Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: New ‘Late Night Chef Fight’; ‘Where Are They Now?’ with Robin Leach



Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Marklen Kennedy at Hyde Bellagio on Jan. 3, 2012.

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Laila Ali punches Shelley Burton.

For the past three years, chefs from the back of the house have fought one another alongside managers from the front of the house. The battles took place in a regular brawl at Tommy Rocker’s late night on Saturdays.

Now it’s become a 13-week TV series masterminded by Las Vegas producer Marklen Kennedy (“Gigolos”) with hosts Laila Ali and Las Vegas chef Vic “Vegas” Moea.

The competing chefs face exotic, diverse and unfamiliar ingredients left over in food trucks. They have to create three unique dishes in three fast-paced rounds of competition.

It premieres as “Late Night Chef Fight” on FYI on Nov. 29. There’ll be a premiere party Nov. 30 at Bunkhouse Saloon.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Oprah Winfrey’s production people notified me this morning that on Nov. 30, her “Where Are They Now?” TV series on OWN will turn the spotlight on me.

A few weeks ago, her cameras followed me for a day on the Las Vegas Strip capturing me at work with Shania Twain, Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner and Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” chef winner Scott Commings.

Mark your calendars now because it’s a fascinating glimpse at my life today in comparison with my life back then on “Entertainment Tonight,” Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” and the Food Network.

‘Frank: A Man and His Music’

Bob Anderson in his Launch slideshow »

RETURN OF THE SUPPER CLUB: Advance word from those who have seen Bob Anderson’s early rehearsals as Frank Sinatra for his new show with band leader Vincent Falcone at the Palazzo: Nothing short of “brilliant, incredibly uncanny and fantastic.”

So much so that Las Vegas execs say the uncanny interpretation of Ol’ Blue Eyes will usher in a whole new era of jazz supper-club revivals similar to the rage of what’s happening in Chicago. It won’t spell the end of our giant EDM nightclubs, but we may well see smaller, more intimate clubs with lounge singers popping up shortly. Bob and Vincent are using Frank’s original arrangements for the new show, which takes Bob three hours of makeup ahead of curtain call to look exactly like the “Fly Me to the Moon” singer.

BTW, that’s the song he’s picked to open the show. Palazzo is part of Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Corp. on the site of the former Copa Lounge at the Sands where Frank was a regular entertainer. “We still own that name,” a Palazzo exec told me.

2014 Miss Rodeo America Pageant at South Point

Miss Mississippi Paige Nicholson won the 2014 Miss Rodeo America Pageant at South Point on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, and was crowned by 2013 Miss Rodeo America Chenae Shiner. Miss Colorado Sara Wiens was runner-up. Launch slideshow »

SHOWS WHAT I KNOW: Last week I tipped my hand about the 32 Miss Rodeo America state contestants about to arrive on the Strip for their December pageant at MGM Grand, and not South Point where other rodeo adventures will be held. Shows what I know about western elegance. Thankfully 2014 Miss Rodeo America Paige Nicholson put me right!

Those hats are Bailey, not Stetson. The beauties don’t wear stilettos by night; they change from Justin horseback riding boots into a dressier Justin boot for the western elegance dresses. Some $30,000 is available in scholarships to the winners, and although the glamorous girls can fire down on the range, no guns are involved in the pageant — just chaps and Wrangler jeans.

RETURNING COMICS: The Mirage has announced the lineup for its “Aces of Comedy” series next year, and the top acts in the yuks side of showbiz are returning: Daniel Tosh, Joe Rogan, Ron White, Ray Romano, David Spade, Wayne Brady, Jay Leno, Gabriel Iglesias, Kathy Griffin and Kathleen Madigan.

MAKING HISTORY: This century’s last sequential date of 12/13/14 will permit you to be part of history when hundreds of romantic couples can say their wedding vows and “I do’s” for free on the High Roller Observation Wheel at the Linq Promenade. It’s a first-come, first-served basis for crazy-in love-couples . Passengers will board at 10:11 a.m. on 12/13/14 and end at 12:13 p.m. The search has begun for ordained ministers to perform the ceremonies in each of the 28 cabins. Don’t forget your marriage certificate!


Reports in New York and Los Angeles say that hotel mogul Steve Wynn is the anonymous buyer snapping up the sprawling Lion’s Gate estate once owned by singer Kenny Rogers in Bel Air. The price tag is a reported $65 million. If true, Steve adds it to his $100 million Central Park penthouse in New York.

‘Britney: Piece of Me’ Opening Night

Opening night of Britney Spears’ “Britney: Piece of Me” on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at The Axis in Planet Hollywood.

Launch slideshow »

Is Britney Spears about to go disco and bring back the 1970s sound that birthed nightclubs? Disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder is collaborating with our Planet Hollywood headliner, Kylie Minogue, Sia and others for his first new album in more than 30 years to be released in the spring.

The album’s title track is a courageous salute to his age: “74 Is the New 24.” Here’s a 1977 audio clip of one of his biggest hits, “From Here To Eternity”

From Here to Eternity

Australian dancer Alexandra Gray, who was spotted by magician Murray Sawchuck and cast her in his new TV series “Masters of Illusion” on the CW, won’t be going back home Down Under too quickly. The former Moulin Rouge and Lido de Paris showgirl from the French capital has just signed on as the newest member of “Jubilee” at Bally’s.

Polo, the sport of kings, is coming to Las Vegas for a match in April at Sam Boyd Stadium complete with dressage, show jumping, tailgate contests and a women’s hat competition.


Billy Hufsey’s “Celebrity Idols” has its soft opening at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater ahead of Thursday’s grand opening.

TV and star chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken host the grand opening of their Border Grill at the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace.

Adrian Zmed, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie and Lorena Peril are just three of the nearly dozen stars performing “One Hit Wonders” at Mark Shunock’s monthly “Mondays Dark” fundraiser at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel tonight raising funds for Las Vegas Shepherd Rescue. Next month, Opportunity Village is one of the first-anniversary-show’s beneficiaries.


Former “Baywatch” beauty and “Fantasy” at the Luxor headliner Angelica Bridges returns to Las Vegas for her new show “Hollywood Bombshells” at Sin City Theater, and we talk with her about the tantalizing production.

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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