Six more acts are sent home in Wednesday’s results show of America’s Got Talent, but five others are sent through to the finals.
W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew, Kenadi Dodds, Max Major, Bello Sisters, Celina, Jonathan Goodwin, Cristina Rae, BAD Salsa, Voices of Our City Choir, Brett Loudermilk, and Daneliya Tuleshova performed Tuesday night for judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara and host Terry Crews. (Simon Cowell is out recovering from back surgery.) Then it was up to America to vote.
Read on to find out who’s joining Alan Silva, Archie Williams, Brandon Leake, Broken Roots, and Roberta Battaglia in the finals.
The top three acts via America’s vote overnight immediately advance. First, Celina is eliminated, while Cristina Rae makes it to the next round. “We will end this journey together. I’m so excited for you,” Klum tells her Golden Buzzer. You’re a huge inspiration to so many, especially your little son. With everything you do, you’re such an amazing role model. Cristina Rae, a ray of sunshine.”
Then, Daneliya Tuleshova advances, while W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew and Voices of Our City Choir are sent home. “She knows what she’s doing. She’s already a star,” Vergara says. “You just have to keep being yourself and putting all that soul into what you’re singing.”
And finally, Brett Loudermilk and Jonathan Goodwin are eliminated, while the Bello Sisters are going to the finals. “America made the right choice. We’ve seen acrobats and athletes before, but never three beautiful women with that kind of strength,” Mandel says. “Just keep delivering what you’re delivering.”
The Dunkin’ Save
The acts that came in fourth, fifth, and sixth places overnight — Kenadi Dodds, BAD Salsa, and Max Major, in no particular order — are up for the Dunkin’ Save (via another round of online voting during the show). Moving on is Kenadi Dodds. “I think you are an absolutely incredible young lady,” Klum tells her. “You have such an amazing talent.”
The Judges’ Choice
Then, it’s up to the judges to decide, and Vergara and Mandel vote for BAD Salsa.
America’s Got Talent, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC
S.W.A.T.: Postponed L.A. Riots Flashback Episode to Open Season 4 — Who Will Play a Young Hondo?
CBS’ S.W.A.T. will kick off its fourth season with a postponed — yet more relevant-than-ever — episode that flashes back to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, TVLine has confirmed.
As originally planned out over a year ago, this flashback episode would have closed out Season 3 on April 29, which was the 28th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots (which stemmed from the acquittal of four LAPD officers for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King). Instead, the episode will now open Season 4, which will arrive later this fall (again airing Wednesdays at 10/9c).
As S.W.A.T. EP Shawn Ryan previously told TVLine, the flashback episode will “split time between present-day action and a teenage Hondo and his father during the L.A. riots,” while also picking up a dangling storyline thread from the “Diablo” episode that turned out to be the pandemic-shortened Season 3’s finale.
“We will get around to filming that episode,” Ryan asserted at the time, “because that’s a special one, to look back at the riots through the perspective of a teenage Hondo.” Speaking of….
TVLine can confirm that said younger version of Shemar Moore’s character will be played in the Season 4 premiere by Donald Dash, whose previous TV credits include NBC’s Rise plus episodes of Blue Bloods, Bull and SVU.
Rico E. Anderson, meanwhile, will play a younger version of Obba Babatundé’s Daniel Harrelson, Sr. — just as he did in the May 2018 S.W.A.T. episode “Hoax.” (Anderson’s previous TV credits also include Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn and Apple TV+’s Truth Be Told.)
Of course, this flashback to the 1992 L.A. riots, delayed as it was, now carries an even heavier weight, given the civil unrest that was inflamed this summer by George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., and a Louisville police officer’s indictment on three counts of wanton endangerment in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.
The S.W.A.T. EPs and writers announced in June, amid the George Floyd-related protests, their resolve to “do better” in exploring themes of race and policing in minority communities.
Especially given how the cop drama was designed to examine the intersection of Black communities and law enforcement through the eyes of Moore’s Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, an African-American cop who has one foot firmly planted in each world, “we will continue to mine the truth about these issues in the writing of our upcoming season,” the writing staff said in a statement.
Want more scoop on S.W.A.T., or for any other show? Email [email protected] and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.
Bargain Mansions: HGTV Orders New Episodes Starring Tamara Day
‘Lovecraft Country’ Episode 7 Recap: Otherworldly
Listen: Hippolyta Freeman has come unstuck in time. And space.
In this week’s solid installment of Lovecraft Country (“I Am”), Aunjanue Ellis’s Hippolyta Freeman takes center stage—literally, at one point—like Ji-ah last week and Ruby the week before that. Once again this is weird to say, considering how strong the performances of series leads Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett are, but the show benefits from this side trip. And it is a trip.
It takes a while to get started, however. First, Hippolyta has to unlock the mystery of Hiram Epstein’s orrery, unlocking a hidden compartment that contains a key. This key will switch on machinery in an observatory in the middle of nowhere in Kansas, which…well, more about that in a moment.
Majors’s Atticus and Smollett’s Leti have some business to attend to as well. Through an ill-timed visit to his father Montrose’s apartment, Tic discovers that his dad is gay (it seems he’s at least heard rumors to this effect before), and recoils in disgust, not so much for his old man’s sexuality itself but for the way he overcompensated by mercilessly beating Tic as a young man to keep him from being “soft.”
Tic then sets out to track down a cousin of his mother’s, in whom the Braithwhite bloodline might be traceable, and who might possess the missing copy of the Book of Names. Leti stays home to reconcile with her sister Ruby, who’s learned how the shape-shifting sausage gets made by Christina—she’s kept the corpses of William and Dell in the basement, turning their blood into magic shape-shifting potions. In the process, she discovers the orrery, and the coordinates to which Hippolyta must be traveling. She calls Tic to tip him off, and he arrives just in time to fight off some cops in the service of the sinister Captain Lancaster.
Then a portal to other worlds gets opened, sucking Tic and Hippolyta in. That’s when things get really strange. And, alternately, funny and endearing and just plain cool.
Hippolyta arrives in some kind of sci-fi alien-planet wasteland, as robotic being descend from a spaceship made from Lovecraftian “non-Euclidean geometry.” She then wakes up inside the craft, naked, with some kind of pinkish-bluish energy stored in panels surgically implanted in her wrists. A towering cyborg woman with an enormous afro—she’s played by Karen LeBlanc, and her name in the credits is listed as both “Seraphina” and, cheekily, “Beyond C’est”—tells Hippolyta she is not imprisoned, despite appearances to the contrary.
It takes some failed escape attempts and a partial dismantling of her surroundings for Hippolyta to figure out what her…captor? Benefactor? Well, whatever she is, it takes Hippolyta a bit to figure out what she means. When the alien being demands Hippolyta name herself and where she wants to be, Hippolyta says she’d like to be dancing on stage with Josephine Baker in Paris. And just like that, she is.
So she’s not the quickest study in the world when it comes to dancing—sue her! But she takes to Josephine’s bohemian demimonde like a fish to water, carousing with the best of them. In a heart to heart with the famous performer, she speaks with bitterness about how her newfound freedom has shown her just how un-free she was back in her old life. “They found a smart way to lynch me without me ever noticing a noose,” she says of the white people who boxed her into her limited life. She hates them—and she hates herself for “letting” them make her feel so small.
One cry of “I am Hippoylta” later, and she finds herself in a sort of Night’s Watch swordfight training circle, surrounded by warriors who are all Black women. Her dueling technique is a bit more advanced than her dancing technique; before long she gets the best of her trainer, and is crowned by a queen with a golden helmet.
The next thing you know, she and her cadre of soldiers are slaughtering an entire platoon of Confederate troops. “We are here,” she proclaims after a quick but only temporary victory over the racist rebels, “because we did not beliee them when they told us that our rage was not ladylike, that our violence goes too far, that the hatred we feel for our enemies isn’t godlike.” If she was free to love and lust in Josephine Baker’s world, she’s free to hate and kill here—two faces of the same liberatory coin.
Hippolyta’s next journey, though, is one closer to home. She names herself “Hippolyta, George’s wife,” and just like that, she’s back in bed with her now not-so-late husband. (It’s good to see Courtney B. Vance back in action, albeit briefly.) There’s a funny little time jump that reveals Hippolyta has told George everything that’s happened to her in her jaunts between worlds—no pretending that everything’s status quo ante for her—and it’s all he can do to keep up. Hell, he’s not even sure he’s real, based on what she’s saying.
But he does take to heart her remonstrance that wittingly or no, he helped her “shrink” during her life. Even though he fell for her because he saw a “discoverer” in her insatiable curiosity, he allowed or encouraged her to become a mere support system for his work creating the traveler’s guide book while she stayed at home. This leads to her final transformation: “I am Hippolyta, discoverer.”
Then she and George find themselves in, basically, a No Man’s Sky planet, or a world from one of the Star Wars prequels, communing with adorable aliens and cataloguing the far-out day-glo flora and fauna. Only after this does she decide to return to her original life, to be there for her daughter Dee.
Only it’s Atticus, not Hippolyta, whom we see fall back to earth through the portal in the observatory. Fleeing the oncoming cops, he grabs a copy of a mysterious book called Lovecraft Country, written by his uncle George—but he doesn’t notice the handmade comic created by Dee wedged partially under the slain cop’s corpse. That can’t be good.
Lovecraft Country, I’d now venture to say, is pretty good. Which is not to say I don’t have problems with it still. The CGI effects are still often shockingly poor—there’s an outrageously fake-looking digital blood-spread across a decapitated Confederate’s shirt that’s particularly egregious; meanwhile, imagine how much more impressive last week’s episode would have been if Ji-ah’s tentacular tails had been practical effects a la John Carpenter’s The Thing and weep for what might have been. And there’s an innate corniness to some of the proceedings, like the math equations superimposed over Hippolyta as she crunches the multidimensional numbers; how has this particular device survived years of ruthless memeification?
But it should hardly need saying that a mainline injection of Afrofuturism in the form of Seraphina and her world-warping technology—not to mention a Sun Ra voiceover describing Black people as living myths, or the massacre of the Confederacy’s protofascist infantry by Black women with swords—is something of a balm in these troubled times. Aunjanue Ellis, meanwhile, is expected to dance like Josephine Baker and swordfight like Wonder Woman in the space of a single episode, which she does with fearless aplomb.
I still don’t find Lovecraft Country scary, except insofar as it chronicles racist realities, rather than horrific fantasies; the two have yet to properly meld. But I do find it engaging, for three episodes in a row now. It’s a start.
Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) writes about TV for Rolling Stone, Vulture, The New York Times, and anyplace that will have him, really. He and his family live on Long Island.
Watch Lovecraft Country Episode 7 (“I Am”) on HBO Max
Watch Lovecraft Country Episode 7 (“I Am”) on HBO Now
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