Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 | 5:56 p.m.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Las Vegas has lost the Miss America Pageant, but the 100 contestants from 20 countries in the Tropic Beauty Model World Finals are happy to call Las Vegas home. Over the next four days, they’ll be rocking out with a $1 million blackjack tournament, 2014 calendar shoots, a bikini poolside party and a fashion show at MGM Grand.
On Tuesday night after arriving at MGM, the models watched the late show of “Zarkana” by Cirque du Soleil at Aria. The third-annual world finals kick off tonight with a welcome party.
The judges’ first meeting with the contestants in their home country costumes is Thursday. Friday is the lobby fashion show and bikini preliminary judging. The world finals take place Saturday after the finals of the blackjack tournament and a poolside party.
PAGEANT CROWNS: When the Nevada Princess Pageant was held at Suncoast, the Little Miss division attracted proud moms with their girls ages 4 to 6. The next division for Young Miss was 7 to 9, Pre-Teen 10 to 12. The Teen division was 13 to 16, and all wore evening gowns and were interviewed by judges. Then eight of our state’s lovely married women battled for Mrs. Nevada America. They were judged in evening gown, swimsuit, overall beauty and a four-minute interview with each judge.
Miss Red Rock Ruth Gray won Mrs. Nevada America and will go on to compete in the Mrs. America Pageant in Tucson, Ariz., in August. Ruth, a former Palms model with her twin sister, is married to Caesars Entertainment Linq executive Jon Gray. The kid winners were Alexa Gould as Little Miss, Gabby Andrade for Teen, Kendall Bear for Young Miss and Dani Lyons for Pre-Teen.
CELINE’S RETURN: There was no sign of the flu or the sinusitis when superstar Celine Dion returned to Caesars Palace on Tuesday night to start the final run of concerts ending the second year of her three-year contract. I have already reported that she will be renewing through a fifth year.
Audience eyewitnesses told me, “Celine’s return went well. She looked and sounded beautiful, and the sell-out crowd was enthusiastic.” Among the fans: Bob Harper, celebrity trainer and star of NBC’s hit “The Biggest Loser.” His group and he met Celine in her dressing room before the show.
TV AWARD: Congratulations to Flamingo comedy headliner George Wallace, who will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Soul Train Awards Comedy All-Stars show airing Saturday on BET. The special hosted by Bill Bellamy and Anthony Anderson honors George for his nearly four decades in comedy.
REMODELING: The Five-Diamond Bellagio has completed its $450 million remodel of all 928 rooms and suites in its Spa Tower. Three executive parlor suites have been added, each featuring a billiards lounge and high-tech, home-theater living area.
MAGIC COVER: The new Vegas Magazine features funny man Steve Carell, who is starring in the upcoming film “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” about the high-stakes world of Strip magicians.
In the candid interview, he opens up about being called a “nice guy” and how he spent his free time while filming in Las Vegas with Steve Buscemi.
On tweeting: “The next person who calls me a ‘nice guy’ is going to get punched in the face. I sometimes joke that I need to be mean or have some bad press about me, be edgier. Honestly, you just are who you are. What’s ironic is that I’m not really that nice. I’m sort of an average level of nice. Tom Hanks makes me look like a complete asshole.”
CeeLo Green was at Strip House in Planet Hollywood on back-to-back nights enjoying its newly launched CeeLo drink, a $13 concoction dubbed the Naughty Strawberry. It’s a mixture of CeeLo’s Ty Ku Citrus Liqueur, muddled strawberries and lemonade with a splash of Ty Ku Soju and strawberry garnish.
“Gigolos” stud Vin Armani was with two female friends at Social House in Crystals.
The Jabbawockeez created a special performance for “Live With Kelly & Michael” on ABC. The dance troupe opens a production at Luxor this spring.
Chef Michael Mina went all-out English at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars enjoying Yorkshire ale batter fish and English chips, the “Little Piggy” deviled eggs and Gordon’s own Scotch eggs. Michael also took a tour of the kitchen.
CeeLo opens his show “CeeLo Is Loberace” at Planet Hollywood.
Harrah’s headliner magician Mac King kicks off his Literacy Tour for Nevada Reading Week.
DJ Calvin Harris is back behind the wheels of steel at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Ken Rogerson is the comedy headliner at Palace Station.
The Devil Wears Prada, The Color Morale and As I Lay Dying are at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
And Team Nightlife throws the grand opening to the hospitality industry of Heraea at Palms.
“Pin Up” beauty Clair Sinclair went from chasing dollars from tourists dressed as Belle from “Beauty & the Beast” on Hollywood Boulevard to posing topless for Playboy and “Crazy Horse Paris” here. Now she’s about to star in her own cabaret show. Plus, photos from the first-night Tropic Beauty judging, and Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling reveals upcoming attractions at his casino resort.
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.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.