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January 20, 2018

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Holly’s ‘Rainbow’ wins out over a list of colorful suggestions


Erik Kabik/

Holly Madison and Rita Rudner at the grand opening of “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.

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Holly Madison on the red carpet for "CeeLo Green Is Loberace" at Planet Hollywood on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

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Holly Madison attends the grand opening of Discovery Children's Museum at The Smith Center on Friday, March 1, 2013.

About a month ago, I was getting an oil change for KatMobile II. When the mechanic asked what type of new motor oil to use in the engine, I said, “Valvoline.”

Then I thought, “Valvoline would be a good name.”

This was happening quite often over the past several months as Holly Madison was paring down a list of potential names for the baby girl Pasquale Rotella and she welcomed to the world last Tuesday. The couple went with Rainbow Aurora Rotella, remaining true to the idea that the name would be uncommon and spontaneously bestowed.

In an interview in November, Holly promised, “There are a lot of names we like, but we’re going to wait until the baby’s born before giving the name. We want to see how she feels to us, and it’ll be a snap judgment. There will be a list, and it definitely will be an unusual name. We don’t like plain names.”

Rainbow was the choice. This was a name that caught Madison’s fancy when she was growing up. As she explained in her blog, “There was a girl in my school a few years younger than me named Rainbow, and I was so envious of her name because it was so pretty and unusual.” (Holly also has painted her nails in a rainbow assortment, and so will I.)

After Rainbow’s name was made public, I remembered all of the missed guesses and suggestions that I’d pitched to the couple since the fall.

Usually, it went like this: “Strobe is a good name.” With her typical response being, “LOL!” I have collected those unused suggestions and will share them now. Explanations where merited:

• Haze. I just threw this out when Holly said she was looking for something different. Somehow I thought of the Hendrix classic “Purple Haze.”

• Glitter. As I walked past a bank of slot machines at the Orleans after the taping of Jerry Lewis’ PBS special, this word caught my eye. I liked the connection to Vegas glitz more than she did.

• Sparrow. I remembered the name of a young athlete I covered years ago in Northern California who had this name. Too hippy was the response. The name Snow, an earlier suggestion, was dismissed for that same reason.

• Exit. I sent this as I walked off an Allegiant Airlines flight to Idaho Falls.

• Challis. The name of a small town in Idaho (which also has a town called Kimberley).

• Arsenal. The name of the band in “Rock of Ages.” Madison loves the show. Came to me when watching the show in New York. Not a great name for a child, but, baby, it’s a great band.

• Sprite. Or, spell it “Spryte.” I texted this to Holly -- with a photo of the beverage -- as I was seated at the counter at New York-New York’s Broadway Burger Bar. Light and bubbly. The idea sank like a marble dropped in a glass of … Sprite.

• Sole. This was tossed into the mix after Holly tumbled on the red carpet at the “Million Dollar Quartet” opening at Harrah’s. She said that she was fine, just lost her footing because of “slick shoes.”

So, Sole? No. “LOL.” But in this name, there is soul, and Rainbow is a beautiful idea. And we hear that she’s a beautiful kid, too.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at

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