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December 20, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Victor Drai, Britney Spears, Jon Secada and Olivia Newton-John

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Singer-songwriter and Chippendales guest star Jon Secada with his publicist Michael Caprio at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Final ‘Peepshow’ at Planet Hollywood

Cheaza, Coco Austin, Josh Strickland and Nick Kenkel after the final performance of Launch slideshow »

It’s a fully loaded Santa bag, but instead of holiday gifts, we’ve got Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors galore:

Still no official confirmation about my story Wednesday of Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jon Secada’s new show at Encore Theater in the Wynn, but now I can reveal that two Strip beauties have been added to his cast. My spies tell me that former “Peepshow Diva” Cheaza, who now has her own new recording career, will sing with him.

I’ve also learned that Texas-born beauty and four-year resident Savannah Smith, who is currently the vocal captain and featured in “Vegas! The Show” at Saxe Theater in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, also will join Jon. Savannah graduated from UNLV with her master’s in performance in May.

Jon, who was a one-night guest-host performer at Chippendales in the Rio, arrives here Dec. 9 to start rehearsals for an anticipated January or February opening date.

NIGHTLIFE ROYALS: While checking rumors that nightlife czar Victor Drai would run a new nightclub in the Britney Spears theater at Planet Hollywood after the pop princess ended her “Piece of Me” shows, I learned that’s not quite the case. However, Victor will run the nightclub-themed lounge portion of the auditorium with bottle service and beautiful model servers to the 40 VIP booths on its dance floor.

But once the curtain comes down, nightclub revelers will move out and be head of the line at his regular clubs in Bally’s and then relocated to the new boutique hotel formerly known as Gansevoort. I’m betting any day now that we’ll hear the entire venue will be known as Drai’s, with him occupying the basement after-hours and the rooftop pool and nightclub floors, with celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis’ restaurant in between.

I’m also reliably told by entertainment chiefs there that offers are out to two other major music stars to perform mini-residency shows at the theater when Britney is away. Her two-year contract calls for 100 shows a year, so the two newcomers would rotate much the same as Celine, Shania, Rod and Sir Elton across the street at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace.

Flo Rida

FLO RIDA’S NEW VIDEO: Rap superstar Flo Rida is the first of a number of recording artists to line up video shoots at Planet Hollywood. Here’s his new release “How I Feel” on YouTube.

SPINOFF: All this new excitement at Planet Hollywood may well have something to do with the fact that this week, owner Caesars Entertainment spun the hotel-casino off into a new, separate $1.2 billion venture to be known as Caesars Growth Partners. Added into the new company were its World Series of Poker and regulated, online, real-money gaming businesses ( Slotomania and Bingo Blitz) in Caesars Interactive, along with its Horseshoe Baltimore casino project.

The end result of this is that Caesars will own 57.6 percent of growth, and the other 42.4 percent will be owned by Caesars Acquisition Company. CEO Gary Loveman’s official comment: “The transaction is an important step in our ongoing efforts to improve the company’s balance sheet and position ourselves to make strategic investments.” Private bankers Apollo and TPG burdened Caesars with more than $20 billion in debt after the 2008 leveraged buyout.

OLIVIA’S PLANS: There’s no official confirmation yet of my other exclusive this week about Olivia Newton-John resuming talks to headline at the Flamingo when Donny & Marie Osmond are on tour in 2014. I’m reliably told the contract signing is now a formality when the siblings set those away dates before year’s end and Olivia’s first shows could start in March.

Christmas tree

BIGGEST TREE: When Bellagio unveils its holiday display Dec. 6, the centerpiece will be the largest indoor tree in the valley standing 45 feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds. Andres Garcia, executive director of horticulture at the hotel’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, flew to Mount Shasta in California to select it.

REAL V. REEL LIFE: If the onscreen blackjack dealer in the Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro film “Last Vegas” looks familiar, that’s because it is real-life Aria dealer Lisa Young. Director Jon Turtletaub thought she was perfect for the role and hired her while playing 21.

Most of the other extras appearing in the film were actors in tailored Aria uniforms, but some Aria employees can be seen in the backgrounds. Nervous Lisa remembered her lines after Robert and co-star Morgan Freeman calmed her down with memory tips!

BIER GARTEN: An authentic German beer garden, to be known as Bier Garten, will open Downtown in December in front of the Plaza , making Oktoberfest a year-round festivity. The grassy garden comes complete with picnic and ping-pong tables facing Fremont Street. Six signature wurst sausages — including one with bacon strips, cream cheese and a fried egg! — will be served with more than 50 German beers impossible to spell or pronounce correctly.

Arrivals for Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year

Honoree Caetano Veloso arrives for the 2012 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute dinner and concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14 , 2012. Launch slideshow »

TONIGHT’S TIPS

The Latin Grammy Awards are at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Boxing legend and Las Vegas resident Mike Tyson hosts a book signing for his “Undisputed Truth” at Barnes & Noble.

Comedian Andrew Dice Clay begins a four-day run at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.

“Fashion Police” stylist George Kotsiopoulos hosts Fashion Gives Back at Crystals in CityCenter.

Foxes performs her hit song “Clarity” with DJ Scene at Haze in Aria.

It’s a marathon of the first and new “Hunger Games” blockbusters at Galaxy Theaters in Cannery and Green Valley Town Center.

DJ Nervo is at Hakkasan at MGM Grand.

DJ Five is at Tao in the Venetian.

And DJ Dave Fogg is at Tryst in Wynn.

Tara Reid, Aoki, Nervo and R3hab at Wet Republic

Steve Aoki at Wet Republic in MGM Grand on Friday, June 21, 2013. Launch slideshow »

TOMORROW’S TEASE

It’s 50 years this weekend to the very night I arrived in Manhattan onboard the Queen Mary as an immigrant from Britain with only $135 in my pocket . I didn’t know anybody, and I didn’t have a job. What a ride it has gone on to be!

From The Daily News in New York to The Star to CNN, “Entertainment Tonight,” “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and the Food Network, there have been marvelous, life-changing experiences. I am so grateful that I live in America, the land of opportunity and the land of the free. I am so thankful I have lived the last 14 years in Las Vegas with great friends and the opportunity to do wonderful things for the charities in the Las Vegas Valley.

We’ll take a brief look at the journey and preview the weekend entertainment scene with Drake, Ringo Starr, Michael Buble and the closed-circuit, direct broadcast of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight from Macau.

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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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