorm over whether 2012 swimsuit issue cover girl Kate Upton (who was criticized for being “chubby” and having “a face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy”) deserved the honor. A similarly absurd debate about whether models or showgirls look hotter wearing mostly sand could drive revenue.

However it’s packaged, it appears Vegas hotness will have some page space. I hope they’re wearing bikinis by Henderson designer Kathleen Bruening, who created Upton’s “barely there” cover suit. If anyone hates on our local pinups, we’ll just invoke Bruening’s succinct response to critics of Upton back in April: “Oh, screw them!”

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