Jake Pavelka made his Chippendales debut to a boisterous, sold-out crowd Thursday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
"Girls went bonkers," according to an onlooker. "He was so charming and fantastic, they loved him!"
He can thank his actress girlfriend Ashley Vickers, who cheered him on from the audience.
“She thought it was a huge opportunity, and a way to expand as a performer in a neat direction,” the friendly former Bachelor star and Dancing With The Stars hoofer, 34, tells me. “Live audiences!”
He adds, “It’s a huge honor. I’m nervous. I’m not going to lie. I’ve never done anything like this — live hosting, especially in Las Vegas. It was a pretty easy decision, and everything from there has been nerve-wracking, trying to get material to say from the stage and learning the craft.”
Turns out, it’s hard work hosting Chippendales.
“I try to say creative, funny things to get the girls screaming and excited for the show. I try to get them yelling for the guys. I’ve been writing material for the show for about a month, get it developed up and see what works and put it in front of different — get audience reactions and stuff. I’ve had time to work through a million different revisions on my material.”
He looks forward to “being funny and heckling people” onstage during his four-week run.
“I bring a lot of energy,” he says. “What I’m going to try to do is lots of audience participation things. Everything that I say, there will be an audience member or several members of the audience participating. Everybody, when you’re seeing a show in Vegas, there’s a part of you that really wants to be called on from the stage, and another part of you that is like ‘oh my gosh, don’t talk to me, it could be embarrassing.’ When you get called on, it really solidifies the entire experience. That’s what you people to take away — ‘man, we had such a great time. Such a great show, it was so much fun.’”
One thing we won’t see is him take his shirt off — or bust any seductive moves.
“I don’t know how to dance,” he admits, despite his stint on Dancing With The Stars in 2010. “They’re choreographed and everything, and they move their bodies in ways that you shouldn’t.”
He adds, “The choreography is the most impressive part to me. The guys take their shirts off, and the neatest thing about it is everybody in the audience — even the guys — the husbands, the boyfriends — they all walk out having had a great time, and that’s the name of the game. Nothing embarrasses me. I don’t have a problem with anything that they do onstage. “
Offstage, they have a good time.
“It feels like a family. With the guys, we’re already tickling each other… everybody’s a jokester up here. I warn everybody ‘if you start that with me, make sure you really do want to play that game [laughs].’”
Despite being flanked by beefcake hunks, Jake doesn’t feel compelled to up his game.
“Nope! I do CrossFit and I train with weights and I eat about 3,000 calories per day. That’s my normal, daily routine. Physically, I haven’t done anything extra to prepare.”
Hosting the male strip show isn’t completely out of his comfort zone, though.
“That’s one of the greatest things about Hollywood. Doing The Bachelor, that was out of my comfort zone. Dancing on national television [on Dancing With The Stars], that was out of my comfort zone. That’s how you grow as person and as a performer. Chippendales is part of that category. It’s experiences along the way and growing as a person and as a performer, and minimizing regrets.”
I saw Chippendales last summer when 98 Degrees crooner Jeff Timmons hosted. He’s in store for quite a time!
“I’m really excited,” Jake says. “I’m nervous, but I’m ready to grab the bull by the horns.”
Catch Jake hosting Chippendales at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas through March 18.