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Garth Brooks simply in denial

No, no and no. That’s the response from Garth Brooks’ publicist to three questions I asked after reporting here that the country icon was spotted at dinner Thursday with hotel developer Steve Wynn.

In an e-mail to Nancy Seltzer of Los Angeles, I asked (a) if Brooks was discussing a deal with Wynn, (b) was there any truth to a long-standing rumor that Brooks once proposed a lifetime deal to the Desert Inn (where he had performed), and (c) was there any truth to Brooks being interested for some time in a Las Vegas headliner residency?

“The answer to all the questions/rumors/assumptions is a simple ‘no,'” Seltzer said. “Garth did meet with Mr. Wynn and told me he was a very nice man, but no deal was discussed.”

A source with an intimate knowledge of the local entertainment scene said if Brooks is interested in ramping up his career, he would be “definitely in the top five” as far as hottest headliner-in-residency acts in Las Vegas.

“He’s in Faith Hill‘s category; more mainstream, more Top 40. And don’t forget, country music is very hot right now.”

The source added, “Wynn made it known when he gave Danny Gans the long-term deal that he was going to be booking other ‘name’ acts.”

With the death of Gans, Wynn “is under the gun, so he’s putting out feelers all over. The worst thing a hotel can have is an empty showroom.”

Brooks has been on the sidelines since 2000, when he retired, doing a show on occasion.

‘TOP CHEF’ WRAPS

After 5 1/2 weeks of keeping a lid on their potboiler, Bravo’s Las Vegas-set “Top Chef” show called it a wrap Saturday.

A galaxy of Michelin-starred chefs attended the sixth season wrap party hosted by Blush Boutique and Wynn Las Vegas.

Hmm, that sounds like a huge hint in the host-hotel guessing game.

Among the 80 to 100 attendees were judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Ted Allen and Toby Young, with star chefs Thomas Keller, Wynn Las Vegas chefs Daniel Boulud, Paul Bartolotta and Alex Stratta, Jerome Bocuse, son of French icon Paul Bocuse, and rising star Gavin Kaysen, executive chef at Café Boulud in New York.

Bartolotta, who recently won James Beard‘s top chef in the Southwest region, helped prepare a seafood feast for the gathering Friday at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas.

Friday’s party ended at XS, Encore’s poolside nightclub.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

A day after turning 58, Planet Hollywood creator Robert Earl was in London’s Wembley Stadium to see his Everton soccer team play Saturday for England’s FA Cup for the first time in 14 years. Everton scored 30 seconds into the game, the fastest goal in finals history, but Chelsea rallied for a 2-1 win. …

Brandon Flowers, frontman for The Killers, and wife Tana are expecting their second child, People reported Saturday.

SIGHTINGS

Aaron Rogers, Green Bay Packers quarterback, dining Friday at Stack in The Mirage. … Actor “Ving” Rhames, partying Friday with Ray J at Poetry Nightclub (Forum Shops at Caesars). Also there, NBA player Marcus Camby and actress Melyssa Ford. … Singer Ryan Cabrera at The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio on Friday with the Swedish Bikini Team. Also spotted: actor Lukas Haas. … At the Palms on Friday: Nicky Hilton and David Katzenberg, at N9NE Steakhouse before going to Rain. Also at Rain: Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri and Nelly with actress Sanaa Lathan. … “Dancing With the Stars” contestant David Allen Grier, with friends Friday at Brand Steakhouse at Monte Carlo before heading for Pure.

THE PUNCH LINE

“If confirmed she (Sonia Sotomayor) would be the country’s first Hispanic justice. Her first order of business? Deporting Lou Dobbs.”– Jay Leno

Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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