Lovebirds Criss Angel and Holly Madison flew off this morning to start a weeklong vacation at a luxury beachfront resort in the millionaire’s playground of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The "Mindfreak" magician is on a long-planned, two-week break from his Cirque du Soleil show "Believe" at the Luxor.
Criss spent part of his first week off in New York with "The Girls Next Door" star and girlfriend Holly. Criss has plans for the two of them to go horseback riding on the beach south of the border and also to do some ATV dune riding.
When they return to Las Vegas next week, I’ve learned, he will begin the process of adding several new illusions to "Believe" that he has been developing. I know the exact number, but until all are working smoothly and are integrated, I’ve promised not to reveal more. While the illusionist is away, members of the Cirque creation team also have been adding stage elements to the production, which they expect to have in place by March.
At the same time, Holly, who is now being dubbed the next Pamela Anderson, faces a choice between rival Strip show offers. She was offered a guest role in one production, as Vegas DeLuxe reported exclusively. But when that leaked out, Holly was made another offer to headline in her own show. Now as she weighs the choices, I’ve learned that yet a third show is being presented to her! With a new management and PR team in place, Holly is ready to propel her showbiz career forward, but she and her team want to ensure that her debut here on the Strip is the absolute right choice.
Meantime, it’s safe to say that exes Travis Barker and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler are back together again. She’s even put her wedding ring back on -- even if it’s only on her right hand for now! I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you more about this tangled twosome because it’s impossible to say whether they’ve resumed being the best of friends or have actually patched up their marital problems and are giving love a second chance.
They brought their three children Atiana, Landon and Alabama on a Vegas visit, and while headquartered at George Maloof’s Palms Place spa hotel, enjoyed lunch at Iron Chef Kerry Simon’s restaurant there. Travis ordered up the protein breakfast -- without the chicken! Later the tattooed Blink-182 drummer and Shanna took the kids to see The Beatles Cirque du Soleil Love at The Mirage. The children snacked on popcorn, M&Ms and lemonade during the show, and then all five Barkers went backstage to meet the cast and crew afterwards!
Incidentally, his music partner DJ AM was at the Cirque du Soleil show "O" at the Bellagio, and, with his new blonde gal pal Hayley, also went backstage afterwards to meet the performers of the aquatic- and acrobatic-themed production.
It was their first return to LAX since they escaped with their lives from a fiery plane crash last year. Both men received extensive burns and spent weeks in hospital recovery.
Finally on love’s merry-go-round report today, I can tell you that "Dancing With the Stars" dynamic duo Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy became engaged while on a rush Las Vegas visit over New Year’s Eve. Earlier I thought the two Ukrainian-born dancers had gotten engaged in Salt Lake City while on tour with the live performance version of their hit ABC TV show.
Not so, apparently! Maksim bought a 3k engagement ring from our Harry Winston store here and then purchased a smart Louis Vuitton bag. At the stroke of midnight as 2009 began, Maksim gave Karina the wrapped-up bag, and she squealed with delight when he went down on bended knee when she found the ring inside! “He’s such a romantic softie,” she said afterwards.
Maksim told his performer friends in "Le Reve," which he choreographed at the Wynn, that both of them are very much in love and are completely happy with their upcoming marriage plans. The couple have dated the past four months, and the engagement here in Vegas was six months to the day she broke up with former "DWTS" contestant Mario Lopez, who arrives here this weekend to begin rehearsals for his hosting of next week’s Miss America Pageant on TLC.
The couple now continues on tour through mid-February, after which they begin rehearsals with new celebrity competitors for the eighth season of "DWTS," which kicks off March 9.
Find Robin Leach's full blog and updated coverage of the celebrity scene in Las Vegas at Vegas DeLuxe.com.