SHOOTING STARS: Katy Perry, Dan Rather ‘Waking Up in Vegas’

  First she kissed a girl — and now sassy pop songstress Katy Perry, at right, is “Waking Up in Vegas” this week in a video shoot that takes her from the Palms to the Strip to downtown. (The song’s title explains why Neon Nirvana was chosen as the location.)
  Featured on Perry’s album “One of the Boys,” the tune serves up a morning-after catalog of what-happens-in-Vegas consequences, from drunken weddings to lost (fake) IDs — and lost wages. As the chorus reminds listeners: “Shut up and put your money where your mouth is — That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas.”
  Back on the beat:  Veteran TV newsman Dan Rather reports from Las Vegas this week for the aptly titled “Dan Rather Reports,” the HDNet series he describes as “serious news for serious-minded people.” (Although, he hastens to add, “We don’t take ourselves seriously.”)
  With the current economic downturn impacting everything from gaming to real estate, Rather plans to interview a variety of local experts on the situation, including historian Michael Green of the College of Southern Nevada to R. Keith Scher, director of UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research. (Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman also turns up on Rather’s interview list.)
  As someone who’s been visiting here since the ’60s, Rather, at right, expresses interest in Las Vegas’ “obvious potential to reinvent itself, move forward and thrive,” he says, likening the spirit to the one that prevails at a blackjack table when a gambler goes bust and says, “ ‘Let’s break the seal on a new deck of Bicycles and get going.’ ”
  That’s the sort of philosophy Rather himself followed when the longtime CBS anchor departed in a cloud of controversy after 44 years with the network — and joined HDNet — in 2006.
  “I feel like I’m holding a royal flush every day,” he says of his return to field reporting. “I still have a passion for my craft.”
  Under construction: ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” returns to Southern Nevada this week to rebuild a local home. Hundreds of volunteers rallied at the Fremont Street Experience last week to kick off the show’s visit; Tuesday’s scheduled “door knock” will alert the chosen family to the big change coming in their lives, with demolition and construction starting Thursday and expected to continue through next week’s big St. Patrick’s Day “reveal.”
  The show previously visited Southern Nevada in late 2004, when local AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent and her family were the focus of an episode — and the recipients of a new North Las Vegas home.
  Casting about: Two excursions into reality TV — one an established hit, the other a new series — are looking for potential cast members.
  Auditions for the Emmy-winning “The Amazing Race” will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at two area auto dealers (Planet Nissan in Las Vegas and Henderson Nissan — in Henderson, of course), where they’ll shoot two-minute audition tapes for prospective globe-trotters 21 or older.
  Go to for more info, including application forms and eligibility requirements. (And be in line by 3:45 p.m. to be included in the casting call.)
  And, from the folks who brought you “Supernanny,” “The Real Housewives of NYC” and “It’s Me or the Dog” comes a new show: CMT’s “The World’s Strictest Parents,” which will place rebellious 21st-century teens with families that follow tried-and-true parenting.
  Casting producer Kathie Kopa continues her weeklong Vegas stay through Thursday, interviewing prospective participants — restless teens and standout parents alike — to participate in the show, which is already in production and debuts in April.
  Show officials hope to find a wide variety of prospects in Southern Nevada, which “is a great market in so many ways,” explains Johnnie Raines, supervising casting director for Shed Media, which produces the series.
  “It’s a great cross-section of America,” Raines says of Las Vegas. “When you get past the casinos, there’s a whole world out there.”
  If you’re interested, call the show’s hot line (888-418-3367) or e-mail the show’s casting officials at And check out the show’s Internet site ( for more details.
  On hiatus: That’s showbiz speak for vacation, which is where this column will be next week. Watch for the next edition of Shooting Stars March 23 …


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