It was another hot-temperature, grueling day in front of the cameras for the 51 contestants of the 2012 Miss USA Pageant as they filmed around-the-town segments for the Las Vegas highlights to be woven into the Sunday, June 3, live NBC broadcast from Planet Hollywood.
Real-estate billionaire Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants, flies here early next week to meet all the ladies. He also hosts Tuesday’s fundraiser -- as I first reported two weeks ago on Twitter -- at his Trump International Hotel and Tower for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, with casino heads Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn. Newt Gingrich also is expected there to boost Mitt.
Thursday’s three filming highlights for the glamour girls were at the Flamingo pool, the just-opened Carlos’n Charlie’s Mexican party restaurant also at the Flamingo -- and then at the scandalously sexy “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace. Our thanks to Miss USA photographers Darren Decker and Patrick Prather for today’s photo galleries.
The lovely ladies organized teams for a volleyball game in the Flamingo pool and played rock, paper, scissors to win the serve. They were gifted with OPTX sunglasses, one of the pageant’s sponsors. At Carlos’n Charlie’s, it was fiesta time. Our 2012 Miss Nevada USA Jade Kelsall led her rivals on a dance tour with chefs and waiters at the party playground.
Then came the shocks and surprises of “Absinthe” served in a private, special selections showcase by The Gazilionaire, who didn’t hold back one bit from his four-letter and full-frontal comedy. At first, the girls were nervous about laughing, but after a few moments were hysterical over his comedy and after Penny Pibbets launched into even more graphic humor. Talk about LOL!
The girls were open-mouthed watching the spandex-covered acrobatic Duo Vector, applauded when Melody Sweets sang and covered up in plastic while a twirling female acrobat performed through falling rain from the top of the circus tent. Then the audience-participation fun started, and you’ll see it on the NBC broadcast. “Peepshow” and “Absinthe” starlet Angel Porrino demonstrated her tap-dancing skills in her weather balloon act, and then asked for a volunteer.
2012 Miss West Virginia USA Andrea Rogers agreed to doff her dress and perform in a bikini. Lotion was applied to her body head to toe in order to squeeze into the latex. She nearly lost her balance inside the rolling balloon but recovered and won applause from everybody in the tent, including yours truly.
Andrea told me: “I’ve tap danced since I was 3 years old, and I give dance instruction classes back home. But this was a first, and it’s much trickier than you’d think. As much as people back home would marvel at it, I don’t think its something I’ll introduce at my studio! Maybe when it’s shown on TV, people will want me to perform it. Angel gets top marks for doing it nightly without mishaps. I almost lost my top, but I’d do it again!”
The contestants narrowly missed singer Pink, who arrived later to watch the full show and met up backstage with Gaz and Penny.
This weekend, the princesses of the 61st annual pageant begin tougher tasks in their daylong rehearsals and dance routines and pair off with Best Buddies mentoring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They will be guests of J.Lo and Marc Anthony at “The Chosen” at Mandalay Bay on Saturday and party with Sky Blu of LMFAO at Pure in Caesars Palace on Sunday.
We’ll be back Tuesday with more reports of rehearsals, weekend events and preparations for the preliminary competition Wednesday at Planet Hollywood’s Theater for the Performing Arts. The prelims are the first glimpse of the contestants in their gowns, swimsuits, dresses and dance numbers.
The pageant will be preceded by a red carpet with 2011 Miss Universe Leila Lopes, 2011 Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, hosts Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic, roving reporters Kelly Osbourne and Jeannie Mai, judges Arsenio Hall, Joe Jonas, Rob Kardashian, Ali Fedotowsky, George Kotsiopoulos and other celebrity guests before the telecast.
We’ll have full coverage throughout Miss USA’s visit and the first photos of the new Miss USA, so please check back often.
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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