Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Amy Purdy on ‘DWTS’; Manny Pacquiao; Floyd Mayweather Jr.; Jordan Belfort

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Adam Taylor / ABC

Bruno Tonioli, Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Las Vegas’ Amy Purdy on ‘DWTS’

Tom Bergeron, Amy Purdy of Las Vegas and Derek Hough on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, May 19, 2014. Launch slideshow »
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Mark Ballas and Amy Purdy compete on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, April 7, 2014.

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NeNe Leakes and Derek Hough compete on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, April 7, 2014.

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The Floyd Mayweather Jr. collection. Or, rather, some of it.

On ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday night, viewers voted on new couples in a switch-up competition.

Las Vegas hero Amy Purdy, who lost her legs to bacterial meningitis and now uses prosthetic limbs from her knees down, lost Derek Hough and was partnered with Mark Ballas.

She won raves for their salsa from judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba, who were joined by Derek’s sister Julianne Hough as a guest judge. That foursome actually went out on the floor to show the competitors how to really shine.

Mark and Amy scored 34 out of 40, while Derek with his new partner, NeNe Leakes, scored 32. Next Monday, Amy and Derek will be reunited, and based on the combination of two weeks of scores, one couple will be eliminated.

‘PAC-MAN’ ARRIVES: On Monday night at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay, I watched boxer Manny Pacquiao’s advance team unload luggage to check in as preparation for his arrival. He’ll turn up at MGM Grand and faces Timothy Bradley in their long-awaited rematch there on Saturday. “Pac-Man” has lost two of his last three bouts, including to Timothy.

The whispered word is that if Manny loses and Floyd Mayweather Jr. wins against Marcos Maidana in four weeks, there could well be a September date for the duo. Did Sept. 13 get penciled into the MGM schedule already for that possible showdown?

Floyd, who said today that he won $75,000 on Monday night betting that Connecticut would win the NCAA championship, throws open his three homes here for me Thursday to film for his upcoming Showtime special. You can be sure I will have him show me his impressive array of diamond-encrusted rings, watches and bracelets he posted on his Instagram on Sunday.

NIGHT RUN: The organizers of the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon have set Nov 14-16 for its return to the Strip. Registration starts today, and there will be grass-roots signup events in 11 cities from L.A. to Liverpool inviting runners to run the racecourse illuminated by the neon lights of the Strip.

NEW BOYBAND: We’ve long followed the amazing career of young Las Vegas singer Elijah J since he played the young Simba in Disney’s “The Lion King” as Elijah Johnson at Mandalay Bay before he grew up to become the lead singer of Kidz Bop. On Monday, he signed on as the new lead singer for the R&B boyband Mindless Behavior, and they’re now setting first recording and tour dates.

Mindless Behavior

GRIDIRON GIRLS: In one week, the final roster for our Las Vegas Sin will be set, but meantime linebacker Danika Brace, wide receiver Cynthia Schmidt and quarterback Sindy Cummings will be the captains. The first home game, against the Green Bay Chill, is at the Thomas & Mack Center on May 15.

NEW TV: Top-rated TV shows back on Bravo this fall include Season 8 of “Millionaire Matchmaker” shot here and Season 12 of “Top Chef,” but now comes the new “Top Chef Duels” with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck as judge with Curtis Stone, Gail Simmons and Hugh Acheson.

In each episode, two former cheftestants will face off in three rounds of extreme culinary challenges, each being given the chance to up the ante and challenge the other’s culinary skills. The winners of each battle will compete in the season finale in a test of gastronomic talent and ambition until only one is standing to claim the $100,000 grand prize and bragging rights. Waiting word on which Las Vegas chefs will be taking part. Last season, our Shirley Chung finished third.

Meantime, there’s a new Oxygen series with two more Las Vegas celebrity chefs — Gordon Ramsay and Tom Colicchio. Tom will host this new out-of-studio culinary competition series that tackles the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant.

Tom and his experts, including Gordon, pit 16 of the nation’s hottest new restaurants in a series of challenges aimed at determining who provides the best all-around, top-to-bottom experience. Tom will travel the nation, including a stop here, to find one restaurant that deserves a cash prize and to be crowned Best New Restaurant. The series is modeled after Gordon’s British hit “Ramsay’s Best Restaurant.”

NEW RADIO: Yahoo! Sports Radio is coming to the Strip for three hours nightly Monday through Friday with Ken Thompson’s show “Sports X.” He’ll broadcast live from Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo, allowing sports fan guests to get in on the action with their views and comments.

BOTTOMS UP! Today, the largest wine and spirits convention in the industry began for three days at Caesars Palace showcasing more than 2,000 brands and presenting the top trends that will become mandatory for our Strip nightclubs this fall. Mayor Carolyn Goodman cut the red ribbon to formally open the events today.

Guest speakers include Jordan Belfort, the real-life “Wolf of Wall Street,” and Capt. Richard Phillips, the real-life subject of the Tom Hanks film. Jordan also signs his book for the 2,000+ wholesale industry toppers attending. On Wednesday, I will be the celebrity judge for the cocktail contest being presented by my pal, master modern mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim.

Grand Opening of 'Pin Up' at Stratosphere

The grand opening and red carpet of Launch slideshow »

40 MILLION: Execs at Stratosphere are getting ready for a major milestone to welcome their 40 millionth visitor. That person will win tickets for Claire Sinclair’s “Pin Up” and Frankie Moreno’s show, plus dinner in Level 107 with complimentary champagne service.

In addition to round-trip limo service and a two-night suite stay, there will be $1,140 in free slot play. The Stratosphere is where you find the heart-pounding thrills of the rides Big Shot, X-Scream, Insanity and 108th floor Sky Jump.

POWER TABLES: I ran into Freddy Glusman, owner of Piero’s, while at Ken Henderson’s Pizza Lounge in Tivoli Village. Heading into the 26th year of his famed Italian eatery, he told me that he’d just hosted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with a party of 10 and Speaker of the House John Boehner with five friends at another table.

While “The King of Country” George Strait was in Las Vegas for the 49th Annual Academy of Country Awards, he twice dined at Jenna and Michael Morton’s new MGM restaurant Crush. He celebrated his big win as Entertainer of the Year with MGM President Scott Sibella on Sunday night and then returned again Monday night after “ACM Presents: All-Star Salute to the Troops.” I’ve every reason to believe that Scott invited George to play MGM Grand Garden Arena when he resumes concert dates after a year off.

2014 ACM Awards: Arrivals

Taylor Swift takes a selfie with a fan as she arrives for the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Sunday, April 6, 2014. Launch slideshow »

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Twelve of our city’s smartest minds and dressers are honored at Vegas Dozen in Saks Fifth Avenue at Fashion Show as a benefit for Keep Memory Alive.

Music history will be unveiled with the new “Raiding the Rock Vault” memorabilia collection from days with Heart, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot and Asia at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.

Olivia Newton-John starts her “Summer Nights” concert run at the Flamingo.

Meat Loaf wraps his current residency at Planet Hollywood.

Forever Doo Wop and Forever Motown bring back the classic hits to the Riviera with an eight-person ensemble of lead singers from The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters and The Marvelettes.

DJ Clinton Sparks is ringmaster for his second Greatest Party on Earth.

Former Dead Boy punk rocker Cheetah Chrome plays Dive Bar.

Vince Morris, Alysia Wood and Chris Mancini headline the Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

It’s eat, drink and be merry for the next four days as UNLVino celebrates its 40th anniversary with 96 hours of champagne wishes and good cheer, plus, we go jogging with Las Vegas cancer survivor hero Helen Neville, who is getting ready to run the perimeter of the USA.

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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