Tag Archives: Planet Hollywood

Miss USA Pageant Contestants Vie for Porn Star Honors in Las Vegas

Remember when Miss USA Pageant contestants once wanted to cure cancer and be the first female president?  Or do you recall when swimsuits and two-piece bathing suits were all the rage? Well, get with the times– that was so last century! This year’s Miss USA pageant is trying to boost rapidly sagging television ratings by promoting its upcoming pageant with an erotically explosive expose of the contestants shown in busty and skimpy photos and videos. 

A pageant spokeswoman calls the underwear photos tasteful. The contenders for the pageant title ALL dream of being Victoria’s Secret Angels, reveals pageant president Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, which operates the Miss USA pageant. 

“They’re not looking to bring peace to the world,” Shugart explained to Today Show co-host Matt Lauer on May 11. That’s why it was not just OK, but it actually made sense to have the 51 contestants photographed in bust- and leg-revealing, bras, panties, fish-net stockings and open men’s shirts, while laying on beds and chaise lounges, for their pageant promo shoots. 

The “come hither” black and white photos make the contestants look more like members of Tiger Woods‘ harem than the young ladies who supposedly combine beauty and brains we’re used to seeing in pageants.  

The tenuous line between wholesome family entertainment and soft porn has now, apparently, been obliterated- one for the dusty history books. 

Girls in bikinis appear chaste and sublime next to this year’s crop of potential Miss USAs, who are adorned in masses of long wild hair, heavy smoky make-up and pouty lipstick, sprawled seductively on beds. 

But pageant officials are quick to point out that the seductive shoots were all voluntary and had no force or effect on the judging.  Yeah, right.  Nearly all contestants participated.

Swirling controversy, however, has been common fodder for the pageant as of late.

Former pageant winner and now judge Tara Connor says she doesn’t have a problem with the revealing looks, questioning why many have their “panties in wad.” She nearly lost her crown after reports of substance abuse cropped up in 2006 and even had to go into rehab. 

The next year, Miss Nevada, Katie Rees, lost her title after racy photographs surfaced on the Internet.

And last year, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, got into some trouble for comments against gay marriage — and her own set of racy photos appeared.  Eventually, she was fired. 

Pageant owner and well-quaffed Donald Trump seems to feel that the sexed-up look is necessary for the contestants if the pageant is going to compete for ratings on TV. He says he has no problem with the pictures. He calls them “a little bit sexy” and is glad people will be watching.

“If you look at Miss America, it’s now off network television,” Donald told the New York Daily News

So, BFFs — wanting to be a beautiful brain surgeon who happens to also look good in elbow-length gloves and a ball gown just isn’t enough to compete in a beauty pageant anymore. 

You also have to be willing to crouch on a bed, pouting on all fours in Madonna-style soft-core porn pics. 

“There used to be an idea that pageants … were about upstanding young women with a future and it wasn’t at all surprising to find a woman of stature in public life, in government or corporate America who had a pageant tucked into her resumé,” says Pamela Paul, author of Pornified. ”There was an idea that pageant contestants could be well-rounded woman with ambition. This ad campaign chucks aside any other qualifications than they look good in a bra.” 

On the Miss Universe/Miss USA website for the 51 contestants, brief bios list their ages, hometowns- and nothing else. They do, however, all get star ratings. Interestingly, the top-rated contestant was Miss Louisiana, Sara Brooks, a 21-year-old from Lafayette who happens to be the most clothed of all of the 51 contenders. Maybe people do like having pageant beauty leave a little something to the imagination and just maybe they would like them to be brain surgeons as well as beauties after all? 

Just a few decades ago, more than 20 million viewers watched women in one-piece bathing suits in the Miss America pageant. But as the suits got skimpier, that portion of the competition was downplayed — and viewers fled. That contest is now off the air, a fate Miss USA is trying to avoid like the plague- at any cost.

“Any press is good press,” Conner admits. “So — keep talking!” 

NBC’s “59th Annual Miss USA Pageant,” which will broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on May 16 (7-9 p.m. ET). 

Tickets to the Miss USA Preliminary and Finals competitions at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com and at (800) 745-3000. 

{Pictured is Miss USA 2010 contender Nicole Johnson from California.}

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Marilyn Monroe’s Bust on Las Vegas Casino Auction Block

It may be one of the most famous busts in the world, and Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Casino & Hotel is offering fans a unique chance to snap up a picture of Marilyn Monroe’s chest as they’ve never seen it before.

A rare X-ray of the iconic film star’s torso will be going up for auction at the casino resort this summer. 

The radiograph was originally taken in November 1954 at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Florida as the ‘Some Like it Hot’ star underwent surgery for a condition of the womb called endometriosis.  One entrepreneurial young doctor decided to keep the scan as a souvenir, later passing it on to his daughter who decided to put it up for sale at the vintage Hollywood-themed Vegas casino.  So much for patients’ rights…

Other memorabilia owned by the star, who passed away at the age of 36 in 1962, which will go up for auction at Planet Hollywood on June 26 include her therapy couch, a pair of skis bearing the initials “MM,” and a bottle of her Chanel No5 perfume.

Certainly, the film star’s cult following will ensure that there is no shortage of interest when the auction takes place later this summer, and Monroe fans from across the globe are expected to flock to Planet Hollywood to take home, if lucky, a little piece of sexy cinema history.

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New Entertainment Venue Planned for Las Vegas

The Saxe Theater will be the new name for the 435-seat Las Vegas performance theater venue in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.  The theater was formerly operated by magician Steve Wyrick, who surrendered it to the mall in a December foreclosure. 

Producer David Saxe will manage this new venue and his current V Theater, also located in the Miracle Mile Shops area.  The V runs as many as 17 performances of 10 titles per day. 

The new Saxe Theater is planned to be up and running by June 1.  

Though the production theme is being worked out,  one of the ideas proposed is a show that that documents the history of Las Vegas entertainment industry.

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Paula Abdul Ready to ‘Mate’ with Las Vegas

Paula Abdul and Las Vegas hotels are reportedly getting close to ink a deal to host the sometimes controversial performer.  Major announcements involving Abdul in Las Vegas are imminent. 

Abdul was spotted during the week in the valet area of Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas chatting with Hilton executive Ken Ciancimino, who confirmed that he’s been shaping a deal with Abdul for quite some time.

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Miss America Crowned in Las Vegas; Historic Legacy Continues

The 2010 Miss America has been crowned.  Saturday night, 22-year-old Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, walked the Planet Hollywood stage in Las Vegas wearing a canary yellow evening gown, sporting the traditional Miss America tiara and, of course, giving the traditional Miss America wave. 

In 1920, the Business men’s League of Atlantic City was looking for a way to keep sunbathers on the boardwalk past Labor Day.  They held a Fall Frolic including tennis tournaments, parades and concerts.  But one Boardwalk publicity event, where young men pushed decorated rolling wicker chairs through the streets, truly captured the public eye.  It wasn’t the spectacle of the young men or chairs that caught the public interest – it was the young women in the chairs and in particular, Ernestine Cremona, wearing a delicate white robe.  The event was a huge success and was repeated in 1921.  Only now, there was the addition of a “bathing revue” and it came to pass the crowning of the first Miss America, 16 year old Margaret Gorman. 

From the start, the Miss America pageant has struggled with the paradox of presenting a conservative image of women as virtuous and innocent while parading them around in swimsuits and skin tight evening wear.   But, as the years went by, the pageant had it’s highs and lows, eventually struggling to survive as society evolved while Miss America clung to it’s original conservative roots.   

But even though growth came slowly to Miss America, it did come, most notably in the 40’s.  In 1945 Miss America Bess Myerson received the first scholarship awarded as one of the pageant prizes.  But 1945 also signaled a turning of ethnic tide at the pageant, as Myerson was the first Jewish American to win the title.  Just a few years later the “color” barrier was broken when Irma Nydia Vasquez from Puerto Rico, and Yun Tau Zane from Hawaii, the first Asian contestant, walked the pageant stage. 

In 2004, after several years of declining ratings, the pageant’s Aqua Net hairstyles and glitterati gowns were no longer welcomed on network television.  And then in 2006, the pageant turned to the city of reinvention – Las Vegas, Nevada – to begin to, well, stage a comeback. 

And now it’s in Las Vegas, under the gaudy neon lights, playing to a crowd of 7,000 at Planet Hollywood that Fredericksburg, Virginia, native Caressa Cameron received her crown.  

During her on-stage interview – the segment of all pageants that has drawn the most criticism and interest during recent years – Miss Cameron was asked about how to deal with the epidemic of childhood obesity.  Her reply: “We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little.  Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like.” 

Good advice for anyone…

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Harrah’s Starts to Manage Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Saturday

Harrah’s Entertainment is taking over management of hotel operations at the Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas as it continues to negotiate with lenders to buy the property. 

The privately held casino operator, who likes Planet Hollywood for its location and brand, said today that it would start managing the hotel at midnight this Saturday, Jan. 16. 

Regulatory filings show the resort defaulted on an $860 million loan in September. 

There is no deal yet for Harrah’s to take ownership of the property, but the gambling giant has applied with Nevada gambling regulators for a license to run it. 

Planet Hollywood has 2,500 rooms and manages another 1,200 units, including vacation homes and regular hotel rooms, in a tower that opened earlier this month.

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New Hotel Rooms Aplenty in Las Vegas Create Buyer’s Nirvana

Recession?  What recession?  Apparently, Las Vegas is being true to its persona- betting heavily that 1,575 new hotel rooms are just what the doctor ordered- if not now, maybe in the future? 

A mere two weeks after the debut of the Aria at the $8.5 billion new CityCenter, two more casino properties have entered the Las Vegas lodging fray in a market already straining to fill the rooms it already has, witnessed by an average mid-80 percent fill rate and drastically declining room rates. 

The 52-story PH Towers at Planet Hollywood Resort have just added 1,201 rooms yesterday.  The rooms are being marketed at $229 midweek and $349 weekends.   And the top four floors will be 16 condominiums for sale, ranging from 6,000 square feet to 18,000 square feet.

Not to be outdone, the Hard Rock Hotel also yesterday added their HRH tower, bringing 374 more rooms that include seven penthouse suites and eight spa villas.  Opening with their tower is the 25,000-square-foot Reliquary Spa, a new parking garage with a porte-cochere and 40,000 square feet of new casino space.  Think it ends there?  Hardly.  A new Hard Rock nightclub, the 14,000-square-foot Vanity, waits opening on Dec. 31, which will also mark lights out for the venerable celebrity hangout, Body English.

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