Hey this is the Jokers Daughter,
Here are few interesting articles about the show that I wanted to share. If you find any other articles, then be sure to provide a link to the original site, otherwise they will delete it.


What happens in Vegas will make or break 'The Entertainer'

February 20, 2005


LAS VEGAS -- Suffice it to say Wayne Newton knows a thing or two about entertainment. After all, he's been performing since he was a toddlin' tot of 5. And he's the first to say that talent alone, "back in those days," wouldn't get you very far.

Sitting in his spacious and comfy greenroom after a recent performance at the Stardust Hotel, where he performs six nights a week, Newton is quick to offer up the names of those who helped him along the way. Names like Benny, Gleason, Ball, Darin, Hughes (yes, Howard), to name a few. Now 62, Newton wants to help another young artist fulfill his or her lifelong dream by becoming the "Trump of the desert." He's the host of "The Entertainer," a new reality series airing at 9 p.m. Sundays on the E! Channel.

For the funky hybrid channeling both "American Idol" and "The Apprentice," 10 contestants (singers, comedians, magicians) were chosen from thousands of auditions to come to the Las Vegas Hilton and vie for the title of "The Entertainer." They are put through various "tasks" that may or may not reflect their particular talent, and one by one, they are eliminated (the show is currently in its fourth week).

No one is "fired" -- they are simply asked to leave the stage. Ridicule by the judges, including Newton and two of his longtime band members, is banned. ("What do you gain by humiliating an up-and-coming talent on national television?" Newton asks.) And the prize for their 10-week audition? A not-too-shabby $1 million performer's contract with the Hilton Corp. and a stint with the Newton show across town at the Stardust.

"I sat down one day and asked the question, 'If I were starting out today, where would I get my chance to do what I do?'" Newton says. "The lounge system that so many of us came up through in this business is gone. That training ground is gone; places like the Chez Paree in Chicago, the Copa in New York. These are extremely talented young people who want to work in this business. They just need that one big break. And that's what this show is all about."

On this particular night, we're soon joined by three of the contestants -- illusionist Nate Burton, comedian Dave Russo and prop comic (a la Carrot Top) Joe Trammel. The three have become pals, but only one of them will walk away with the break of a lifetime. The show is technically over, but no one knows the outcome. If one of them is indeed The Entertainer, he's not talking, under penalty of forfeiture. But they are willing to talk about the process.

"We were sequestered in this 15,000-square-foot penthouse suite at the Hilton for the duration of the show, and can you believe we had cabin fever?" Burton says. "No TV, no papers, no phone, no radio. Just these guys."

"Sure it's been hard on us, but then this business is hard, and we all had to work our butts off to do the job," Russo interjects, his Boston accent coming through loud and clear. "I mean, it's Wayne Newton! This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and it has been a life-altering experience."

Each finalist underwent not only grueling talent auditions, but also extensive medical and psychological testing. They had no contact with the outside world, which was difficult for all of them, especially Trammel, who has a young daughter.

"It was hard, but it was so worth it," Trammel says. "In the end, none of us will lose. We've all gained something from this entire experience."

From their new mentor, Newton, the trio says they've learned what it takes to not only make it in show business, but also to endure.

"Mr. Newton gave us the best advice the very first time he met with us as a group," Russo says. "He said, 'Be true to yourself, and be yourself. The audience will immediately connect with you if you do those two things.'"

"This is better than 'American Idol' because this is not just about being a singer, it's about being an entertainer, which is something completely different," Trammel adds. "This wasn't about some unknown young kid performing for the first time. We already work in this business and we just need that one break to get over the next hurdle. And unlike 'Idol,' Mr. Newton gives us constructive criticism and advice. He has never talked down to any of us, insulted us or made fun of us. Simon [Cowell, of 'American Idol'] doesn't teach anyone anything about show business.

"I've learned more about entertaining from Mr. Newton in these 10 weeks than I could have learned in a lifetime. That says it all, doesn't it?"