Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Gladys Knight in ‘DWTS’ hunt; Penn thriving on ‘Apprentice’
Las Vegas is represented by two headline performers on two reality TV shows right now, and so far both have dodged trouble to remain in their fights to win.
It was a sexy and sassy evening of sambas, salsas and Argentine tangos on Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars,” and hometown Empress of Soul Gladys Knight and pro partner Tristan MacManus scored sufficiently to stay out of the bottom slots. Rivals actress Melissa Gilbert with Maksim Chmerkovskiy (21 points) and singer Gavin DeGraw with Karina Smirnoff (also 21) look to be in elimination trouble on tonight’s results show.
Local hero Carlos Santana, who opens his new two-year residency at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay next month, provided the sizzle at the halfway mark of ABC’s top-rated show in Week 5 of Season 14. Incidentally, “DWTS,” which originated on BBC in London, is now seen in different versions in 28 countries. Thanks to Adam Taylor at ABC for his photo gallery of the dance-floor action Monday night.
Wynn sports ace Johnny Avello has Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers and Petra Murgatroyd as his favorites to win the season. On Monday night, they scored 27, good enough for 2nd place, but behind my pick to win: mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas, who scored 29 from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. (Update: Johnny’s latest odds released this morning have Katherine in the lead now!)
Gladys and Tristan were one of three couples who selected the samba. Meantime, injuries have plagued other contestants: “Extra” correspondent Maria Menounos, competing with Derek Hough, with her busted ribs and foot fracture and Melissa, who wore a neck brace this week after being taken to a hospital in an oxygen mask from a concussion last week. They both danced the salsa last night.
Tonight, the program institutes the new dance-off policy to tackle fan popularity voting, and it will be the judges who end the run for one of the celebrity teams. Next week: A surprise double elimination on the same terms!
I’m betting it comes down to Gavin and Melissa tonight, and then next week Gladys might find herself up against Melissa. The judges gave Gladys 22 points for her samba Monday night, with Bruno raving: “You have incredible stage presence and play so well to your audience.“ Carrie Ann agreed: “You command the stage.” Gruff Len summed up: “Simple. Effective. Well done.”
PENN JILLETTE ON ‘CELEBRITY APPRENTICE’
Meantime, over on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” our Rio magic headliner Penn Jillette’s Team Forte was joined by Clay Aiken to balance the numbers.
Johnny has steadfastly stuck to his pick for Penn to win, and sure enough he remained safe. It was the week the teams competed in performing a puppet show, but only after they’d made the puppets themselves.
Regular Las Vegas comedienne Lisa Lampanelli lost her cool blowing up at 2008 Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, but in the end it was Paul Teutul Sr. who was fired by the Donald this week.
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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