Catherine Brown has come a long way: from life-threatening surgery after her heart was encased in a concretelike shell to a shot at reality show fame.
Brown is one of four Las Vegans among 20 women competing for the chance to marry Poison frontman Bret Michaels in VH1's "Rock of Love 2."
The show premieres Jan. 13.
Brown was the subject of in-depth articles by the Review-Journal in 2002 and 2005 detailing her medical challenges and her family's fears.
Her amazing recovery from constrictive pericarditis will be chronicled in the reality show, which was taped a few months ago.
"It defined me for so long. It took over my whole life," the mother of twin 16-year-old boys said by telephone Wednesday.
Brown, who is divorced, landed on the series when her friend, Andrea Robinson, a local model, recommended her during an audition.
The trailer can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA8Vm4SWgeE.
PARIS EYES VEGAS
Paris Hilton says she's working on a "surprise" venture in Las Vegas.
She told Vegas Confidential that she had a meeting Wednesday about the project. Hilton declined to go into details but said, "It's not a restaurant."
Hilton has been linked in recent years to numerous rumors about a Las Vegas nightclub association. In October 2004, she signed a deal with Planet Hollywood chairman Robert Earl, but it didn't get off the ground.
Hilton, in town to promote a new salon at Caesars Palace (Michael Boychuck's Color), dismissed reports that she and Kevin Federline were a couple over the New Year's weekend here.
"It's so annoying. Anytime you're seen talking to someone or in a picture, you're suddenly involved. There's nothing there. Not at all. I love Britney (Spears)," Hilton said.
Her New Year's resolution? "Just keep positive and keep positive people in my life."
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Harrah's headliner Rita Rudner and husband/manager Martin Bergman are taking their new comedy play to the Little Theatre on Jan. 14. Co-starring Rudner and comedian Bobby Slayton, the play, titled "Room 776," centers on two strangers forced to share a Las Vegas hotel room on a sold-out weekend. Tickets for the reading are $10 (all proceeds going to the theater) and can be bought either online (www.lvlt.org) or by phoning 362-7996. The theater is at 3920 Schiff Drive, off the Spring Mountain Road exit on Interstate 15. ...
Philippine singing star Martin Nievera is joining the Society of Seven (Flamingo Las Vegas) full time Feb. 13 after the group returns from a hiatus.
Power music couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles, dining with a large group at BOA steakhouse inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. ... Knowles' sister, Solange, spotted dancing to "Crazy in Love" -- Beyoncé's hit -- in a VIP skybox at 40/40 Club (Palazzo) on New Year's Eve. ... Beyoncé, escorted by two bodyguards, made a surprise visit to DuBarry Fashions on Saturday. The store is known for its bling, accessories and clothing, and for a Sunday jam session called "It Don't Mean a Thing If Your Bling Ain't Got Swing," featuring Platters leader Derek David and his Bling band. ... Avril Lavigne, dancing on the couches with friends at the Palms' ghostbar early Wednesday. DJ Cyberkid got the party started when he played her hit "Girlfriend." She was with her husband, Deryck Whibley, of Sum 41. ... Lil Jon, counting down to midnight for Blush's re-creation of New Year's Eve for the industry night crowd. Also in the house at the Wynn Las Vegas club: St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson and members of the Backstreet Boys. ... Steve and Elaine Wynn, dining at CatHouse (Luxor) on New Year's Eve with longtime associate Elizabeth Blau, now a co-owner at CatHouse. ... Spears' former manager Larry Rudolph, at the Palms' New Year's Eve party.
"I know what you're thinking to yourself: Dave looks like a missing hiker." -- David Letterman, on his return to the air Wednesday, when he unveiled the beard he grew during the writers strike.