Brides-to-be celebrate Las Vegas-style on 'Bachelorette Party' television show


Las Vegas' rise as a reality-TV capital began at the Palms in 2002, when MTV's "The Real World" checked in.

So it seems fitting that the Palms also plays host to the latest example of televised Vegas excess: Oxygen's "Bachelorette Party: Las Vegas."

Debuting at 10 p.m. Monday, the eight-part(y) series focuses on one bachelorette bash per episode, introducing a new bride-to-be, maid-of-honor, bridesmaids -- and lineup of fantasy festivities.

The bridal parties may change, but the show maintains one constant throughout: the VIP team that caters to their every whim.

Jon Gray , Palms senior vice president, leads the team -- and provides the show's opening narration, guaranteeing viewers a glimpse of "the ultimate girls' night out," representing a future bride's "last chance to go wild and get crazy."

Or, as the show's bouncy theme song promises, "It's a party in Vegas! So outrageous!"

Exactly what Gray and his VIP team -- nightclub insider Jason "JROC" Craig and dapper Brit Elliot Wronski and Gray's assistant Erin Ketner -- deliver on demand.

After all, "bachelorette parties have become a pop culture phenomenon," Gray observes -- a trend exemplified by the female-centric raunch of this summer's hit movie "Bridesmaids."

Unlike (mostly) behind-closed-doors bachelor bashes, bachelorette gatherings "take the party to the public," Gray says, citing "the costumes, the games that they play."

In his experience, "women can celebrate a lot harder than guys can celebrate," he says, in part because "more people are aware of it," making bachelorette parties "a lot more wild and raucous."

Take Brasie , the debut episode's resident Bridezilla, a former Laker girl who dubs herself "the Donald Trump of brides" for her willingness to banish attendants who forget her cardinal rule: "It's all about the bride. It's all about me."

Sure enough, during the course of "Bachelorette Party's" initial episode, bridal party back-stabbing and overly hearty partying add soap-level drama to an hour that also includes a surprise celebrity guest and an in-suite beauty spa. To say nothing of glittering close-ups of Palms attractions, from the guests' home away from home (the Hardwood Suite, complete with in-room basketball court) to the perfect-for-partying Playboy Club.

In the show (which filmed almost a year ago, in November 2010), future episodes feature everything from male strippers to an around-town scavenger hunt.

Whatever the party's theme, "it's a great bonding experience" for the partyers, Gray says. "It's a rite of passage for them."

It's also a chance to "take everyday people and provide some extraordinary experiences" for them, Gray says of the show.

The dream weekends, featuring full VIP treatment, would cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000, Gray estimates.

That is, if the Palms didn't offer some of the amenities on a trade-out basis; "Bachelorette Party's" production company picked up the remainder of the tab for each episode's festivities, Gray explains.

When Gavin Polone , one of the show's executive producers, first pitched the show to Oxygen officials, they immediately determined "it was perfect for us and our brand," recalls Cori Abraham, Oxygen Media's senior vice president of development.

After all, the show focuses on "women going through a transition," she explains. That made the concept "relatable," in part because "there's a romance element, there's a girlfriends element, there's a party element."

Chief among those party elements: Las Vegas itself.

"We thought, 'If anybody had their fantasy bachelorette party, where would they want to go?' " Abraham says. No wonder Las Vegas was "the first, and only, choice."

In Gray's view, no other city can match "the over-the-top that Las Vegas is," he says. "I don't think anyone's at our level."

And, as "Bachelorette Party" demonstrates, "it's not just the typical party," he adds. "There are so many extraordinary things we do."

Which is precisely why "Bachelorette Party" came to Glitter City.

"I sound like the poster girl for Vegas," Abraham acknowledges, but "when you go to Las Vegas, you can be a cowgirl, you can be a party girl," she says. "You can tap into any bride's fantasy world."

Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

 

Rules for posting comments

Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum. Read our guidelines for posting. If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon next to the comment.