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Holly’s got Vegas in her embrace

In the past few days, Holly Madison has been shadowed on the town by a New York Times reporter, served as a ring girl for the UFC, cut a charity video with Carrot Top and performed in “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood.

She is here, there and everywhere. She’s like Visa, but curvier in some places and pointier in others.

If you want the inside scoop, here you go.

Holly Madison is the smiling-est, most calmly present and sober, nicest celebrity I run into regularly.

My friends in this business say similar things, that Madison is respectful to strangers and is never a sour prima donna.

You might say, “Oh, Doug, my niece is pleasant, but I don’t see her in your column.”

Yes, but your niece wasn’t Hugh Hefner‘s Playmate girlfriend, co-star of “The Girls Next Door,” a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” the well-known girlfriend of a Cirque du Soleil person, then the star of her own topless show on the Strip.

We journo skeptics might expect someone of Madison’s background to behave faux-flirty for the benefit of the press, but she doesn’t.

I was talking with Jewel, the singer, last week about how Madison’s star rose largely because she replaced Jewel on “Dancing,” after the singer fractured a leg in rehearsals.

Jewel hung around the set and found Madison to be regular and kind.

“She wasn’t one of those girls that was catty to other girls. She was just nice and sweet,” says Jewel (who sings Saturday at Aliante).

So now Holly Madison is ubiquitous. I went to the UFC fight Saturday, and there she was, performing as a ring girl, decked in tiny red shorts, red top and white sneakers.

Afterward, Madison was running late for “Peep.” Traffic stunk, so she hopped out of the car she was riding in and ran up the street in her bikini-esque UFC outfit.

“It was hot out. It was a workout,” she says. But because I’m Doug Elfman, the sentence she said that stuck in my head was, “My butt was hanging out.”

Also this weekend, she did a brief appearance with Carrot Top in a video for a charity.

On Friday, she took a New York Times reporter to the local favorite, the Peppermill, which she describes as “roller disco/interior of a limo/what the interior of the Playboy mansion should look like.”

Then, Travelocity sent its advertising icon, the little Gnome Chomsky statue, to Vegas for the weekend, and it found itself pressed against Madison’s breasts for photos.

Madison proposed to the gnome. They were wed by an Elvis minister at the Planet Hollywood chapel while tourists yelled “Holly!” (Check my blog for photos.) There was no honeymoon.

“The gnome left me, and he had a prenup, so he took all my money and he’s out the door,” Madison joked.

Monday, Madison was washing her dog and planning to post videos on HollyMadison.com. But she also was scheduled to walk a Monday night “pink carpet” at the Mirage’s Rhumbar for a breast cancer charity fundraiser.

Tonight, she’s merely going to the midnight opening of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” There isn’t much else on her plate, but: “I’ll add extra stuff before the day’s over, believe me.”

I’ve taken a while to get to my biggest point, but here it is. Madison is enthused to promote herself, her show and Las Vegas in a recession. Ask yourself:

In a city where Frank Sinatra used to frequent casino floors, where fans and tourists could spot Sinatra being Sinatra, when was the last time (if ever) you have heard about Cher, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler or their peers appearing in a public space to create buzz for their show, their hotel or this city?

Cynics may think Madison is overexposed. But she is everywhere with a purpose. She cares, she tries, and she succeeds where others, idle and complacent, count box office.

My hope, I guess, is that other entertainers are inspired by Madison’s ardor and get off their presumptuous butts and make Vegas happen.

E-mail delfman@reviewjournal.com. Read my blog at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

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