Monday, May 18, 2009 | 7:56 a.m.
*Check out this story with accompanying photos and a photo gallery at VegasDeLuxe.com.*
Blonde Playboy beauty Holly Madison is on cloud nine now that she’s signed the contracts to take over for Kelly Monaco in the Planet Hollywood adult cabaret Peepshow on June 22. On a break from dance rehearsals over the weekend in Hollywood for her return to the final shows of Season 8’s Dancing With the Stars, she told me, “I’d always wanted to do a burlesque show in Las Vegas, so this really is a dream come true of becoming a showgirl.
“This coming week, I’m going to do the promo photo shoot and then finish the costume fittings. Rehearsals start early June, and I’ll be watching the show almost every night to get it all down just right. I’ve only seen it twice so far! It’s real. It’s happened. It was so exciting when I signed the papers, and now the dream has become a reality -- and in the hottest new show on the Strip to boot!
“I’ll be in the gym at Planet Hollywood every morning now. I have to do a million sit-ups to get fit and in perfect shape for it. I will try to be in the best shape of my entire life for this.”
Holly also revealed that she’ll be making Las Vegas her permanent home as of this coming week and meeting Peepshow co-star Mel B for the first time. “She is an incredible performer and so talented, with the most awesome body,” Holly said. She’ll move into Planet Hollywood for the show and the rehearsals and then eventually find a home here.
Holly added: “I love Vegas and want to make it my home. I want to be a local, and when I get back there on Tuesday night, I officially become one! I never really felt at home in Los Angeles, but I do in Las Vegas. It’s funny because I never moved into my new apartment in Santa Monica after I left The Playboy Mansion. My entire life changed so drastically in such a few weeks. It was all very fast. I was very lucky because I became a last-minute replacement on Dancing With the Stars, and I didn’t have time to complete the move.
“I told you I was practically living out of my car and wanted to sleep at the studio. I’d wanted to be on Dancing With the Stars since seeing the very first show, and once I was signed for it, I became immersed in it. The great thing is that the show really helped me for Peepshow. I had all the dance moves and the workouts and rehearsals to use for the Peepshow audition.
“Remember I hadn’t really danced since high school, so it was a great exercise, even though I hurt my rib practicing for the samba! It flared up again this weekend with the rehearsals for Tuesday night, but I will work through it. Nothing is going to stop me for that, and I’ll be perfectly fit for the Peepshow rehearsals. Plus, no samba, the most difficult dance of all!”
Holly, who has the same 90-day guest rotating role contract as Kelly, confirmed for me that she’s already started her costume fittings: “Yes, you’re going to see me in lingerie and underwear with a bra and a corset. I have no problems at all with that. In a sense, the lead character of Bo Peep is me, the story of a shy girl who blossomed into a woman. We have to reshoot the opening video for the show, and then I can’t wait to fall down from the ceiling in the silks for the live opening. That’s going to be an adventure every night coming down from the roof!”
I asked Holly if she would be nervous about that stunt or about prancing around in her sexy next-to-nothing underwear. “I’ll probably be a little nervous, but Dancing With the Stars was far more nerve-wracking. Not only did I have to dance in front of a live studio audience each week, but also you think of a 22-million TV audience out there waiting for any little slip. Dancing With the Stars has certainly helped me prepare for that. But panties and pasties are like a snowsuit for me, so I have no problems stripping down to that. Even in the scene near the end of the show with the hunk in the bath, I will be happy to get in the tub. It is charged and exciting, and I’m all for that.”
The $64 million question hangs over the conversation: Will she go truly topless? Holly didn’t blink: “That decision will be made later. We’re still discussing it. I’m comfortable either way. You’ll just have to be there on opening night to see for yourself. I’m just really excited about it all, so we’ll do what’s best for the show.”
Peepshow is one of three projects Holly has on her plate this summer. She’s planning the filming of a new reality TV series to be shot here in Las Vegas. “It will be fun to shoot. It will be a docu-drama about girls being out on their own trying to make it. Not too far afield from The Girls Next Door, but different.”
She also has to wrap up her 2010 calendar, and she’s already taken shots at the Neon Graveyard and in Planet Hollywood, where she duplicated a Sharon Stone scene from Casino. “That was very hot, very sexy, and I felt I was in a parade as everybody stopped to watch me throwing the chips up in the air,” she said. “But my favorite is the shot for October. It’s Halloween themed, and I’m doing my impression of Pamela Anderson complete with that red swimsuit!”
Holly confirmed that my first Vegas DeLuxe reports last Nov. 17 and 24 that she had been offered other Strip shows were right on target. “I am glad I waited. Peepshow is the best fit, and it is the hottest new show and so well received, and everybody in it is so talented. It’s exactly where I wanted to be. I wanted to do this show ever since I first heard about it back then. You had it from the get-go.”
I asked Holly what with the busy summer ahead of her, if she had time for a new romance now that everything has ended with Hugh Hefner and Criss Angel. She told me: “I don’t have anybody at the moment. I’m not really looking, and I’m certainly not going to have time for quite a while. I hope they both come to see the show, though. There are no hard feelings. It was time for me to go off on my own and find my career and start the climb upward. However, I still do hope that one day I’ll get married and have kids. That will probably be when I’m old now!”
Meantime, here’s a sneak peek of Peepshow’s nightly ritual backstage that Mel B leads her dance cast through, and as of June 22 exactly what Holly will join in each evening -- click HERE for that.
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. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.