Friday, May 16, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Ariana Grande Problem Warning: Explicit
In space parlance: Las Vegas, we have a problem!
It’s a sexually charged battle of the vivacious vixens. Breakout female rapper Iggy Azalea is likely to get very explicit Sunday at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards with her hit “Fancy.” Can she outshine and outsex the always-erotic Miley Cyrus appearing via satellite from her Bangerz Tour?
Now that Robin Thicke has been added to the lineup, will they blur the lines yet again and tongue their way into the headlines with something even more outrageous than their MTV Video Music Awards twerk-and-grind despite not being on the same stage?
Other than that trio of enfants terrible, other performers include Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, 5 Seconds of Summer, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Derulo, Imagine Dragons, Luke Bryan and John Legend. Lorde will perform her new single “Tennis Court” for the first time on television, and Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood will do the same with their duet “Somethin’ Bad.”
It’s been a monumental year for Ariana Grande, whose “Problem” with Iggy bowed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart and No. 3 on the current Hot 100, the highest debut of the year on both charts. In addition to performing at the BBMAs, Ariana is a finalist for the Top New Artist award.
Ludacris hosts the three-hour ABC telecast atMGM Grand Garden Arena, which will include the surprise “live” Michael Jackson video experience I reported this week. Other performers include Katy Perry, Shakira and One Republic, who do double duty performing for golf great Tiger Woods at his Tiger Jam on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Presenters include supermodel Chrissy Teigen, Andi Dorfman (“The Bachelorette), Shania Twain and actress Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”). The two-hour red carpet pre-show with Jordin Sparks and Lance Bass starts at 3 p.m. PT Sunday and will be live streamed on Yahoo!
It’s a blockbuster music weekend, and not just because of the BBMAs. Tiger’s 16th annual, two-day charity Tiger Jam kicks off tonight with poker legend Phil Hellmuth teaming with Tiger and Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson to host a $10,000 buy-in Poker Night at Moorea Beach Club while “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips performs nearby at Mandalay Bay Beach.
On Saturday, there’s a morning golf outing at Cascata and One Republic in the evening. Tickets are $55 to $125 all to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation to provide college-access programs for underprivileged kids. Tiger’s afterparty is at House of Blues.
We’ll all be saying “Thank You for the Music” by the end of the premiere of “Mamma Mia!” tonight at Tropicana. My interview with producer Judy Craymer was posted May 8. Yes, the ABBA musical is back with all of its Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus hits, including “Take a Chance on Me,” “Super Trouper” and “Dancing Queen.”
Knowing you and knowing me, the name of the game is the Royal Robin Rundown of everything else that’s happening in town this weekend, so before you send out an SOS, let me earn my money, money, money and release our weekend’s greatest hits.
FRIDAY, MAY 16
Orgone is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq for two nights.
Electro Swing Club bring back sounds of the 1920s and ’30s at the Cosmopolitan for two nights.
Christina Perri is at HOB.
“G’Day Las Vegas with Greg Bonham and his 10-piece band is at the Smith Center.
Nashville Unplugged with hosts Aaron Benward and Travis Howard welcome Paul Jenkins at Sunset Station.
The Flamingos are at Santa Fe Station.
Brett Eldredge is at Aliante.
The Oak Ridge Boys are at Eastside Cannery.
One sad note to remember: The April 5 death of standup comic John Pinette, the actor who was mugged in the “Seinfeld” finale. He was scheduled for the Orleans this weekend. RIP.
“Last Comic Standing” Season 1 winner Dat Phan is at South Point all weekend. A Q+A with him was posted this morning.
Cheech & Chong and War go “Up in Smoke” at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Lewis Black is at the Mirage for two nights.
David Spade is at the Venetian for two nights.
Sinbad is at the Orleans for two nights.
J.C. Currais and James Frey are at Silver Sevens for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
“Mamma Mia!” celebrates its grand opening night at Tropicana.
Tickets go on sale for hip-hop legends DMX, Big Daddy Kane and Naughty by Nature on Aug. 2 and The Offspring, Bad Religion and Pennywise on Aug. 27 all at the Joint and for Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Oct. 12.
Helldorado Days Wild West Weekend is at the California, Fremont and Main Street Station.
Test ’n’ Tune Midnight Mayhem, Bracket and Jr. Dragster Races are at Las Vegas Motor Speedway all weekend.
Tiger Jam kicks off at Mandalay Bay with Phil and Doyle’s Poker Tournament and Phillip in concert.
The Third Annual Tivoli Days features a car show and Disney movie cars in the Park at Tivoli Village.
The Las Vegas Car Stars opening ceremonies take place on 3rd Street Stage downtown, and the event continues through Saturday on the 1st and 3rd Street stages.
The Weeknd marks the closing weekend of Pure at Caesars Palace.
Breathe Carolina is at Tao in the Venetian.
Iamsu is at the Bank in Bellagio.
SATURDAY, MAY 17
Tiger Jam with Tiger, One Republic and openers The All-American Rejects are at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
“America’s Got Talent” champion Michael Grimm is at Sunset Station.
Kansas is at Red Rock Resort.
Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson are at Cannery.
Ben Vereen is at Suncoast Showroom for two nights.
Las Vegas Academy Jazz Combo and Jimmy Cobb Trio headline the 25th Annual Jazz in the Park at Clark County Government Center Amphitheater.
Las Vegas Philharmonic presents “Pops V: Paris Love” at the Smith Center.
Franky Perez is at Lounge at the Palms.
Play for Keeps is at Backstage Bar & Billiards.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The Ninth Annual Human Rights Campaign Gala at the Wynn honors actor John Lythgow, local TV personality Chris Saldana and restaurateur Jenna Morton. Expected on the red carpet along with the honorees and MC Bryan Chan: Dustin Lance Black (featured speaker and Oscar winner for “Milk”), Alfred Molina, Holly Madison, Carrot Top, Sabina Kelley, Murray Sawchuck, Melody Sweets, Claire Sinclair, “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Rock of Ages,” “Le Reve — The Dream,” “Fantasy,” Chippendales, HRC President Chad Griffin and more.
Hometown hero and late-night TV talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel hosts the Third Annual Evening With Dave Rice at MGM benefiting the Dave Rice Foundation and its fight against autism.
Tickets go on sale for “Wicked” at the Smith Center from Oct. 8-Nov. 9.
King of the Cage is at Eastside Cannery.
Third Annual Tivoli Days features Salsa Under the Stars.
BrewBQ, a celebration of spirits, beer and barbecue, at Ellis Island benefits food bank Three Square.
John Legend hosts and performs at Hyde Bellagio ahead of Sunday’s BBMAs.
Jermaine Dupri is at Tao Beach.
The Weeknd is at Ling Ling Club at Hakkasan in MGM Grand.
CMT’s Ryan “Daddy” Richards and Tiffany Heinen (“Party Down South”) host at Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel.
SUNDAY, MAY 18
Luda hosts the BBMAs.
The Rock of Vegas Summer Concert Series kicks off with Marianas Trench at the D Las Vegas on Fremont Street.
Black Flag with Mike Vallely is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Third Annual Tivoli Days features Roos-N-More Petting Zoo.
Auditions for the new production “Gotta Dance: A Tribute to … Life!” are at Rock Center for Dance on South Maryland Parkway scheduled for a world premiere at the Smith Center on July 2.
Vegas Nightlife Fights presents Ring Girl Competitions at the Hard Rock Hotel.
We’ll be back Sunday with reports and photos of the stars at work and play on and off the Strip, plus coverage of the BBMAs. Be sure to follow the action on Twitter @robin_leach.
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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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.