Miss Universe Organization
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 5:03 p.m.
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“Celebrity Apprentice” star and hotel mogul Donald Trump confirmed with NBC this morning that for a second consecutive year, Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic will host the Miss USA Pageant from Planet Hollywood, this year on Sunday, June 3. It’s the fifth year the pageant has called the Strip casino resort home, and the NBC telecast will air in 90 countries.
Last year with Andy, host of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens: Live,” and Giuliana, co-anchor of “E! News,” the 2011 Miss USA Pageant was the top-rated show of the night for all key demographics. As usual, the show produced by Dick Clark Productions features contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia who are judged in swimsuit, evening gown and interview before one contestant is crowned Miss USA. Miss California Alyssa Campanella is the reigning Miss USA.
Said Donald: “Las Vegas is one of the most exciting cities in the world and once again sets the stage for the Miss USA competition. Planet Hollywood has consistently rolled out the red carpet for our contestants, and it is a natural for us to host the pageant there.”
Regional Planet Hollywood President David Hoenemeyer said: “It’s the perfect pairing. This is one of the most exhilarating events of the year.” Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart added: “Not only will we have the hottest show on the Strip the night of June 3, but we are excited to welcome back Andy and Giuliana as hosts. Their charisma and energy are a great fit for us, and it was obvious they had a lot of fun together last year. We are happy to have them back.”
BIRTHDAY COIN: Rick Harrison from the History Channel’s hit “Pawn Stars” got creative for the 71st birthday of his father, Richard “The Old Man” Harrison, blast week and came up with a special present to commemorate the occasion. He and the store staff created a handcrafted, limited-edition silver medallion embossed with “The Old Man’s” face, and it is available now for purchase exclusively at Gold & Silver Pawn.
The medallion was commissioned with Sunshine Minting Inc. based in Idaho but struck at their operation in Henderson. Sunshine Minting is the world’s largest manufacturer of silver and gold for bullion, and their products can be found at the pawnshop. The first mintage is limited to 1,000 pieces at $60 each.
OFF-TRACK RACERS: Today marks the start of the third round of the five-race 2012 SCORE desert, off-track race series with the 26th annual San Felipe 250 alongside the Sea of Cortez 120 miles south of the border in Mexico, and Las Vegas drivers are battling one other in the challenge that’s attracted 250 entries from across America and as far away as Germany and Finland.
All drivers have an 11-hour time limit to complete the rugged and dangerous 248-mile course. The top Las Vegas drivers are MGM chief Bobby Baldwin, son B.J. Baldwin, Tim and Troy Herbst and Rob MacCachren.
QUICK NOTES: I’m reliably told that Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin has decided that “The Sirens of T.I.” is staying put and that he has abandoned dropping the free shows. The Beach Boys have reunited for a global 50th anniversary tour, and Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks will tour together for the first time in more than two decades. The 40-plus city tour, which begins in April, hits Red Rock Amphitheater at Red Rock Resort on Sunday, May 27.
Emmy Award-winning comedian Louie Anderson is inviting all U.S. military members to attend his Palace Station show for free through the end of this month. All active military members with a valid military ID card get four free tickets, plus a “Beach Party” appetizer platter at the hotel’s Cabo Mexican Restaurant. Comedian Wheels Parise is juggling two reality TV shows while headlining at the new Kings Comedy Club in the Rio -- one on his catering company in L.A. called The Cannoli Kings and the other with Riviera resident funnyman Andrew Dice Clay, who he toured with as his opening act for 23 years before going solo.
STAR SURVEILLANCE: Sean “Diddy” Combs, wearing the Muhammad Ali T-shirt from Ali’s 70th birthday celebration at MGM Grand Garden Arena last month, was with on-again-off-again-on-again girlfriend R&B singer Cassandra Ventura, aka Cassie, on a shopping spree in Paris (the French capital, not the Strip casino) during Fashion Week. NASCAR driver Elliot Sadler, who this past weekend earned his first Nationwide win in 14 years at Phoenix International Raceway, celebrated with friends at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore on Wednesday night. TV personality and fashion guru Carson Kressley dined at Sushi Roku in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace before attending nearby “Absinthe.”
Vienna Girardi of “The Bachelor” dined with girlfriends at Tao in the Venetian and then Lavo in the Palazzo the next evening. Singer-songwriter Skylar Grey also dined at Tao and Lao celebrating her new record release and a belated 26th birthday. EDM artists Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano were at Tao, while singer Omarion was at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan to check out DJ Erick Morillo’s spin session. Racecar driver Tony Stewart was tables away from Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice.
TODAY’S NASCAR EVENTS: More than 50 of the 18-wheeler NASCAR haulers will parade along the Strip from the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign to the former Sahara before winding up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Drivers and fans take part in the Kyle Busch Foundation slot tournament at the Riviera. And please check out our Royal Robin Rundown of NASCAR driver appearances for photos and autographs with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski, who is tipped to win the Sam’s Town 300 on Saturday at 3 to 1 odds.
Off the track, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas at the Venetian is offering a discount for NASCAR fans attending the races. People who show their NASCAR ticket stub at Madame Tussauds’ box office receive $10 off a general admission ticket, and the offer is good through Sunday. Madame Tussauds includes wax figures of Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeff Gordon and Paul Newman.
The new TopShop/TopMan boutiques open at Fashion Show. Rodney Carrington starts a seven-night comedy run at Hollywood Theater in MGM Grand. Andrew Dice Clay is at the Riviera through the weekend. And Plug in Stereo, Every Avenue, Audition and Simple as Surgery are at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
We’ll have our Weekend Celebrity Preview of the stars at work and play in the Entertainment Capital of the World.
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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