Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 | 2:27 p.m.
For the eighth consecutive year, 53 of America’s most beautiful and talented young women will arrive here today for 10 days of intense competition that winds up with the live ABC telecast of the 92nd Miss America Pageant on Saturday, Jan. 12.
It also will be the third consecutive year that “Dancing With the Stars” champion, co-host and beauty Brooke Burke-Charvet and “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison will lead the broadcast together -- and introduce the newly crowned 2013 Miss America.
As always, Vegas DeLuxe has a full inside preview. A panel of seven judges -- including this year Indiana’s first Miss America, Katie Stam Irk, who won in 2009 -- will choose the next Miss America.
The other judges are designer Bradley Bayou, who is a member of Oprah Winfrey’s “Glam Squad”; award-winning dancer and choreographer Cheryl Burke from “DWTS”; “Good Morning America” broadcaster Sam Champion; my longtime pal Mary Hart from the early days we worked together at “Entertainment Tonight” (and 1970 Miss South Dakota); Shark Tank entrepreneur Daymond John; and 2012 London Olympic gymnastics champion McKayla Maroney.
Today at 4 p.m. at Planet Hollywood, our Miss Nevada Randi Sundquist, a UNLV media and journalism student, anchors the parade of princesses who will be officially welcomed to the city by Quad headline entertainer and juggler Jeff Civillico. Expect physical humor, zany stunts and juggling with the hopefuls.
Producer Anthony Eaton will again mastermind the Jan. 12 broadcast and promises surprises yet again to follow last year’s record ratings.
“Our 2012 telecast from Las Vegas was a tremendous success and took the ratings crown as the most-watched non-sports program,” said Sam Haskell, Miss America board chairman. “In our success rebranding Miss America, we have attracted a new audience. We are working to make the 2013 broadcast event even more memorable for viewers.”
The Miss America Organization is the world’s largest provider of scholarships for young women. Unlike Miss USA and Miss Universe also held here by Donald Trump’s organization, Miss America is not solely about glamour and shapely figures; it also combines talent with health and fitness, charity and interviews.
It’s expected that Allyn Rose representing the District of Columbia will be under tremendous media scrutiny in the next week as a front-runner certain to make the Top 10. The 24-year-old blonde stunner lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 16. She has partnered with organizations to raise more than $500,000 for Breast Cancer Research and Education.
Allyn has said that if she wins the pageant, she will delay a double mastectomy for one year to fulfill pageant’s duties. If she does not win, she will return to undergo surgery to prevent the high risk of breast cancer that has caused the deaths of family members. She shared her emotional and moving journey with Katie Couric.
Here’s the Royal Robin Rundown of Miss America in town:
THURSDAY, JAN. 3
Official welcome at 4 p.m. at Planet Hollywood with regional President David Hoenemeyer and our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
FRIDAY, JAN. 4
The 53 contestants enjoy an evening as Terry Fator’s guests at his headliner show in the Mirage. It’s anybody’s guess as to which contestant is brought onstage to sing along with his ventriloquist dolls.
SATURDAY, JAN. 5
All 53 contestants walk the runway at Fashion Show mall and sign autographs at a meet-and-greet with fans afterward. They’ll then go to Robert Earl’s Buca di Beppo for a celebration dinner.
The weekend brings intense rehearsals and dance workouts -- and the start of judges’ interrogations.
TUESDAY, JAN. 8
Comedienne Dena Blizzard, a married mom of three who once represented New Jersey in the pageant and has been a comedy sidekick of Emeril Lagasse and Paula Deen at The Food Network, hosts the first preliminary competition at 8 p.m. in PH Live.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9
I’ll get to turn the tables on the celebrity judges and grill them. The second preliminary competition with Dena hosting again is at PH Live.
THURSDAY, JAN. 10
2012 Miss America Laura Kaeppeler will be joined by 27 Miss America winners to announce the Quality of Life scholarship and Fourpoints Award winners. Our interview with Laura looking back on her year’s reign was posted on Christmas Eve.
Laura and Las Vegas resident 1971 Miss New Jersey Lynn Hackerman Weidner host the annual scholarship luncheon with 2013 Miss America Outstanding Teen Rachel Wyatt at Vintner Grill in Summerlin.
FRIDAY, JAN. 11
I’ll chat with co-hosts Brooke and Chris and once again try to squeeze out as many secrets as possible from producers Anthony and Lauren Eaton.
SATURDAY, JAN. 12
We’ll have Twitter and Las Vegas Sun blog reports from the theater starting at 5 p.m. PT for the live East Coast transmission. Immediately after the new Miss America is crowned, I’ll chat with her, and we’ll have that conversation, photos and videos on Sunday, Jan. 13.
Incidentally, at the same time the Miss America beauties are here, it’s the “America’s Man of the Year” competition at the Clarion Hotel Casino. The pageants are not affiliated, but the guys work the runway in the same competitions of formal wear, swimwear, talent and judges interviews. “It’s all about having fun and providing an outlet for young men,” contest director Ed Smith said. “We think this could be the start of something new and exciting for young men across America.”
Be sure to check back often for the latest photo, video and news reports of the continuing Miss America activities.
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 VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.