Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 | 4:58 p.m.
Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart confirmed today that Bravo personality Andy Cohen and “E! News” star Giuliana Rancic will host the global, two-hour 2012 Miss Universe Pageant to 190 countries from Planet Hollywood on Dec. 19. Based on last year’s ratings, the Donald expects more than 1 billion viewers to watch.
More than 80 contestants will arrive on the Strip on Dec. 2 for the 61st annual Miss Universe Pageant that broadcasts with a simulcast in Spanish on Telemundo. It’s the first time that the Miss Universe telecast has become part of the network’s holiday programming lineup, and that will be a part of the broadcast. The contestants are expected to show how Christmas is celebrated in the country they represent.
“It will be an exciting show for our fans and contestants,” Paula said. “Andy and Giuliana are the perfect duo and the ideal hosts. They have a lot of fun onstage, which in turn makes it a great experience for the audience. “
Andy, who is the host and executive producer of “Watch What Happens Live,” also is the executive VP of development and talent for Bravo who oversees the development and production of more than two dozen shows, including “Top Chef,” “The Real Housewives” franchise and “The Millionaire Matchmaker.”
Giuliana co-hosts “Fashion Police” and is the executive producer/star of her Style Network hit reality TV show “Giuliana & Bill” co-starring husband and “The Apprentice” winner Bill Rancic. She has twice hosted the Miss USA Pageant; this marks the first time she is hosting Miss Universe.
The 80 contestants will spend nearly three weeks participating in activities leading up to the telecast. They will be judged in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola will crown her successor at the conclusion of the two-hour telecast.
In other pageant news, it was confirmed this morning that the Tropic Beauty World Finals will be Feb. 27-March 2 at MGM Grand again, and I’ll repeat my role from last year as a judge.
‘MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET’: “The Million Dollar Quartet,” the re-created, historical, unplanned twist of fate jam session with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis in 1956, won rave reviews with its brief run in June at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Now Harrah’s will present the musical as a residency show starting Feb. 4. Tickets go on sale Friday.
Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll” who was responsible for launching the careers of each superstar, brought the four legendary musicians together at the Sun Records studio storefront in Memphis. The resulting evening became known as one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll jam sessions in history.
That legendary December night comes to life with a tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations that is poignant and funny. Relive the era with “Quartet” featuring a score of rock ’n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country performed onstage.
“It’s one of those shows that gets under your skin and leaves you euphoric,” says producer Gigi Pritzker. “The idea of being a fly on the wall during this moment in music history with these great musical icons is a natural for Las Vegas. After hugely successful runs on Broadway, in Chicago and on tour, we are delighted to have found a wonderful new home at Harrah’s Las Vegas.”
In other musical news:
Actress Sierra Boggess, who was the first Christine Daae in “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian, will reprise her role on Broadway starting in January to celebrate its 25th anniversary. She will give up her current role in London in “Les Miserables” to perform the anniversary shows and then return to the West End.
The tribute show “Legends in Concert” ends its four-year engagement at Harrah’s on Dec. 30, but the cast hopes to announce its new home shortly. “Legends” producer Brian Brigner, CEO of On Stage Entertainment, said: “We are finalizing and will soon announce plans for the next chapter of our enduring success story, as the flagship version of our production selects its new home to celebrate the 30th anniversary in the Entertainment Capital of the World.”
“Evil Dead: The Musical,” a 4-D theatrical experience based on the cult film series, is warning audiences that it will use more blood this Halloween at V Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile. Audiences seated in the Splatter Zone get double the blood during performances Thursday through Nov. 1. Cast members will judge a costume contest at the two Oct. 31 performances, so guests are invited to dress in scary, sexy or off-the-wall costumes. “Evil Dead: the Musical” has added seven late-night weekend shows.
POKER CHARITY: Hot rod drivers and Strip actors will join forces in the 9th annual poker tournament at the Stratosphere on Thursday for Speedway Children’s Charities. Participants include NHRA drivers Shawn Langdon, Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein; poker pro Perry Friedman of Las Vegas, who won the 2002 World Series of Poker; comedian Kevin Burke of “Defending the Caveman” at Harrah’s and his one-man “Mindreading & Mayhem” at Hooters Casino; and actress Dee Dee Jayne and actor husband Eric Post from “Marriage Can Be Murder” at the downtown D Las Vegas. For more details and to register, go to SCCLasVegas.org.
GHOSTLY RECORD: Today is the release date of the album “NecroFusion” from Zak Bagans, the hunky host of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” Las Vegas resident Zak teamed with Praga Khan (Lords of Acid) to put audio messages from spirits and ghosts onto the album. There are 11 tracks of departed souls sending their electronic voice phenomena to Zak’s SB7 Spirit Box. “Spirit communication is the most powerful communication I’ve ever encountered. The earthbound spirits have a lot to say when delivered through music that’s abstract, sinister, illuminating and haunting,” Zak told me.
Inna Vision and Bambu Station are at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
DJ Lema celebrates his birthday at Lavo in the Palazzo.
Sushi Roku in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace celebrates its eighth anniversary.
The Neon Museum celebrates its opening with a lighting ceremony.
And the 2012 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals Fan Zone and Marketplace opens at Mandalay Bay, as we reported in our PBR preview posted today.
It went into the history books as one of the most memorable meals of the decade -- 18 chefs and 18 courses -- and we have an extraordinary photo gallery from inside the kitchen to the VIP tables of the annual Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner at Alize atop the Palms, plus, our preview of the Act at the Palazzo.
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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