Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: ‘Ballistic’ B.J. Baldwin, $5K lunch with Giada, ‘Ink Master,’ 16 days of music


Steve Marcus

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis arrives during the VIP grand opening of Giada, the first Giada De Laurentiis restaurant, on Monday, June 2, 2014, in the Cromwell.

Click to enlarge photo

B.J. Baldwin.

B.J. Baldwin

B.J. Baldwin

“Ballistic” B.J. Baldwin, the four-time off-road racing king, has accomplished a miraculous high-speed drive living up to his nickname tearing through the streets of Ensenada, Mexico, where he races regularly for the Baja 1000. Our hometown hero already holds records for his driving victories, but there’s never been anything like this.

It’s beyond take your breath away insanity for the son of our CityCenter chief Bobby Baldwin, but it demonstrates how B.J. can win at almost any extraordinary challenge he faces. He’s seen in this video sponsored by Monster Energy with Las Vegas poker prince and actor Dan “Blitz” Bilzerian, who is known as an international playboy and for making unbelievable betting challenges. He pilots the chase helicopter filled with bikini-clad beauties from our Strip nightclubs.

Dan challenged B.J. to drive his gigantic truck to the beach in less than 20 minutes. Ben Conrad gets the credit for directing this video epic of B.J. at full pelt through the Mexican beach town. Incredibly, B.J. made it with just seconds to spare as he roared over the heads of the ladies.

In just two days, the video has gone viral with 4 million hits. It’s the follow-up to B.J.’s previous Recoil 1 YouTube production, which captured another of his amazing feats. I just want to know how the streets of Ensenada remained so empty during the high-speed adventure and how many cameras were set up to capture the adrenaline excitement!

2014 G2E: Day 1

Lynda Carter appears at the 2014 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, to unveil two Launch slideshow »

G2E GETS BUSY: Sexy uniforms at Las Vegas casinos, ultra lounges and nightclubs have become a fashion show in their own right, and they get their own parade display on this second day of the 2014 Global Gaming Expo. Harley Davidson calendar girl and 2012 Playmate of the Year Jaclyn Swedberg unveils the IGT Harley Davidson Video Slot Machine and 2013 Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun unveils Bally’s Playboy Club Slot machine.

Venetian-Palazzo kingpin Sheldon Adelson makes a keynote speech. I’ll take part in two events: the TournEvent for Charity where “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison, Mirage headliner Terry Fator, Luxor headliner Carrot Top, Chippendales at the Rio headliner Jaymes Vaughan and I compete against others for a $20,000 prize to be divvied up to local charities.

Then I join such Brad Garrett, Murray Sawchuck and Chloe Crawford and Carrot Top as presenters at the G2E Casino Entertainment Awards in Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel. Wayne Newton and MGM Resorts entertainment head honcho Richard Sturm will be presented with Entertainment Legend Awards, and I’ll hand out Casino Entertainer of the Year.

Steve Wynn

Jim Allen

On Tuesday, MGM chief Jim Murren ‪and casino mogul Steve Wynn ‪were guest speakers on the state of the gaming industry, which now contributes an annual $240 billion to the national economy, provides 1.7 million jobs and pays $38 billion in taxes to national, state and local governments.

TATTOO VICTORY: Las Vegas tattoo artist Cleen Rock One made it successfully through Tuesday night’s competitions on Spike’s “Ink Master” reality-TV competition and goes forward after five weeks of competition with 12 rivals now battling for the $100,000 grand prize.

In the Flash Challenge, he was successful in using a sand blaster to create a 3D artwork on glass panels and then in the Elimination Challenge tattooing a leaping animal from a human body canvas.

Next week, Cleen must ink 12-hour gluteus maximus tattoos in a cheek-to-cheek and head-to-head battle against his rivals. The only consolation is that it’s stretched out over two days at six hours per cheek!

Giada VIP Grand Opening at Cromwell

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis waves from the red carpet as she arrives during the VIP grand opening of Giada, the first Giada De Laurentiis restaurant, on Monday, June 2, 2014, in the Cromwell. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Giada De Laurentiis and Marie Yonge at Caesars Palace on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Las Vegas.

HOW MUCH TO DATE GIADA? Just how much is a lunch date with star chef Giada de Laurentiis likely to cost? The Food Network celebrity let me sell her lunch date at auction at Caesars Palace as chefs, celebrities and Girl Scout supporters gathered for the Dessert Before Dinner Gala to benefit Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada.

Two guys battled to a stalemate of $5,000 apiece for the date, so I persuaded the Italian kitchen contessa to do it twice and we raised $10,000. The evening began with nine local female chefs who competed in the ultimate dessert competition making sweet treats using this year’s chosen Girl Scout cookie, shortbread. Jeanette Droegmoeller of Bellagio was awarded first place with her shortbread apple cobbler.

Kimberly Vitou of MGM Grand was runner-up with her peanut butter, praline ganache and jelly bonbon lollipop, and Cynthia Werth of the Stratosphere was third with her white chocolate roasted banana shortbread bread pudding. Seven outstanding Las Vegas women were honored with awards for their community service, and the evening, which included an appearance by Siegfried & Roy, wrapped with a performance by Mirage headliner Terry Fator.

NONSTOP, 16-DAY MUSIC WORLD RECORD: For the next 16 days, musicians will try to set a new Guinness World Record at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Mandalay Place Shoppes. (The concerts kicked off at 1 p.m. today.) Irish musician Dave Brown will guide the marathon concert with more than 16 bands and others flying in from Ireland to support the attempt.

Guinness rules allow a 25-second break between songs and a five-minute break between sets. Otherwise, it’s nonstop music through Oct. 17.

Shania Twain: ‘Still the One’ Opening Night

Opening night of Shania Twain's Launch slideshow »


Shania Twain returned ahead of her resumed residency at Caesars next Wednesday so that she could watch Lorde’s concert Tuesday night at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.

“Pin Up” at the Stratosphere headliner and 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip for the monthlong, 15th annual Pinktober campaign for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer awareness campaign.

On his free evening, Carrot Top watched Rod Stewart at Caesars on Tuesday night.

Bally’s headliner Veronic watched Human Nature at the Venetian on her night off and visited with the Australian group backstage. They talked about how performers before each show wish themselves good luck. Human Nature’s Phil Burton said: “In Australia, we say chookas,” and Veronic shocked them saying in Canada, they use the expletive merde for good luck!


‘Purple Reign’ With Jason Tenner at D Las Vegas

Launch slideshow »

The revamped Prince tribute show “Purple Reign” starring lookalike, soundalike Jason Tenner and sexy Jennifer Romas opens at Westgate Las Vegas.

Yellow Brick Road is at Sunset Station.

And Emily’s Army and The Aquabays are at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.


We’ll preview the invasion of big country stars including Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley and Brantley Gilbert here for the inaugural, three-day Route 91 Harvest and chat with death-defying Red Bull pilot Kirby Chambliss about the Oct. 10-11 high-speed air race just 50 feet above Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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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