To prepare for The Showgirl Must Go On, Bette has been working 12-hour days and getting back into shape. "I was a total porker," she says. "I had stopped working about three years ago, and steadily I'd gained 15 pounds or so." On her tiny 5'2" frame, Bette says the weight gain showed. "So I started jumping and running and dancing, which is total cardio, and it's fantastic—and look, I dropped 7 [or] 8 pounds, and I feel fantastic."
As a special treat, Bette takes The Oprah Show on a backstage tour of rehearsals. It's clear from the start that her Vegas show will have the over-the-top grandeur her fans love. The costumes are no exception—Bette and her dancers practice a song in which they will all be wearing mermaid-like fishtails.
"I think America's going to think we're fairly peculiar," Bette says. "We try to do as many strange and wonderful things in these costumes as we possibly can. People do somersaults in them, they do flips, they do back flips, we do synchronized swimming, we dive, we break dance."