It was back in March 2003 when international singing star Celine Dion officially opened The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and now the official 5 millionth guest has just made it into the record books.
When Jason Hernandez turned up at the box office with his friend for Cher’s show, much to his surprise and excitement, he was promptly upgraded to front row seats and an invitation from Cher herself to meet backstage for the commemorative photo and presentation!
*If you missed Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s live interview with ABC News on NASA TV from outer space at 7:10 a.m. today, tune in at the same time tomorrow for the official NASA press conference and again on Wednesday at 8 a.m. with Fox News for 20 minutes. The change of command will be broadcast live at noon our time Friday before Guy says his farewell during the hatch closure for his return journey starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The undocking should be telecast at 6:05 p.m., and the de-orbit burn is set for 8:36 p.m., with his safe return and landing in Kazakhstan at 9:28 p.m. The casts of all six of his shows here on the Strip are glued to TV sets and computer screens for the transmissions back to Earth!
*If you are an Amazing Race fan who is following the new Season 15 on CBS, you’ll know last night that the spotlight was on 2004 Miss America Ericka Dunlap and her husband, Brian Kleinschmidt, who continued their competition challenges. Ericka is here every January at Planet Hollywood for the Miss America Pageant and has already confirmed that she’ll return here on Jan. 29 for our Dinner of Dreams that I’ll emcee and the TLC live pageant broadcast on Jan. 30. Click HERE for Ericka and Brian’s emotional first-week win.
*Congratulations to Miss USA Kristen Dalton, who won $15,000 for Nevada Cancer Institute as a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader? during celebrity week shows. Kristen won her crown during the NBC telecast of the Miss USA Pageant held last spring here at Planet Hollywood.
*There’s buzz on the gossip grapevine that Janet Jackson and hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupri have reconciled. I haven’t been able to confirm it, and there have been no sightings of the two together here in Las Vegas yet. But the rampant rumors of reunion are racing royally! Her brother Jermaine Jackson spilled the beans while in London that the Las Vegas deejay regular wanted to give Janet space while she was dealing with brother Michael Jackson’s death.
*The nightlife rumors I reported here were totally incorrect. They were only rumors, and I’m happy to set the record straight about Pure and LAX. I don’t like bad information any more than you do, so apologies to all concerned. Here now are the facts from Pure Management Group: “This New Year’s Eve will mark Pure’s fifth anniversary as the original mega club in Las Vegas. After five years, Pure remains at the forefront in the highly competitive and constantly evolving Vegas nightlife scene. Pure Management Group works diligently to keep its venues in the best possible condition in order to provide its guests with the best possible nightlife experience. Pure and LAX will not be closing in the New Year for remodeling or updates. In fact, 2010 will be an exciting time as each venue will welcome top musical acts and celebrities, as well as the hottest promotions in the industry.” Lavo denied the rumors last week.
*It’s now official that DJ Z-Trip and his Revolution shows will be the new resident expert twisting the turntables at Rain in the Palms as of Oct. 16. He takes over after the tragic loss and death of DJ AM, aka Adam Goldstein. “We are excited to have DJ Z-Trip as our new resident in Rain Nightclub,” said Michael Morton, N9NE Group managing member. “Z-Trip has earned his recent title America’s Best DJ for 2009. His track record of critically acclaimed sold-out shows, which have smashed attendance records, will further expand the massive following of music fans from all over the world who come to Las Vegas for stellar music and entertainment.” Said Z-Trip: “I’m honored to call Rain Nightclub my new home. N9NE Group shares the progressive vision that artists like myself need in order to push the envelope. Las Vegas is now a global music destination; it’s only right that we join forces and make it happen.” Z-Trip’s Revolution will feature artwork by Shepard Fairey.
*A huge number of Criss Angel fans have been emailing and tweeting to ask what I’m planning to do to mark the first anniversary of Believe at the Luxor. I can tell you the inside word is that Cirque du Soleil’s “fixation” process is moving along slowly but surely and when completed sometime in November and December will feature many new illusions. Since those will be major changes, let’s give Criss, the cast and crew a little time to smooth it all out, and then we’ll return to see it completely “fixed” -- as they say en Francais -- and we’ll provide you with a full photo report and the first anniversary celebration feature.
It was a girlfriend getaway for actress Renee Zellweger when she toured Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor. The Oscar winner closely examined the artifacts and read passenger stories, even stopping to ask questions and talk with an artifact specialist. When she reached The Grand Staircase, Renee gave her cell phone to a staff member to take video of a friend and her re-creating Jack and Rose’s scene from James Cameron’s Titanic. My spywitnesses told me that the friends held hands and giggled as they walked down the stairs together. “It was amazing to watch her let her guard down and be a normal person,” said a staff member. Renee also visited the nearby Bodies … The Exhibition, but word had spread and she was quickly mobbed by fans. She signed a few autographs before leaving.
*Partying at Jet in The Mirage were Vanessa Minnillo and her Face of Vegas co-host Carson Kressley, plus music stars Matt Sorum and his Darling Stilettos. Click HERE and click HERE for our weekend coverage of the Slash & Friends concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Mirage. … Jon Lovitz dined at Nove Italiano in the Palms, enjoying the signature Crudo and chicken pesto pizza, then sharing the 24-ounce rib eye and Sunday gravy with two friends. … Several of the X Burlesque showgirls were at dinner with their producers Angela and Matt Stabile and psychic Gary Spivey at Steakhouse 46 in the Flamingo. Gary recently appeared at Hooters Casino and plans to return this month. … UFC star Wanderlei Silva fulfilled his need for speed at Pole Position Raceway. … Kylie Minogue enjoyed a deep tissue massage at Drift Spa in George Maloof’s Palms Place. … Luke Goss attended his brother Matt Goss’ show at the Gossy Room in the Palms for the first time over the weekend -- and loved it!
The world’s largest helium balloon takes flight high above the Strip on its first day soaring to Cloud Nine. Visible for miles away, the 11-story behemoth is based opposite Mandalay Bay and takes 30 passengers a time 500 feet in the air for the 10-minute standard flight. … Drew Gehling makes his premiere in the role of Bob Gaudio tonight in Jersey Boys at the Palazzo. … Comedians Kathleen Dunbar, Stanley Ullman and DeLai are at the Riviera Comedy Club through Sunday. … And comedians Jon Dore, Al Romas and Ruben Paul are at the Sahara Comedy Club for a week run.
We’ll have extraordinary photo galleries and coverage of Journey at The M Resort and a one-on-one interview with the grandfather of the tattoo industry, Mario Barth, with rocker Tommy Lee at the Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth, plus our Las Vegas star chefs add pizzazz to Wolfgang Puck’s Food & Wine Festival weekend in Los Angeles.
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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