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TV shows keep cameras rolling on the Strip with a more-than-ever increased production schedule. The newest is Travel Channel’s original series “Trip Flip,” which premieres June 28 with fun-seeker travel-expert host Bert Kreischer. He’s here for four days starting Tuesday filming two unsuspecting vacationers who’ll be invited to trade their plans for his all-expenses-paid, three-day adventure that will challenge them to experience things they never thought possible.
It’s the fantasy vacation they never saw coming. One trip will be transformed into an extraordinary adventure. I’ve learned that the two lucky travelers -- unknown until Tuesday -- will play in the World Poker Tournament, get lessons from Penn & Teller at their Rio magic show, dance behind masks with Jabbawockeez at Monte Carlo and go behind the scenes to take part in a Cirque du Soleil show. There’s even more but details still being locked up this morning.
Bert’s premiere is two half-hours in New Orleans and Hawaii. On Tuesday, as he becomes the ultimate Las Vegas tour guide, he’ll hit our shopping malls, chain restaurants or the Strip sidewalk to take one couple and change everything.
“It will not be the Vegas that’s written in the guidebooks for two travelers. It will all be out of their comfort zone. They’ll get an adventure they’d normally be too timid to try on their own. I need two brave souls ready to raise their hands and take a risk for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience,” Bert said.
In the two opening episodes, one couple kissed alligators in New Orleans, and another couple in Hawaii went swimming with sharks. He’s keeping the adventures of his Las Vegas stops secret until the air date. The series also will be filmed in Mexico, Italy and Scotland.
NEW ROMANCE: Internet gossip is abuzz that superstar singer Cee Lo Green, who opens his show “Loberace” here Aug. 29 for a four-month run at Planet Hollywood, is keeping company with newly divorced Trina Braxton. That’s Toni Braxton’s sister who films their reality TV series “Braxton Family Values” at her Las Vegas home.
Trina split from her husband Gabe Solis when he checked into a sex addiction treatment clinic. Meantime, “The Voice” judge and Trina have been spending more time together after their dinner dates. Both being here this fall should make that dating schedule a little easier.
PRAYERS & GOOD THOUGHTS: So sad and sorry to hear the news that regular Las Vegas visitor and new father Jack Osbourne has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The son of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne and “America’s Got Talent” judge Sharon Osbourne is only 26.
Reports today in Britain’s Hello Magazine and People Magazine say he learned of the illness only two weeks after his daughter Pearl was born. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to him. The autoimmune disease with no cure attacks the central nervous system to cause numbness, muscle spasms and loss of coordination. He discovered the medical problems when his eyesight began to rapidly deteriorate.
PROGRESS FOR NEVADA CHEFS: The prestigious James Beard Foundation officers received an earful from Las Vegas food writers when they came here to the Venetian recently and announced no Las Vegas or Nevada chefs were in this year’s awards. Now they’ve revealed changes this morning that as of next year, Nevada will join with California and Hawaii to form a new, reduced, three-state Western category of “Best Chef West.”
“The Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee is always looking for ways to improve the James Beard Awards to better reflect what’s happening in the industry across the country,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “These changes signal the growth and vitality of America’s ever- evolving culinary culture in different geographic regions.” Since 2005, Nevada has been part of the Southwest region with Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Texas and Oklahoma.
ENVIRONMENTAL DICAPRIO: In a departure from its normal manufacturing methods, Madame Tussauds at the Venetian has gone environmentally friendly with its newest figure: Leonardo DiCaprio. The wax has been eliminated, and the production process was done by hand in natural daylight. Leonardo’s head is created from clay and natural beeswax, and the artists used bicycles and public transportation to get to and from their studio as part of the project, with design materials recycled after the figure was completed.
EVA & GEORGE RETURN: They were an odd couple but produced one of the funniest, unanticipated, unrehearsed and unscripted comedy routines ever performed at a Las Vegas charity event. Now Eva Longoria and George Lopez will team up again for her charity Padres a second time at Tropicana on Sept. 29.
STATISTICAL HICCUP: Wall Street bankers are analyzing the reservation bookings for our Strip hotels the week after Fourth of July celebrations. The average daily room rate on the Strip has suddenly slipped to $121 per night vs. the $168 hotels had built it up to for the same week last year. It’s a 28 percent drop, with weekday rates slumping 41 percent and weekend rates increasing only 1 percent. Last year, our rates were up 43 percent compared with 2010. Convention attendance for the week after July 4 also is down drastically, but Wall Street experts say the remainder of 2012 is looking to give a mid-single-digit overall net growth.
Dip or lounge at Boulevard Pool in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for “Dive-In Movies” with “Seabiscuit.” Jack Barakat of All Time Low celebrates his birthday at the Monday party at the Hard Rock Hotel. And nightlife czar Jack Colton hosts the 7th annual “20 Most Beautiful People in Las Vegas” at Bare Pool Lounge in the Mirage.
We unlock some of the backward-written, reverse mirror-image secrets for an exclusive preview tour of the amazing “Leonardo da Vinci: Master Genius” exhibit of art (the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”) and interactive working machines that eventually became helicopters, planes and cars, opening at the Venetian, plus a remarkable “Diamonds for Divas” headed to Las Vegas.
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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