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August 13, 2019


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Going Live!

America's Got Talent
by Chico Alexander, Jason Block & Gordon Pepper
bird, new, square, twitter icon @DinoRAlexander

NBC: 8p/7c
Host: Terry Crews with Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Howie Mandel & Gabrielle Union
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After two rounds of auditions, it's time for the greatest challenge of all... For the first time this season, WE ARE LIVE!

From here on out, the judges will have little to no control over the progress an act makes. That will lie solely on America's vote, which you can do by phone, text,, and on the official AGT app. Of the 12 acts that will take the stage, FIVE will advance via the vote, one from the Dunkin' Save, and one saved by the judges as a wild card. 

Going live to the Dolby Theater, LESSGO!

- GFORCE: the Toronto girl group of Zen G, Boss G, Speedy G, Hype G, and OG takes the lead off spot with the girl power of groups twice their age, singing an original song. Howie was feeling the GFORCE. Gabrielle was so proud. Julianne thougth they were powerful, while Simon called it "fearless". 
- GREG MORTON: the impressionist and movie fan took on the classics like "The Lion King", "The Sixth Sense", "The Godfather", "The Terminator", and his climax, Cuba Gooding Jr. in "Jerry Maguire", telling Simon to "show him the money". Gabrielle thought that he was "so pure and so amazing". Julianne says he's "activating our imagination, and that is a true artist." Simon says he controlled the stage. Howie: "The biggest variety show on earth is right there... all in one man."
- CARMEN CARTER: The singer decides to go theatrical with an over-the-top rendition of Imagine Dragons' "Believer", replete with what we call "the note that shook the heavens". Simon didn't think it was the right choice of song... but she saved the money note to the end and proved him wrong. Ladies became believers. Howie agreed with Simon on the song choice, but she's got the strongest pipes. 
- EMERALD BELLES: Of all the acts in the quarterfinal, this is the most interesting, not so much of the act itself, but that Howie was perhaps the hardest on them. They want to prove him wrong, so they kick like they've never kicked before. Gabrielle says that the performance was amazing and that there were "Crickets from Howie". Rebuttal, Mr. Mandel? "Okay, I gotta say, I've been tough on you guys. But with your talent and our production and pyro and those overhead shots, you just blew the roof off the place. And I'm now sold." Julianne thought it was unbelievable, while Simon says that Howie owes the act a public apology.
- SOPHIE PECORA: The first Golden Buzzer act of the night is this 15-year-old singer/songwriter who decides to do another spoken rap/song with "Happy in LA" about material things not beinging happiness. Julianne: "You speak truth". Howie agrees. Gabrielle calls her a rock star. Simon said it was "immaculate." "I am slightly in awe of you right now." 
- THE MESSOUDI BROTHERS: The three brothers are performing wounded, wtih one of them suffering an injury during rehearsals. He powers through it. Simon... didn't think it was as dangerous as it should've been. Howie and Julianne beg to differ.
- VOICES OF SERVICE: the dulcet harmonics of this group are joined by a full choir representing all five branches of the military as they perform Gavin deGraw's "Fire". Gabrielle is begging people to vote for them. 
- ANSLEY BURNS: She was cut from the callback group, but she returns as a wild card. She's going to put on a show so incredible that Simon will think twice before stopping her midway. She sings LeAnn Rimes' "Swingin'". No one interrupts her, especially during the live show, I mean come on, who does that. Simon? "Oh my God, Ansley. You got the whole country to hate me, but then we got you back. We all love you, really do. The thing about you Ansley is, I didn't love the song, but I heard at the end once again that you are a great singer. You've got the most amazing personality. Thank God you agreed to come back. Please God the country put you into the next rounds because you are what this show is all about. You are a little fighter and I'm really happy to see you back here." Point taken. 
- ALEX DOWIS: Tonight, the live painter will take us through a brief history of space and time, from the age of the dinosaurs to the evolution of men. Gabrielle was visibly shaken, while Simon thought it was more akin to a science museum.
- LUKE ISLAM: Broadway superfan and Golden Buzzer recipient is back. He sings another show tune, "You Will Be Found" from "Dear Evan Hansen". Julianne, the lady who gave him his Golden Buzzer, called his voice "undeniable". Simon: "I'm gonna watch that back tonight and I'm gonna shut my eyes to make me realize and remind me how good you are, because that shouldn't come from you at 12 years old." Howie predicts that he's going to be on a Broadway stage. Gabrielle says he's world-class. 
- BIR KHALSA: An interesting story - after Judge Cuts, one member of the group quit, and another stepped up to take his place. Now they're together splitting a zucchini with a chainsaw in the mouth of someone else (while blindfolded), shattering ice blocks with swords, and Gallagher-ing watermelons while still wearing them. Suffice it to say... DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Simon thought it was "fantastically crazy and fantastically dangerous."
- KODI LEE: Final act of the night is Gabrielle's Golden Buzzer, who stuns the audience with his rendition of Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water". We don't need to hear the judges. The audience - "Kodi! Kodi!" - speaks for itself. 

But who will get the votes to stay in the competition? Find out tomorrow!

America Says
by Chico Alexander
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GSN: 9p/8c
Host: John Michael Higgins
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The Montenegros
Michael, Denise, Julian, Cardi
Helping Hands
Tami P., Bertha, Deb, Tammie K.

- Montenegros: If your breakfast is made up of round foods, you might be eating a (B, D, E, EM, G, P, W). They get waffle, pancake, bagel, egg, and donut. The Helping Hands steal an English muffin, but not grapefruit. 
- Helping Hands: I've got a (D, JI, P, PS, R, V, W) coming up, so it's time for a haircut. They prep for a date, job interview, wedding, vacation, reunion, and party. The Montenegros clean up with photo shoot for 600 to 700 for the Helping Hands. 

- Montenegros: As a kid, my parents always took me along on trips to the (B, C, CW, GS, L, P, Z). They go to the beach, zoo, park, and car wash. The Helping Hands head to the grocery store, but  miss the city and library.
- Helping Hands: I always keep snacks in my (B, BT, C, D, H, L, P) just in case. They get car, purse, house, and desk. The Montenegros can't steal backpack, bedside table, or locker to stay at 1400 to the 1700 for the Helping Hands. 

- Helping Hands: When I think of a movie villain who always dressed in black, I think of (C, D, DV, M, SS, U, WW). They unlock Darth Vader, Dracula, and Catwoman for 900, 2600 total. The Montenegros steal Ursula, but not Severus Snape, Wicked Witch or Maleficent to go to 1700.
- Montenegros (3 to tie, 6 to win): If my doorbell rings, there's a pretty good chance it's a (D,P, F, M, N, P, PG, S). They get mailman, delivery person... and that's it. They miss salesman, politician, pizza guy, neighbor, and friend to give it to the Helping Hands, 2600-2300.

- Q1: I'd think twice about swatting a fly if it landed on my (F): Food
- Q2: If you're going to go skydiving, you'll need a (P, I): Parachute, Instructor
- Q3: The word "mummy" reminds me of (e, KT, T): Egypt, King Tut, Tomb
- Q4: A (C, D, D, M) performs a trick: Clown, Dog, Magician, TIME on dolphin.

Best Ever Trivia Show
by Chico Alexander
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GSN: 4p/3c
Host: Sherri Shepherd
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moved to get cats again
had a lawnmowing service as a kid
went back to school at 45 to become a clinical psychologist
Muffy Maracco
super contestant
Jonathan Corbblah
pro Scrabble & chess champion
Susannah Brooks
America's Quizzing Championships winner

Sarah has the first of three games she needs in order to become a Best Ever Trivia Expert.

ROUND 1 Categories: The American Revolution or Woodwind Instruments. Champion Sarah goes with THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION and gives us Susannah. She knows that "Washington Crossing the Delaware" depicts the troops en route to Trenton and that Breed's Hill was the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill. She didn't know that John Adams defended the British in the Boston Massacre or that "United States" replaced "United Colonies". Kathleen knew both to go to 250 to the others' 50 a pop. 

ROUND 2 Categories: Fruit or Woodwind Instruments. Kathleen goes with FRUIT and picks a fresh Jonathan off the vine. He sweeps as Kathleen goes to 550 to 350 for Sarah. Beau has 150.

ROUND 3 Categories: Newspapers or Prehistoric Times. Kathleen picks NEWSPAPERS and Muffy makes the front page. 
- Q1: In 1913, the New York World became the first newspaper to print what: a crossword puzzle, a sports section or a political cartoon? Sarah says crossword, Beau goes with sports section. Kathleen says a political cartoon. Correct answer, Muffy? It's.. the crossword. Sarah goes to 750.
- Q2: The name of which newspaper contains a synonym fora 5-cent piece: The Times-Picayune, Sacramento Bee, or Argus? The ladies go with the Times-Picayune, while Beau opts for the Bee. Muffy had Argus. Correct answer... the Times-Picayune. Sarah is on 1150 to Kathleen's 950. 
- Q3: What US daily newspaper used the phrase "Older than the Nation" on their 250th anniversary: the New Hampshire Union Leader, The Roanoke Times, or The Hartford Courant? Sarah goes with the Times, Beau, the Union Leader, and Kathleen the Courant. Correct answer.... the Courant. Kathleen wins with 1350!

ULTIMATE TRIVIA CHALLENGE: Kathleen unseated the champion, and all she got was five questions with Jonathan.
Q1: A sausage common to many Spanish and Latin American dishes, chorizo is typically made of which meat: pork, beef, or lamb? (Pork)
- Kathleen 1 - 1 Jonathan
Q2: The medical term "syndactyly" refers to a condition where a person is born with which body parts fused together: ankles, knees, or fingers or toes? (Fingers or toes)
- Kathleen 2 - 2 Jonathan
Q3: If you look very closely, which country features a diminutive dragon on its flag: Croatia, Malta or Slovenia? (Malta)
- Kathleen 2 - 3 Jonathan
Q4: The 25-foot tall New York City statue known as "Civic Fame" was erected in 1913 to commemorate what event: the end of prohibition, the uniting of the five boroughs, or the opening of Central Park? (the uniting of the five boroughs)
- Kathleen 3 - 4 Jonathan
Q5: According to an MSN story, which of these historical figures was the richest, when adjusted for inflation: King William the Conqueror, African emperor Mansa Musa, or Tsar Nicholas II of Russia? (Mansa Musa)
- Kathleen 3 - 5 Jonathan 

Jonathan sweeps Kathleen easily.

Bring the Funny
by Chico Alexander
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NBC: 10p/9c
Host: Amanda Seales with Jeff Foxworthy, Chrissy Teigen & Kenan Thompson
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Last week, the Comedy Clash round began with Jarred Fell, JK! Studios, Morgan Jay, and Tacarra Williams advancing. Now eight more acts are going to try and Bring the Funny.

Variety: HARRY & CHRIS vs. LEWBERGER. Lewberger sings about what it must be like to be a Disney princess... and how screwed up it must be. Harry & Chris sang about the difference between English English and American English. 
- WINNER: Lewberger

Stand-Up: CALVIN EVANS vs. MICHAEL LONGFELLOW. Calvin talks about how much Home Depot sucks and how dumb men are. Michael talks about banks in grocery stores and being a millennial. 
- WINNER: Michael Longfellow

Sketch: WILLY APPELMAN vs. THE CHRIS & PAUL SHOW. Chris & Paul are happy little bank robbers. Willy ... looks like a Borat wannabe, a dentist who was secretly a druglord. 
- WINNER: The Chris & Paul Show

Stand-Up: ISMO vs. ERICA RHODES. Ismo stammers through his set. Erica continues being self-deprecating.
- WINNER: Erica Rhodes

More ... stuff... next week.

by Chico Alexander
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Food: 9p/8C
Host: Ted Allen
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Al MacLean
Natick, MA
executive chef, Distinctive Hospitality
Yasi Sapp
executive chef, Jett Wine Bar

Xavier Santiago
Manchester, CT
executive chef, Trattoria Toscana

Kristina Preka
New York City
culinary director for private chef company

On the panel tonight: Chris Santos, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Marcus Samuelsson.

APPETIZER: First on the agenda... kibbeh nayeh, lemon meringue tart, Persian cucumber, and roti.
- Al: Kibbeh-Hummus Wrap with Persian Cucumber Raita
- Yasi: Sauteed Kibbeh Nayeh with Lemon Meringue Crema
- Xavier: Beef Gyro Tartare wtih Lemon Meringue Tzatziki
- Kristina: Grilled Cucumber with Sauteed Kibbeh Nayeh

ENTREE: Now that there are only three remaining, we continue with... monkfish tails, asparagus, sumac, and umeboshi.
- Yasi: Seared Monkfish with Sumac Beurre Blanc
- Xavier: Spanish Monkfish Stew with Umeboshi Toast
- Kristina: Butter-Basted Monkfish with Wilted Asparagus

DESSERT: Time for a sweet finish with ... dragon fruit, cured egg yolks, piloncillo, and butter crackers.
- Xavier: "Snake Eye" Crumble with Cured Egg Yolk Ice Cream
- Kristina: Dragon Fruit Granita with Cured Egg Mascarpone

And the $10,000 goes to... XAVIER!

Common Knowledge
by Chico Alexander
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GSN: 5:30p/4:30c
Host: Joey Fatone
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The Halls
D'Sean, Amanda, Aaron
The Singing Barkeeps
Trisha, Amir, Diana

ROUND 1 Categories: Beauty Tips, Etiquette, Fun & Games, Medicine Cabinet

It's a pitcher's duel going into the back-end. Halls go with Medicine Cabinet - WebMD says if you want to avoid indigestion, it'll help if you do which of these4 things: a) Chew with your mouth open b) Don't drink during meals c) Chew quickly? They say B... right for 80! Last for the Singing Barkeeps is Etiquette - Because it's mean to be a calm space, where is it disrespectful to speak on a cell phone: a) at a bus stop b) in a waiting room c) at a birthday party? They say B... they're right to tie it at 80.

ROUND 2: At the Gym, Camping, Fashion, Good Eats

Going into the final question, the Singing Barkeeps lead, 140-100. The Halls' last question this round is in Fashion - What does it mean when clothing is "bespoke": a) It's mass-produced b) It's custom-made c) It's antique? They go with B... to take the lead, 260-140. 

WRITE-IN ROUND: Fast Food, America, Literature, Music
- The Singing Barkeeps: MUSIC - The hora is a circle dance typically performed to what Jewish folk song? They say "Nagila Hava"... to the Halls with "Mazel toff". It was... "Havah Nagila." 
- The Halls: FAST FOOD - KFC is famous for its secret blend of how many herbs & spices? They pick 11. They're right for 200, 340 total
- The Singing Barkeeps: LITERATURE - In Greek mythology, what was the term for a one-eyed giant? Cyclops... is right for 400, 660 total.
- The Halls: AMERICA to win - What was President Reagan's missile defense system known as? They say "Warhead"... but it was "Star Wars". Singing Barkeeps win!

BONUS ROUND: Trisha passes one, but gets 4 before missing the average age of a cruise ship passenger (47). Diana is one-and-done when missing the other name for the muskmelon (cantaloupe). Amir gets one, but can't name what 2.4 million pieces were removed from the ocean (cigarette butts).

Hip Hop Squares Season Premiere
by Chico Alexander
bird, new, square, twitter icon @DinoRAlexander

VH1: 8p/7c & 8:30p/7:30c
Host: DeRay Davis with Ice Cube, DJ Spinderella, and the XO Squad
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  New season... new party rules.
X: Blueface
playing for Juliet
O: Dream Doll
"Love & Hip Hop: New York"
playing for Ali
hip hop artist
B. Simone & Pretty Vee
Deon Cole
K. Michelle
Amanda Seales
DC Young Fly
Safaree Samuels & Erica Mena
"Love & Hip Hop"
Lil Duval

This season, there's a Hidden Square in the game. It's this show's version of a Secret Square. Find it and answer the question correctly, you're going to win a prize. Tonight, the Hidden Square pays in a year's supply of Black Forest gummies for your fan. Today's Hidden Square... Deon.

ROUND 1 pays $1000 to tic-tac-toe. Doesn't take long at all for Blueface to connect B. Simone/Pretty Vee, Amanda & Safaree/Erica for $3100 to zero.

ROUND 2, we double the bonus to $2000, and Dream Doll quickly connects Saweetie, Duval, and Deon to win, $5500-$3100.

SQUARE SECRETS: You'll pick three stars in a row, and DeRay will have a secret for one of them. Correctly guess who that secret belongs to for a bonus of $10,000. The question... Which square stole a car & wrecked it in the same night: Deon, Saweetie, or Lil Duval? They say Duval... but it was Saweetie. Still, $5500 for half an hour ain't bad.

In the nightcap (featuring O'Shea Jackson Jr., Justina Valentine, Ray J, Bresha Webb, NeNe Leakes, Dream Doll, Michael Blackson, Erica Mena & Lil Duval), Queen Naija plays for Natasha, while Clarence White plays for Gabriella. Today's Hidden Square for an ASUS laptop... Michael. No one picked him, but Naija wins, $2600 to $1900.

SQUARE SECRETS: Who is a Katy Perry superfan: O'Shea, Justina, or Ray J? They go with Ray J... That's $10,000 for a total of $12,600!

Supermarket Stakeout Premiere
by Chico Alexander
bird, new, square, twitter icon @DinoRAlexander

Food: 10p/9C
Host: Alex Guarnaschelli
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Four chefs in a grocery store parking lot, each given $500 to source ingredients to make a dish that will win them enough money for groceries for a year ($10,000). And they're sourcing not the store, but the customers who come out of it! What can possibly go wrong?
Matt Olley
New York City
Maudie Schmitt
orig. New Orleans
executive chef

Nick Jones
Lindhurst, OH
executive chef/restaurateur

Molly Brandt
Miami Beach, FL
culinary consultant

It's a standard three-found affair with each round having its own theme and 45 seconds of shop and cook time. Worst dish on each of the rounds is eliminated. Last one standing wins $10,000.

Today's stakeout is at Lazy Acres Natural Market in Hermosa Beach, CA. Our judges: baker Duff Goldman & chef Christian Petroni.

ROUND 1: Breakfast Sandwich. In this round, you'll be shopping blind, offering money to anyone who'll give up their goods sight unseen. The good news, you can shop from as many customers as you feel you need to. The bad news... your pantry is extremely limited.
- Matt: "Rocky Balboa of Hermosa Beach"
- Maudie: Chipotle Pork Bagel Sandwich
- Nick: California Breakfast Sandwich
- Molly: Spicy Crab Breakfast Wrap
ELIMINATED: Nick. Not only is he out of the game, he's got to give up the rest of his money.

ROUND 2: In this round, you can only buy groceries from one shopper, but you can look through their bags before buying anything. The theme: a Southern favorite. 
- Matt: Fried Fish Sandwich with Cajun Parsnip Fries
- Maudie: Pork Etouffee over Grits
- Molly: Fried Chicken with Honey-Bacon Hot Sauce

ROUND 3: You can buy from as many shoppers as you wish, but you can only buy five items. The theme: decadent desserts. 
- Maudie: New Orleans Bread Pudding with Strawberries

- Molly: Profiterole with Banana Compote

And the winner of the first ever Supermarket Stakeout? MOLLY!