The Pussycat Dolls. I remember getting the email from Ginny my producer asking if I would be up to learning some dance moves from the Pussycat Dolls. The infamous burlesque dance troupe out of Los Angeles, of course, had their own stomping grounds in Las Vegas. I read the email out loud to my husband, thinking he would laugh at how hysterical the proposition was, but the look on his face was like a 10-year-old boy seeing a Ferrari for the first time. \”I\’m in,\” I wrote back. Hoping once my husband actually saw me as a Pussycat Doll, the facial expression would still remain as blissful.
I thought I would be scared to meet and learn some moves from the Pussycat Dolls, but as we walk into Caesar\’s Palace into Pure the nightclub they perform in, I\’m as excited as a kid going to Build a Bear. I remember the time I got to be a Rockette in NYC. What a thrill that was. We enter the club, and there are swings laced with feather boas, a claw-foot bathtub and a stripper pole. This IS going to be fun. The Pussycat Dolls are about as sweet, adorable and fun as you can get for women. They taught me a quick dance move and I\’m a little disappointed since I don\’t want this to end. Soon we get on stage and they show me how to spin on a stripper pole — a Samantha Brown first. It\’s hard to come by an activity after eight years of traveling that I haven\’t done. Bobsledding? Check. Hang-gliding? Check. Hold a Panda? Sure. Swim with dolphins? Four times. But swing around a stripper pole? Now that\’s a first. The highlight is when I get sit in a eight-foot champagne glass that rises from the stage and spins. My foot and ankle keep scraping a fiberglass platform inserted into the glass as I try to attempt the physical movements of sexiness. It\’s cutting up my ankle but all I keep thinking is how fun it will be to explain the injury. Oh, how did I get the cut on my leg? Writhing around in a spinning champagne glass.
Let me set the record straight. I WANTED so badly to drive the car during the Richard Petty racing experience. The Richard Petty people wanted me to drive the car, too. Someone at the Travel Channel did not. I kept hearing something about the insurance rider being too high or this was considered too dangerous. So I\’m not sure if it\’s because I wasn\’t worth it or I am worth too much. I\’ve been in a pen with wild bears, but for some reason, me driving a race car proved too much for the insurance. While recording the VO for this scene, someone wrote that \”you can drive the car but then I don\’t drive stick.\” I was like NO WAY AM I SAYING THAT! I will not be thrown under the bus for this one, nosiree. And what an embarrassment to the Brown family name. My dad races cars, my sister was once a race-car mechanic, I had a radar detector at the age of 17! All the Brown girls were taught how to approach a hairpin turn before we learned to parallel park! Oh well, I must say I had so much fun just riding shotgun, but I can only imagine what a thrill it would have been to drive.
There\’s nothing more intimidating than walking into a dive bar patronized by the hard-core locals who don\’t want a camera crew in their dark somewhat secretive haunt. This was the case on our last night in Las Vegas. And after a day that began at 6:30 a.m. with 13 hours of shooting, the crew and I were no more happy to see them than they were us. This is going to be hard I thought to myself. I was so ready to bail, we had 14 scenes in a 22-minute show about things to do on the weekend. I had a schedule that was hard to complete in four days, let alone two. But we all really thought we needed this in the show. The great thing about being tired is you just don\’t care. Your ego gave out long ago and you just want to get it over with. The crowd surrounding the bar looked unreceptive and could possibly turn a little hostile. I was at a point where I could have turned a little hostile myself, but then the bacon martinis started flowing.
Melo, the bartender from Hawaii, was great. I got behind the bar and learned how to make the bacon martini. Not hard really — just some vodka they infuse with cooked bacon (or was it raw?), which sits at the bottom of the bottle like a tape worm in formaldehyde. I started asking the people around the bar if they wanted one and the unresponsive crowd soon was having a good time. I really liked being bartending, you have a lot of power behind that bar, because you hold the key to people\’s drinking. I can\’t believe I waited on tables for 10 years; I should have been a bartender.