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Coming Soon To Aria: Simon Cowell's X Factor, Iron Chef America and Resort Fees!

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 30th August 2010 3:14am
  » filed under MGM Mirage  comments: 18


What do Simon Cowell, Iron Chef America and Resort Fees have in common? If you said "they all suck" you would be only partially correct. The real answer is that all three of them are coming - or have recently been - at ARIA.

Simon Cowell, who was the only reason any same person could bear watching more than three seasons of American Idol, is bringing his new talent show The X Factor to Aria later this year. Unlike Idol, The X Factor will be a pay-per-view via the internet show, and initially not be on broadcast TV, perhaps due to a clause in Simon's Idol contract. The show will be taped at ARIA, most likely on dark days in the Viva Elvis theatre or perhaps some other cavernous space that isn't currently being used. The casino?

Iron Chef America - featuring the most annoying guy in food television Alton 'Tone of Condescension' Brown (am I the only guy who is itchin' to see Anthony Bourdain smack this guy across the melon with one of Johnny Ramone's vintage Mosrites?) - recently wrapped shooting at Aria and will begin airing on the Foo'd Network shortly. We're told that commercials for it started running last weekend.

And lastly, we've also heard from a very reliable source that Aria has made the decision to charge resort fees on all their bookings. My gut feeling says that they will wait until after the Labor Day weekend in the U.S. to "quietly" roll this out.

Tagged: simon cowell   x factor   iron chef   resort fees   aria   city center   


Comments & Discussion:

re: Alton Brown

He's one of the few food people on TV who talks to people who don't know food and are intimidated by most cooking shows. Almost every "help I know nothing about food tell me about cooking" discussion highly recommends his shows over total hacks who will make you learn nothing like Rachel Ray.

Great report Chuck, although I'm definitely have a different take on Alton Brown. I will say this , the Iron Chef hosting duties are not his best fit.

All of these are short term attempts to shore up the bottom line at Aria and all come at the expense of prestige. The shows belong at either MGM Grand or MB; not a "5-star" property.

I like Alton Brown.
The resort fee inclusion is strange with all of the backlash and other hotels using the fact that they don't have a resort fee as a way to get you into their rooms.
The last time that I stayed at the Mirage I wasn't charged a resort fee, I do not know if they have stopped the practice, or just stopped charging on comped rooms.
The sad fact is that hotels everywhere are/have been using the resort fee umbrella, and I don't think that it will be going away any time soon, anywhere.

Your fantasy of Anthony Bourdain laying the smack down on Alton Brown is never going to happen. Bourdain actually respects the guy.


Another reason to shun Aria.

^^ what Mr. M said.

1) Brown's anchor show "Good Eats" has reached its tenth(!) year and is definitely long in the tooth. But:

2) In its concept and its earliest seasons, "Good Eats" dared to show cooking for what it actually, truly is: SCIENCE.

To kitchen newbie and frustrated veteran alike, who simply wanted consistent, repeatable results but was full to death of the artsy-fartsy, the fluffy-puffy, or the arrogant celebrity-driven aspects of *all* other cooking shows, Brown addressed those most important aspects of kitchen science: the "How" and the "Why."

It was like that Kama Sutra of kitchen science textbooks, "The Joy of Cooking," with a side of entertainment (including occasional, fleeting references to Monty Python and Clint Eastwood).

The irony being that in achieving ten years on television, the show may have itself become an example of arrogant, celebrity-driven TV as Chuck mentions. "Iron Chef" is a waste of Alton Brown (not to mention his "field reporter," the former Thirsty Traveller) although no doubt a good paycheck.

3) Food Network should just rename itself the Bobby Flay channel already.

4) double-down ditto on Rachel Ray....

Oh, and parched is right. But they did try an earlier iteration of Iron Chef at MGM, "starring" William Shatner as The Chairman. It lasted, what, three episodes? All involved pretend it never existed....

By "Mr. M" I meant "M in Vegas," who you all keep calling Min for some reason....

I'm definitely biased towards A.B. since he is from my neck of the woods and shoots Good Eats here as well. His shows are informative as well as entertaining. His duties on Iron Chef America definitely do not suit him. I really enjoyed his Feasting On Asphalt/Waves series, as they were the sort of show that suits his style and delivery.

Despite being a bit Bourdain fan, I cannot bring myself to bash Rachel Ray. I know many trained chefs despise her for a number of reasons, including her not having any really culinary training. She doesn't claim to be a chef, which is what many cooking show hosts are. I admit her cutesy terms (like EVOO and yummo) are annoying, but that's why there's the mute button.....

Saharalv- Mirage charges a $15 resort fee (and tax on top of it), at least for plebs like me. I was there last week. Not charging it on comped rooms is pretty standard though.

Wow, an argument about Aria turning into a board about Alton Brown. Who'da thunk it? BTW I like him, he's got some pretty interesting insight. But again, when I say I like him, I'm talking Good Eats (mostly middle run) rather than ICA or any other show he hosts or judges on.

blackjack, don't forget the Ray-bashing.
Why is she popular anyway? Must be a testament to the Power of the O (as in Oprah).

You shut your mouth! Alton Brown is god!

eco74, Mirage was charging a $15 resort fee to comped rooms up until the last time that I stayed there. I never really complained, having two extra water bottles in the room during a morning hangover always seemed worth it to me at the time.

I have to have a soft spot for Alton, especially since he produced one of my favorite bands first videos, also from vespajet's part of the country, REM

Corrections, just for the record:
--Kevin Brauch is still the current (not former) Thirsty Traveller -- fans of alcohol, join his globe-hopping travels in search of the local hooch each region is famous for. He's relegated to the Fine Living Network in the US (Food Network in Canada).

--"Good Eats" is eleven. Was thinking of the 10th anniversary show; can't believe it's been a year ago already....

--anytime you (Chuck) and Hunter wanna add a "comment edit" feature to your respective sites, it'd save a lot of us from drunken or sleep-deprived brain fart postings. (I really did mean to agree w/ "M in Vegas" not "Mr. M(onster)" )

I well and truly enjoy giving Aria a deserved razzing, but credit where credit is due: Last night's episode of "The Next Iron Chef" featured some arresting footage of that resort, including views of the Sky Suites, and nearly every restaurant on property. It was frankly the best marketing for Aria that I've seen yet.

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