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September 20, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: ‘American Idol’ tapes semifinal shows at The Mirage


Ana Dobrijevic/Cashman Photography

The Top 9 contestants of Season 9 of American Idol at Viva Elvis in Aria.

American Idol Top 9 at Viva Elvis

The Top 9 contestants of Season 9 of American Idol at Viva Elvis in Aria. Launch slideshow »

“American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest and judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson have arrived in Las Vegas to whittle down the Top 40 contestants on the “Fox” hit.

Tonight and Wednesday, the contestants are divided into groups of 10 competing against each other, and five semifinalists will be eliminated each night. The remaining Top 20 will be announced on the Feb. 28 show.

The visit to perform onstage at Cirque du Soleil’s “The Beatles Love” theater at The Mirage is a new twist. The girls will be recorded tonight for broadcast Wednesday, when the guys are taped for broadcast Thursday.

Taping is 5:45 to 8 p.m. all four nights for the four 2-hour shows.

MISS USA WINNERS? Look at the hot new photos of Steve Wynn’s hotel F&B lounge manager Chelsea Caswell taken by pageant photographer Georgina Vaughan, and you have to admit this is Top 10, if not Top Five, for the 2013 Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood.

Nevada pageant organizer Shanna Moakler believes Chelsea has the X factor and all that it takes to be onstage for the final question -- and could walk away with a first win for Nevada. And to prove that the 2013 Miss Nevada Teen USA Amanda Jenkins stands just as good a chance of winning her national title, check out her photos, too.

Chelsea Caswell and Amanda Jenkins

2013 Miss Nevada USA Chelsea Caswell. Launch slideshow »

BRITTANY MASON ON TV: Former Las Vegas model Brittany Mason has joined 12 beauties vying for a modeling prize on Oxygen’s “The Face.” Brittany debuted on the show’s premiere last Tuesday.

Tonight’s second episode includes fashion, drama, catfights and lingerie, and, in the pregame competition of “Who Wore It Better,” two of Brittany’s rivals square off in the style challenge. Brittany is on Team Coco.

ROCK ’N’ ROLL CAMP: KISS rocker Ace Frehley hosted the newest Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp with Kip Winger and Brent Muscat. Organizer David Fishof presents the five-day camps. Held on campus at MGM Grand and off-campus in studios, members of Def Leppard are the next faculty.

MAKEUP DREAMS: The Las Vegas-headquartered RPM Makeup Academy is making dreams come to life with its new Helping Hands for the Driven. It’s dedicated to ensuring that heroes facing life’s challenges aren’t prevented from accomplishing their dreams of becoming a makeup artist. Each month, the academy taught by celebrity artist Rain Andreani will award three full scholarships covering tuition, supplies and certification. Go to for details.


Hot off the grill!

APPEALING TO CONGRESS: Mandalay Bay chef Rick Moonen, a seafood-sustainability advocate, led a 100-strong group to Washington, D.C., to meet with Congress. They’re united to have Congress keep funding the sustainable-fishing program Catch Shares, which eliminates overfishing and restores fish stocks. Rick, who has focused on sustainable seafood the past 25 years as owner and chef of RM Seafood, presented a letter signed by dozens of chefs in support of Catch Shares.

VIVA CANONITA: After a monthlong makeover, Canonita has opened at The Venetian with its Mexico City soul food concept from executive chef Donna Willey, formerly of Border Grill in Mandalay Bay. The interior has been redesigned and redecorated, and Canonita is the only restaurant offering canal-side seating. Order a Coco Pina cocktail to enjoy with the Cabo ahi tuna in a lobster goat cheese tamale and the corn-crusted salmon atop plantain and Oaxaca cheese torte.

2012 Vegas Uncork'd: Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace

The 2012 Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit Grand Tasting at Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace on Friday, May 11, 2012. Launch slideshow »

A HIT AND A MISS: Congratulations to Ping Pang Pong at Gold Coast for being named by Travel + Leisure as one of the best Chinese restaurants in America. The popular restaurant was the only Las Vegas entry.

Boo on Bon Appetit for not naming one restaurant in Las Vegas on its list of the 20 most interesting restaurants in America despite the fact that the magazine hosts Vegas Uncork’d in May, with our hotels, restaurants and LVCVA picking up much of the tab.

TASTY TIDBITS: Chef Guy Savoy took a night off from his kitchen at Caesars Palace to check out nearby Nobu.

Chef Todd English will join with Justin Winery on March 9 for the next Epicurean Epicenter series at Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen.

World-champion chocolatier Jean-Marie Auboine and world-champion pastry chef Stephane Treand were among the participants at the Chocolate Festival in The Venetian to raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Click to enlarge photo

Victoria Justice, David Copperfield, Ryan Rottman and Jeff Beacher at MGM Grand.


Showman Jeff Beacher, about to announce his new “Beacher’s Madhouse” showroom at MGM Grand,was accompanied by Nickelodeon starlet Victoria Justice and actor Ryan Rottman to magician David Copperfield’s show there and visited with him backstage afterward.

NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott dined at Nobu Caesars Palace.

Models, artists, designers and fashionistas were at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore on Tuesday night for the launch of 2013 MAGIC Fashion Week. DJ Diplo fired up the Mad Decent party, and graffiti artist Alec Monopoly created artwork.

Billy Gardell and Reno Wilson of CBS’ “Mike & Molly” watched Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo.

BMX pro Ricardo Laguna and Robert Blasi from Hook Jaw Net Radio watched magician Michael Turco at Rampart casino.

Rehearsal for 'Million Dollar Quartet'

Tyler Hunter, center, performs as Elvis Presley during a rehearsal for Launch slideshow »


“Million Dollar Quartet” has its official grand opening tonight at Harrah’s; check out our Q+A with Robert Lyons, who plays Carl Perkins in the show, posted today.

Grammy-winning singer Miguel takes a break from his tour with Alicia Keys to host at Pure in Caesars Palace.

Denim industry leader AG Jeans hosts a private MAGIC party at Haze in Aria with Weezer.

The Karma Loop Fashion after-party is hosted by Prodigy of Mobb Deep at Moon in Palms.


Our exclusive interview with CeeLo Green on the eve of his arrival to prepare for the run of his new show “Loberace” at Planet Hollywood, plus, the heroic medical battle of a longtime illusionist’s assistant “rescued” by the magicians of Las Vegas and a report from the first night of “American Idol” tapings.

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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