Monday, April 29, 2013 | 6 p.m.
It’s a milestone achievement for Celine Dion when her 25th studio album is released in October: It’s her first English studio album since “Taking Chances” in 2007. The Caesars Palace superstar headliner has recorded several of the tracks, including a duet with hometown hero and R&B singer Ne-Yo, here at Studio at the Palms.
At her home in Jupiter, Fla., Celine also recorded with producer E.G. White, who had incredible success with Adele’s album “19.” Here’s a look at her new album “Water and a Flame” with a soulful love song and its bitter edge.
Meantime, last week’s interview with Katie Couric here has triggered global headlines with her revelations that she owns more than 3,000 pairs of shoes and that her 2-year-old son Nelson has been raiding the closet to wear them. “He looks better in heels than me!” Celine joked to Katie. “I don’t know how he does it, but I’m not the only one in the family who loves shoes, believe me.”
PENN REMAINS SAFE: It’s dwindling down to a precious few on Donald Trump’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC. Our Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette remained safe Sunday night with teammate actress Lisa Rinna, but their team leader actor Gary Busey imploded and was fired by The Donald.
For some inexplicable reason, Gary decided to act out the role of a barking mechanical dog for a 90-second TV commercial of LG’s new home interactive technology units. Team Power with Lil Jon, who spins at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore tonight, singer Trace Adkins and actress Marilu Henner won the $40,000 prize for charity. It now means we are down to five celebrities.
Penn so far has won $80,000 playing for our beloved charity Opportunity Village and hopes to win more before the season ends. Next Sunday, with only three episodes remaining, John Rich returns as Donald’s boardroom adviser when the teams must design a themed resort suite.
PARIS ROMANCE: Paris Hilton’s romance with Italian model boyfriend River Viiperi continues, and the happy, romantic couple spent a honeymoon-styled weekend here after returning together from her new handbag and perfume store opening in Colombia. The heiress telephoned hair guru Michael Boychuck, who summoned his hair and makeup experts Mandi Scarselletta and Diane Buzzetta from his salon at Life Spa in Summerlin’s Lifetime Athletic.
They ensured that she looked sensational for the red carpet at the opening of Hakkasan Las Vegas at MGM Grand on Saturday night, where she received the five-level tour. Paris and River, who stayed in a SkyLoft suite in the Signature Tower at MGM, caught up with pal Jeff Beacher, who is opening his “Madhouse Club” there over Labor Day Weekend. He took them to Marquee in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for DJ Avicii’s set.
EDC SELLOUT: Tickets for the 17th Annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from June 21-23 are sold out, and that means 345,000 fans will be rocking Las Vegas. “Our fans, who are our headliners, have for the first time allowed Electric Daisy Carnival to sell out sooner than ever before in advance of our journey to the Speedway,” said Pasquale Rotella, Holly Madison’s baby daddy and CEO and founder of Insomniac, which produces EDC. “We’re working hard to deliver an unforgettable experience. To those who were unable to purchase tickets, I urge you to join us in Las Vegas and experience all of the parties and events we have in store.”
DONNY’S 50TH: It’s difficult to believe that Donny Osmond will be celebrating his 50th year in showbiz this winter. When I ran into him at Hakkasan opening-weekend celebrations, he told me that to mark the milestone, he’s at work on an Ed Sullivan-type show to be filmed here. Also difficult to believe that Donny still looks as young as he does because when he introduced me to his son, I couldn’t catch myself from quickly saying, “He looks older than you!” My bad!!!
PALIN’S NEW LOOK? Twitter was abuzz over the weekend after I posted one of the first photos of political powerhouse Sarah Palin as the keynote speaker at the Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Fans and detractors all pointed out that it looked as if she’d undergone cosmetic surgery that accentuated her bust. No comment whatsoever from her office, but the Twitterverse is convinced that there’s been enhancement. The was a large turnout for the event saluting the quarter century of work by the organization serving babies and families here.
PRETTY GIRLS DIRTY JOBS: The new reality TV series “Model Employee” filmed at Mandalay Bay for VH1 premieres May 8, and here’s a look at the models battling to be the face of the hotel in advertising and promotional campaigns for the next 12 months. The models tackle real-life challenges in learning the hotel business, and it really is a case of Pretty Girls in Dirty Jobs.
BURGER BONANZA: From 32 competing Las Vegas restaurants, it’s come down to a final two in the contest for best burger in town. My pal Bill Feather’s View Wine Bar & Kitchen at Tivoli Village in Summerlin has a slight lead over DW Bistro owned by chef Dalton Wilson. Thousands of votes have been cast, and just days remain for the final tally.
May is National Hamburger Month, and chefs from Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurants across the country competed for five winning slots, with each chef creating a signature burger. Las Vegas chef Frank Zmuda from Margaritaville at the Flamingo won with his Ultimate Burger Melt of caramelized onions, fire-roasted tomatoes with parmesan cheese and melted Monterey, jack and cheddar cheeses over the hamburger. It will be showcased May 13-19 at every Margaritaville restaurant in the U.S.
Pianist Lang Lang performs his classical music highlights at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Darrell Joyce and Vanessa Hollingshead headline at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM through Sunday.
Take part in the 5-hour filming of the commercial for the Oct. 26-27 Life Is Beautiful festival shot throughout Fremont East Downtown.
Magnum Mondays at STK in The Cosmopolitan features SKAM DJ Sean Perry.
Senor Frog’s at Treasure Island celebrates its first anniversary.
And it’s the official grand opening of Claire Sinclair’s “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere.
Candid photos of Andy Warhol turn up after missing for 30 years, and they might be headed here. Plus, “Pin Up” coverage and the private Lynyrd Skynyrd concert for our “Pawn Stars.”
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.