Any time I get the opportunity to emcee shows in Las Vegas, I jump at the chance. In this case, literally!
I recently hosted a corporate event for Caesars Entertainment, “Caesars Got Talent.” Caesars Entertainment employs thousands of people in its Las Vegas resorts, and this show is a chance to spotlight their singing, dancing and comedy talents.
It was a packed house at the Penn & Teller Theater at Rio Las Vegas as 10 finalists took to the stage to perform.
A great aspect of the event was that all proceeds from ticket sales and raffles went to Opportunity Village, a Las Vegas nonprofit serving the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. (Sweetness: One of the raffle prizes was a ride on the High Roller observation wheel, coming soon to The Linq, right next door to The Linq.)
The competition was fierce, and I was very impressed with the level of talent on display. Such composure and commitment to being the very best.
The evening’s Grand Prize Winner was Ronan Urena, a Front Services Supervisor at Bally’s Las Vegas. Along with 30,000 Total Rewards Credits and a celebrity style stay at Caesars Palace, Ronan also gets a one-time opportunity to open for my show, “Comedy in Action,” at The Linq.
Second prize went to Mimi Kassa (a contortionist), and third prize went to dancer Laura Iva. Although this was a competition, there was a sense that all the finalists were rooting for the other performers to do well.
A special shout-out goes to the event’s live band, Empire Records, led by Robby Wingman. They really added a wonderful level of professionalism and cohesion to the proceedings.
Debbie Gibson was one of the judges of the talent contest, and I enjoyed her spot-on impression of Britney Spears. Britney Spears, of course, will be coming to Planet Hollywood soon with a Las Vegas residency.
Also on the judge’s panel was Anita Mann, the Emmy Award-winning choreographer who also does choreography for “Fantasy” at Luxor. The third judge was Will Edwards, who hosts the “Will Edwards Show,” Las Vegas’ only late night TV variety show.
The sense of community among entertainers is one of the great things about performing in Las Vegas, whether among amateurs or professionals.
From what I hear, “Caesars Got Talent” is expected to be an annual event, and I think it’s a wonderful forum to showcase the many different hidden talents out there.
I love being able to volunteer my hosting services for Caesars Entertainment events, especially when a worthwhile charity like Opportunity Village benefits from the festivities.
Enjoy a few more photos below from “Caesars Got Talent.” Photo credits go to lead photographer for The Will Edwards Show Angel Mendoza, and Jessica and Andrew Kirchner from the National Concierge Association.[nggallery id=71 template=caption]