Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How Channing Tatum, Jeff Timmons & Tyson Beckford Dish Are Changing the Face of Las Vegas

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Leena Tailor , ET


 

As part of hunky boy band 98 Degrees, Jeff Timmons grew accustomed to hordes of women going wild with ecstatic screams each time he went shirtless. "98 Degrees weren't known as being incredible dancers -- we were the guys next door who were fit," the now 44-year-old performer laughs. At 18, Channing Tatum also got a taste of serving as eye candy while working as a stripper in Florida. Model Tyson Beckford, 46, meanwhile, recalls walking past New York's Chippendales club as a kid, thinking, I want to look like that someday. He has since become used to ogling eyes excitedly checking him out in shirtless ad campaigns.
While the thrill of physical adoration has undeniably helped the trio make a buck over the years, none of them could have imagined that years later they would help transform the male entertainment scene in the strip show-saturated city of Las Vegas. Tatum recently launched Magic Mike Live, capitalizing on the incredible success of his film franchise; Timmons' musical revue, Men of the Strippremiered on July 14; and Beckford's popularity as the host of the Chippendales there just triggered a contract extension.
With such star power dominating the industry, what was once perceived by many as seedy is increasingly being seen as acceptable, sexy and enticing, and it's attracting flocks of women -- and men.
"This has been my legacy whether I liked it or not," says Tatum about how Magic Mike Live has cemented his place in the evolution of strip shows. "It's like my name is synonymous with stripping, so I thought I might as well make something that's more in line with who I am now."
Indeed, Tatum's Magic Mike movies have played a significant role in Vegas' male strip scene.
A.J. Trunk, producer and MC of the male revue Men of Sapphire at the strip club Sapphire, recalls the immediate effect of the first film's 2012 success. "Up until that movie, male revues were taboo," Trunk says. "People didn't know what to expect, so they pictured a scene from the '80s -- a bunch of guys with long hair wearing green G-strings, with too much oil on their bodies, gyrating. Magic Mike made women see the business in a different light. The business is evolving with all the movies that have come out -- two Magic MikesChocolate City, La Bare. People want to do what they see onscreen, whether it's watching rap videos and going, 'I want to be in a club with ladies around me,' or seeing Magic Mike and going, 'I want to be tipping guys with dollar bills, get crazy and have fun.'"
For Alison Faulk, Magic Mike's choreographer and the live show's co-director, the effect of the movies is still hard to get her head around, but she's proud to have been a part of something that has lessened the stigma associated with male entertainment. "The movies made it safe, accessible and OK for women to explore this area," Faulk says. "And on their own terms -- not every woman has to show up and go wild; some just want to watch. It sounds silly, but even in 2017, women are sometimes expected to sit back quietly, be nice and all these things, so the films and this night out in Vegas give them permission to experience this world as a safe place."
Timmons adds that social media has also played a key role in helping the industry shed negative perceptions. "People can actually see what these shows are like online, which is changing the overall perception and stigma that has been related to male revues for so long," says the musician, who previously hosted Chippendales, then launched Men of the Strip before revamping the show for its latest run at Hard Rock Live. "I took Men of the Strip on the road to a mainstream audience at grassroots level in 2014 and that went viral -- people could see it was more of an entertaining show than a raunchy one. And Magic Mike really took it mainstream. It's not taboo anymore for folks to go out and enjoy a show like this."
Although films like Magic Mike have gone a long way toward changing perceptions of male strip shows, having a celebrity name attached to live productions is what appears to be helping attract new audiences. While groups may have once hit town and then decided to check out a show like Thunder From Down Under after they arrived, many fans are now organizing vacations around Tatum, Timmons and Beckford's shows.
"I think by having a celebrity in the show, it does open it up to a broader audience,"' says Beckford, who hosted Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino's Chippendales in 2015 and returned this year, with his latest stint recently extended until Sept. 3. "I have been so used to being shirtless in the fashion world, but this show gives my fans the opportunity to see me up close and personal!"
"People feel safer because there's a celebrity name attached to it," adds Timmons. "Not only that, but their significant others also feel like, 'OK, my wife/husband isn't going to a super seedy, raunchy show -- they're going to something with a professional gloss to it.'"
Making the audience feel safe was a major priority for the team behind Magic Mike Live, who recognize that while creator and co-director Tatum's star power might help fill seats and attract people who might not otherwise attend, making them feel comfortable once they're there is also important. Faulk and choreographer Theresa Esposito worked hard to research what women want, find guys with great personalities, present a diverse cast and put strip show first-timers at ease.
"Having a guy get into your personal space without knowing them first, for women, is very jarring, so we've worked with the guys on how you get women to feel safe in three seconds and establishing trust," says Esposito. "We also have our MC, Lyndsay Hailey, who brings humor to it."
Down the road from Magic Mike Live's home at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Club Domina, Timmons is giving male revues a '90s pop flavor with his revamped Men of the Strip production at Hard Rock Live on The Strip. Having hosted Chippendales in 2011, the singer and producer noticed groups of 98 Degrees fans were attending -- all grown up, noticeably naughtier and ready for a wild night. Inspired to create a male revue with a musical element, he produced Men of the Strip, which came on the back of 98 Degrees' comeback album 2.0 and summer tour with New Kids on the Block in 2013.
The new version of the show, which runs until July 28, then may hit the road, sees him performing 98 Degrees hits, but also showcases its cast members' vocal abilities. Celebrity guests, including fellow boy banders, soap stars and a comedian, are in talks to make cameos. "What I learned from hosting Chippendales and seeing some competitors' shows is that there's an element, musically, that isn't included," says Timmons. "The vocals aren't as focused on, so my whole thing was to create a fun night incorporating as much music as I can. It still has all the dancing of a male revue, but it's an edgier boy band model."
So, how do established Vegas shows like Thunder From Down Under feel about celebrities entering the scene?
For Thunder's co-owner Adam Steck, shows like Magic Mike Live have only heightened awareness and demand. It was a starkly different scene when the SPI Entertainment CEO discovered the touring male troupe in 2000. "I said to their owner, Billy Cross, 'Why don't you just base it in Vegas? There's nothing for ladies here.' Everything was topless this and topless that in a very male-centric town."
The two went into partnership and signed a 125-seat room at New Frontier Hotel and Casino. At first, they were getting around 20 audience members a night, with Steck "literally on the street hustling to get them in." He says word slowly spread, but after 9/11, business took a steep downturn until MTV brought its Spring Break programming back to Sin City i. By March of 2012, crowds of women were queuing around the block.
Thunder From Down Under eventually landed a home at Excalibur Hotel & Casino and began touring internationally. July will mark 16 years of the show on the Strip. Steck credits films like Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike for putting women "more in touch with their sexuality" and bringing in even more business.
"We've always been a silent juggernaut," he notes. "We've been in incredible business for years, and every time another male revue comes to town, it just expands awareness of the scene. And, now with Magic Mike -- thank you, Channing Tatum! -- it's become more acceptable and super mainstream.
"We're very proud that we helped changed the face of the male revue back in the day," Steck says. "We took the dollar-bill sleaziness out of it to make it more fun, entertaining and comedic. Plus, we've got the Australian angle. There's something very sexy, macho and real about Aussie guys that girls go crazy over!
"But there's something for everybody," he adds. "Maybe people will see Magic Mike Live and go, 'What else is out there?' I don't think you can get more of a titanic than Magic Mike coming to town and threatening our brand, but we've been very resilient and the ticket [sales] have gone up. It's the rising tides philosophy."
Men of Sapphire's Trunk says that they, too, aren't suffering from the celebrity presence.
However, while male revues with a celebrity twist may be on the rise, their female counterparts are few and far between. Planet Hollywood's burlesque production, Peepshow, landed Spice Girl Melanie Brown and former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison during its 4-and-a-half-year run, but ended in 2013.
"We misjudged the market," says a Peepshow insider. "There wasn't really a market for a high-end, Broadway-caliber show with a female lead. With male revues, you get groups of women celebrating birthdays and bachelorette parties, and with Peepshow, we expected groups of guys and some couples, but it turns out guys are only going to strip clubs. They're not going to go to a production show."
Having witnessed both the male and female strip scene at Sapphire, Trunk agrees that men are less interested in artistic productions. "Guys don't care about a show or pole work," he says. "They're not as into the art of dance. They just want a good lap dance, drink and some boobs in their face. It's different to what girls want, and if you look at our show it's surprisingly clean ��� I literally wouldn't mind if my mom saw it."
For stars like Tatum and Timmons, the female influence is a driving force behind their moves, their shows and their success.
Tatum has previously discussed practicing his moves and getting input from his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, while Timmons says it's his wife, Amanda, who orchestrated his whole journey into striptease.
"She's the one who encouraged me to host [Chippendales,] then we caught the bug," Timmons says. "It's really her brainchild, because she said, 'Hey, let's create a more pop version of something like this.' She is definitely behind the success of the brand and she gives me tips on how to act, sing and dress. All credit to her!"
As for the other leading ladies in their lives -- their daughters -- Timmons and Tatum have no qualms about explaining their shows to their girls.
"It hasn't been challenging to explain because she shows have been safe," Timmons says. "Even when I was hosting Chippendales,they saw part of the shows and understood it's not that different to seeing their dad 10 or 20 years ago with his shirt off in a music video. They haven't been exposed to lap dancing or anything crazy."
Beckford's grown son, Jordan, "gets a kick of out," of his dad's career, while Tatum, 37, isn't fazed by what he might say if his adorable 4-year-old girl, Everly, one day asks about his strip show legacy. "There's nothing to explain, it's just an awesome show," he says. "It's fun!"
What he ultimately hopes is that his venture into live male entertainment raises the bar of the world he fell into while searching for adventure as a young college dropout. "[The show] is his desire to leave a mark," Faulk says. "He's so associated with stripping, and I've heard him say, 'I really want to leave this stripper world better than it started.' He had very seedy experiences in Tampa back in the day, so he wants to leave the game elevated, in a way where people go, 'This is so cool.'"

8 Fun Facts About Nick and Vanessa Lachey's Top-Secret Wedding

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Nick and Vanessa Lachey have been married for six years now, and the couple are the proud parents of three kids, daughter Brooklyn and sons Camden and Phoenix. But do you remember their 2011 wedding? The pair got engaged in November 2010, and while most of the details were kept under wraps, fans later got a peek at the romantic nuptials when they aired on TLC. In case you didn't watch, here are a few fun facts about their big day.

  1. They tied the knot on an island. Not only that, but it was Richard Branson's private island in the British Virgin Islands.
  2. Their wedding was a surprise to their guests. "Our wedding invitations were in the form of a plane ticket," Nick told E! News. "We told them they were going away and the attire was 'island chic.' It was all very vague."
  3. Vanessa stuck to tradition. Vanessa stunned in a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier ensemble with an embellished lace corset and a tufted skirt, and her something old was a pair of diamond earrings Nick gave her during their first year of dating. "I wanted to be in that long traditional wedding gown with heels and I wanted my groom in a tux and shoes and not barefoot on the beach," she told People.
  4. It was a four-day affair. Celebrity wedding planner Sharon Sacks coordinated a celebration that matched the pair's fun, laid-back personality for their 35 guests.
  5. One of Nick's favorite moments was when he first saw Vanessa. "It literally took my breath away," he gushed to People. "It's a moment you fantasize about, and I was certainly not disappointed."
  6. Vanessa and Nick said "I do" on national television. The couple's nuptials later aired on TLC in a program called Nick & Vanessa's Dream WeddingThe show documented their road to the aisle and included some sweet interviews with the couple before the big day.
  7. It was an emotional dayThe couple wrote their own vows and Vanessa reportedly cried.
  8. They partied all night. Following the reception, everyone made their way to the beach, where they danced and watched fireworks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nick Lachey, Dog-Whispering Dad About Town, Wants To Help Your Itchy Pet

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TOREY VAN OOT


The email, subject line: "Interview Opportunity: Nick Lachey Talks Animal Instincts," landed in my inbox on a sunny Thursday at 12:03 p.m. I clicked immediately. The "Animal Instincts" in question actually had to do with...dog allergies? I forwarded the email to my editor at 12:05. It was an itch I just had to scratch.
It turns out, as the email explained, that the singer/producer/TV personality known for his soothing vocals on 98 Degrees' chart-topping hits of the '90s is adding a new slash to his bio: spokesman for a campaign to soothe dogs of allergy-related discomfort.
Yes, you read that right. Nick Lachey, your boy band dream crush of yore, is moonlighting as a Dog Whisperer.
Reader, if I was a canine, my tail would be wagging. I, like Nick, am the owner of a pup who just so happens to suffer from various itchy conditions. My dog's issues have gotten better over time (swapping his food to grain-free, at our vet's recommendation, seemed to help). But I've long been searching for the secret to get my 5-year-old golden to stop constantly rubbing his face (and back and paws) on the floor (and grass and dirt, and cement sidewalk).
Nick wasn't really able to help me there, except to tell me I should take the quiz on the website he's promoting. But he did shed some light on his pup Wookie's woes, the difference between being a dog parent and a dad, and why he thinks boy bands will always be big.
So when I saw the email about this, I was immediately interested because I have a dog who has itching problems, too. 
“It’s amazing how many people out there have dogs who have gone through the same thing. It’s one of those things you don’t openly talk about all the time, but there are so many people dealing with the same issues.”
Well, yeah, I told my mom about this interview, and she reminded me that one of our childhood dogs also had a skin condition. Tell me about what you went through with your dog, Wookie? 
“We first noticed this after he had stayed with friends. When we got him from their house, we thought he had just maybe gotten fleas from their dogs or something of that nature. It just never seemed to go away. We treated him with flea medication, nothing worked. It got to be so all-consuming for him; literally I’d be playing catch with him, and he’d stop to scratch and itch. It got so bad, honestly, that we had to put the cone on him, because he would not quit irritating his skin and scratching it to death. So we took him to the vet, and she said, ‘I think he’s got allergies.’ I had never even contemplated the fact that dogs could have allergies, so that was interesting to me in and of itself. The vet said, 'I’ll prescribe [anti-allergy medication] Apoquel and see how it works,' and it was a complete turnaround.”
THE BASIC RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING A DOG OWNER, IT IS LIKE PARENTING IN A SENSE. IT DID TAKE US TO A DIFFERENT PLACE IN OUR HEADSPACE.
A lot of dog owners have this problem, where we see something going on, but it’s not like your dog can tell you what’s wrong. So what can we do? 
“You can go to YourAnimalInstinct.com and get some of those questions answered and self-diagnose. [Find out] is this something that will pass, or should I talk to a vet, should I get a professional opinion if this is something more serious? To your point, you can’t tell, you just know they’re miserable. Dogs are part of the family, and it's not good to see your family be miserable and in a bad place.”
You’ve said having a dog in some ways prepared you for parenting. How so? 
“Clearly parenting a child and a dog are different things. Specifically for us, as a young couple, we had just moved in together and gotten Wookie together, and it’s not about you anymore. The basic responsibility of being a dog owner, it is like parenting in a sense. It did take us to a different place in our headspace. You have to think about someone other than yourself, and that’s a good lesson to learn, especially if you’re going to have kids someday. Because when you have kids, it’s definitely not about you anymore. [So], in a way, it definitely did prepare us for parenting.”
A lot of our parenting coverage is focused on not just parenting, but deciding if you want to be a parent, and, if so, when and how. Did you always know you wanted to be a parent? Or is it something you came to over time? 
“Yeah. For me, my relationship with my parents was always a really good one, and I very much cherish those relationships, so I knew I wanted to have my own kids someday. That was something that, for me, was a no-brainer. Now, how many you have and how closely you have them together and all that, I didn’t necessarily see coming. But I always knew I wanted to be a dad. And even for someone who knew they wanted to be a parent, it’s pretty mind-blowing. Every day is a unique set of challenges, but it’s also a unique set of gratifications. The thrill of seeing them happy and thriving, there’s nothing like it.”
DOGS ARE PART OF THE FAMILY AND IT'S NOT GOOD TO SEE YOUR FAMILY BE MISERABLE AND IN A BAD PLACE.
How does Wookie fit into the equation of your growing family? I know some people worry about their dog adjusting to the addition of kids. 
“I think dogs kind of innately look to be nurturers and protectors of the kids. When we first brought our oldest, Camden, home from the hospital, someone had told us bring a towel or swaddle or something that has the baby’s scent on it, and let the dog sniff it before you bring the baby home. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but he’s been great with the kids. We just did the People magazine 'Beautiful Family' piece, and my son insisted that Wookie came with us to be in the picture. If he’s ever counting how many boys are in the room, he always includes Wookie in the boy count. The dog is a part of our family at this point, no question.”
I have to ask you about this Instagram about finding your wife's wedding band in the trash can, amid dirty diapers. What happened? 
“First of all, I’m surprised the pickup that got, that little Instagram picture. She couldn’t find her wedding ring, and that happens from time to time. You check the kids’ rooms, maybe you took it off when you gave them a bath. We couldn’t find it anywhere, and she said, ‘I think it might be in the trash.’ She went off to work that day, and I said, 'Alright, just to kind of check that box off, I’ll go through the trash.' In my mind, I’m thinking, there’s no chance I’m finding this wedding ring in here. It’s just a complete goose chase. But I’ll be damned, I’m going through the bag that has our bathroom trash in it, and I couldn’t believe it, there it was.”
I'm glad you found it! I also wanted to ask you about the new Boy Bandcompetition show on ABC. Have you seen it? 
“I’ve seen a preview, I haven’t seen the show itself, but the one thing we know about boy bands is that they’re cyclical. There will always be young girls out there who fall in love with boy bands. When one goes out, it makes sense for another to come in, whether it’s a group from this show or another group that forms. One thing that I can say for sure is that there will be another boy band. There’s no question there.”
What about 98 Degrees? Any plans to do more touring? 
“Yeah, we do! Because we’re having such a good time doing it still, we’re going to put together another project this year, and looking to do a tour later this year hopefully. As long as people still enjoy it, and we’re still enjoying doing it, we’re going to keep doing it. And we’ll see how it goes.”

Jeff Timmons visits the Build Series (Pictures)

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More Images can be found on the Getty Website
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29:  Singer Jeff Timmons visits the Build Series to discuss his upcoming tour and solo album at Build Studio on June 29, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29:  Singer Jeff Timmons visits the Build Series to discuss his upcoming tour and solo album at Build Studio on June 29, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

Boy Band Celebrity Family Feud (Pictures)

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Vanessa Lachey Loses Wedding Ring, Nick Lachey Searches Through Garbage to Find It!

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By 


He does cherish her! Nick Lachey showed the lengths he would go to in order to keep wife Vanessa Lachey happy when he posted a photo of a dirty garbage bag he had to rummage through just to find her wedding ring!
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Lachey

Lachey, 42, captioned the Instagram picture of the diamond ring surrounded by dirty diapers, strands of hair and a piece of paper, “This is true love after 6 years of marriage…digging through dirty diapers and trash to find your wife’s missing wedding ring!!” with the hashtag #success.
The post got a lot of positive comments from his followers. One proclaimed, “They don’t make men like you anymore…..just say’n,” followed by the praying hands emoji. Another wrote, “True love indeed! What a great hubby!” with two thumbs up. Many others simply declared him a “great” man.
Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey
 The couple, who have been married since 2011, recently took their three children — daughter Brooklyn, 2, and sons Camden, 4, and Phoenix, who was born in December — on a beach getaway where they enjoyed quality family time.
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Lachey
Lacey told Us Weekly in January that being the father of three kids under the age of 5 doesn’t faze him.
“Part of the fun of kids is the craziness, and you’ve got to embrace that side of it as well,” he explained. “I think the real chaos is going to come in a couple years when Phoenix is 2 and Brooklyn’s 4 and Camden’s 6. … Then I can just imagine it’s going to be craziness.”

Vanessa Lachey & Nick Lachey’s Mini Fashionista

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Dress up time!
Mom-of-three Vanessa Lachey shared a sweet snapshot of daughter Brooklyn, 2, via Instagram.
“Love her so much!!! #toddlerfashion #dressedherself #fashionista #mood #feelinherself #thelmaandlouise,” the Truth Be Told actress, 36, captioned the cute snapshot of her toddler playing dress up.
On Mother’s Day, the model-actress posted a photo with 5-month-old son Phoenix, whom she said “completes” the family.
The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer actress and husband Nick Lachey are also parents to 4-year-old son Camden.