“America’s Got Talent: The Champions” crowned magician Shin Lim as winner Monday, beating out singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer.
Both had won their respective “AGT” seasons.
The entire season was taped several months ago. The voters were a 50-state “panel” of voters. Lim’s mesmerizing close-up card trick won them over.
Georgia singer Angelica Hale did not make the top five but was in the final 12.
“Being there was just amazing getting to be back,” 11-year-old Hale said in an interview before the finale aired. “The competition was very tough.” Howie Mandel had given her the Golden Buzzer, a moment she called “mind-blowing.”
Viral sensation Susan Boyle, who sang the same song she chose during her opening audition on “Britain’s Got Talent” a decade ago, also didn’t make the cut.
The top five featured only two singers, including runner-up Farmer, who had her puppet Petunia sing opera.
Ukrainian sand artist Kseniya Simonova came in third. Over-the-top Spanish singer Cristina Ramos landed fourth. And stand-up comic Preacher Lawson landed fifth.
The other seven were not actually “placed” in any order; they were just eliminated.
Actor Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump impression was back in the spotlight this weekend as "Saturday Night Live" took on the president's national emergency declaration.
In Saturday's cold open, Baldwin's Trump laid out his case for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Let's cut to the chase: Folks, we need wall, OK? We have a tremendous amount of drugs flowing into this country from the southern border, or 'the brown line' as many people have asked me not to call it," he said, adding: "You can all see why I gotta fake this national emergency. I have to because I want to."
Baldwin's Trump then launched into a lengthy explanation of his plan.
"I'm basically taking military money so I can has wall," the fake Trump said. "So I'm going to sign these papers for emergency, then I'll immediately be sued, then the ruling will not go in my favor, then end up in the Supreme Court, then I'll call my buddy [Brett] Kavanaugh, and I'll say, 'It's time to repay the Donny,' and he'll say, 'New phone, who this?' And then the [Robert] Mueller report will be released, crumbling my house of cards, then I can just plead insanity and do a few months in the puzzle factory, and my personal hell of playing president will finally be over."
>> See the full sketch here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)
When Kyle Mooney, playing CNN reporter Jim Acosta, said undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than people born in the U.S., Baldwin's Trump was incredulous.
"Oh my God, Jim, those numbers are faker than this emergency," he replied.
"Anyway, in conclusion, this is a total emergency, a five-alarm blaze, which means I gotta go to Mar-a-Lago, so I can play some golf."
Pro wrestling star John Cena has never had difficulty projecting to an audience. His long and varied resume will now include game show host.
Cena will serve as host and executive director of the reboot of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th-Grader,” Nickelodeon announced in a news release Thursday.
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hosted 111 episodes of the show from 2007 through 2015, according to the IMDb website.
According to Nickelodeon’s news release, the new version of the show will follow the same format as the original series, with adults answering questions taken from fifth-grade curriculum. The reboot will add an additional “cheat” option, new ways contestants can get help from their grade school classmates, and a “final exam” that will pit participants against the clock.
Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins said the company was “very happy to go back to school with an amazing talent like John Cena.”
“Today’s kids and parents are laser-focused on their family time together, so we want to give them shows and series that appeal to every member of the household,” Robbins said in the Nickelodeon news release.
Cena, the World Wrestling Entertainment star, said he was “excited” to partner with Nickelodeon again. He previously hosted the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards program and also was the host of the Fox reality show, “American Grit,” according to Bleacher Report.
“I can’t wait to see kids defeat grownups who find themselves back in the classroom,” Cena said.
"Saturday Night Live" has a message for Virginia government officials: Wearing blackface never is and never was OK.
In this week's episode hosted by Halsey, the comedy show addressed the recent controversy involving Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, who both admitted to wearing blackface in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the state's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, faced his own scandal as two women accused him of sexual assault.
In a sketch Saturday night, Kenan Thompson, playing a state ethics official, didn't hold back.
"As chair of the ethics committee, I have to ask: Has anybody else worn blackface in college? Anybody?" he asked his castmates, who were playing Virginia state representatives. "This is completely off the record, so tell me now so we can get ahead of this."
A character named Glen (Pete Davidson) was the first to come clean, saying he wore blackface while dressing up as Mr. T.
But many of the characters didn't seem to understand what the problem was.
"I have a question: What if the blackface was just part of your costume of a black person?" one man, played by Beck Bennett, asked Thompson.
"You see, Tom, that's the exact kind of thing that we're looking for here today," Thompson said.
A woman (Cecily Strong) then asked: "Does it count if you did it all the way back in the '80s?"
"No, of course not," another man (Mikey Day) interjected. "It was funny and cool in the '80s!"
"Nope, nope, I'm gonna stop you right there, Phil," Thompson said. "It does still count, and it was never funny or cool."
>> Watch the full sketch here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)
“Let’s go to the videotape” was longtime sportscaster Warner Wolf’s signature phrase during his broadcasts. But surveillance video in November led to Wolf’s arrest Thursday on a felony charge of criminal mischief, as he allegedly broke letters off a sign he considered racist at the entrance to a southwest Florida community, the Naples Daily News reported.
Wolf, 81, turned himself in to police Thursday, the newspaper reported. He faces a felony charge of criminal mischief, according to an arrest report from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond, WINK reported.
Wolf allegedly defaced the community sign for Classics Plantation Estates, WINK reported, removing the word “Plantation” from the marquee.
In monthly meetings with the Classics Plantation Estates Homeowners Association, Wolf has spoken about the word "plantation," the Daily News reported.
"He had his opinions about how it was a racist word and he didn’t feel that it should be in the name of community, although plenty of communities throughout Florida use that name," property manager Ken Heff told the newspaper.
According to the arrest report, Wolf drove up to the gate at Classics Plantation on Dec. 13 and handed the security guard the broken letters, the Daily News reported. He told the guard to give the letters to the property manager, the newspaper reported.
Wolf was the play-by-play announcer for "Monday Night Baseball" on ABC in 1976 and played himself in the 1985 movie, “Rocky IV.”
What’s better than football? Puppies!
Update 7:45 p.m. EST Feb. 3: Team Ruff took the top prize at Animal Planet’s 15th annual Puppy Bowl Sunday, beating Team Fluff in a close match 59-51, just hours before the kickoff at Super Bowl LIII.
Team Fluff was on a winning streak before Sunday’s loss, including a 93-38 blow-out in 2017.
This year’s 93 puppies, 36 of which have special needs, come from 53 different shelters across the continental United States, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.
Divided into Team Ruff and Team Fluff, the pooch participants compete for the highly coveted Lombarky Trophy and Most Valuable Puppy award as Rufferee Dan Schachner calls the shots with co-ref Shirley the rescue sloth. And the best part? The Puppy Bowl has a 100 percent adoption rate for all pups.
Along with Shirley the sloth, Animal Planet’s pre-filmed showdown features baby sloths from Costa Rica’s Toucan Rescue Ranch sanctuary. You’ll also find cheerleading baby kangaroos, porcupines and capybaras on the sidelines and a halftime show curated especially for kitten lovers everywhere, according to the network.
In a 2015 Reddit AMA, Schachner told readers the event is shot about three months in advance and takes two days to film. More than 15 cameras are used.
“What you see on TV is only the best of the best,” Puppy Bowl camera operator Cory Popp told the A.V. Club in 2015. “Because they’re puppies, they’re not trained, they’re just doing whatever they want to do. It’s just hoping for the best.”
Catch Puppy Bowl 2019 on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 3 . A pre-game show will begin at 11 a.m., but you can also stream it right now at AnimalPlanet.com. For those without cable, streaming providers carrying the channel include Hulu Live, DirecTV NOW, PlayStation Vue or Philo.Puppy Bowl XV’s starting lineup of champs:
If you tune in and see a puppy you may want to adopt, “go to AnimalPlanet.com and look up the puppy profile, which will connect you with the shelter or rescue center that has them!” Schachner said. But you have to act quickly.
Dick Miller, the veteran character actor who is best known for his roles in “Gremlins and the cult classic “A Bucket of Blood,” died Wednesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 90.
A family spokesman confirmed Miller’s death, from natural causes, according to the Reporter. He died in the Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles and was surrounded by family members, the website reported.
Miller played Murray Futterman in “Gremlins,” the 1984 comedy horror movie, and his career spanned six decades with credits in more than 175 movies and 2,000 television shows, according to the Reporter. Miller also starred as Walter Paisley in the 1959 movie “A Bucket of Blood,” and landed roles in “The ‘Burbs” and “The Terminator,” Variety reported.
MIller also appeared in “Explorer” and “The Howling,” and had roles on television in series such as “Fame,” according to the Reporter.
Miller, who was born in the Bronx on Dec. 25, 1928, served a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy before attending the City College of New York and Columbia University, the Reporter said.
In 2014, the actor was featured in a documentary, “That Guy Dick Miller,” which examined his career, People reported.
Not even Hollywood stars can resist the lure of Girl Scout cookies.
According to People magazine, 11-year-old Mackenzie Hancsicsak, who plays young Kate on NBC's "This Is Us," sold about 100 boxes of the treats Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.
“If anyone at @SAGawards wants some @girlscouts cookies, I’m at table 34!” tweeted the actress, who posed with a box of Samoas in an accompanying photo.
She also gave the cookies a shout-out two days before the awards, tweeting: "Look for me. I'll be the one in a blue dress w/ @girlscouts thin mint cookies in my purse."
Hancsicsak's customers included co-stars Eris Baker, Lyric Ross and Chris Sullivan, People reported.
According to Variety, ABC executives see this change as part of getting “Strahan and Sara,” hosted by Michael Strahan and Sara Haines, off the ground. The show has had steady ratings, according to Variety’s sources, but is still a work in progress.
Haines left her spot on “The View” to join what was originally “GMA Day.” Strahan left “Live! with Kelly and Michael” to join the show. The former NFL defensive end also serves as an analyst on “Fox NFL Sunday.”
Variety’s report says “GMA” will remain part of the logo and the show will still be “part of the ‘GMA’ operation.” “Strahan and Sara” will still be taped with a live audience in the “Good Morning America” studio at ABC.
PageSix reported last November that Strahan and Haines’ portion of “GMA” had lower ratings than Strahan’s former colleague Kelly Ripa’s “Live! with Kelly and Ryan.” Ripa infamously went on strike after learning that Strahan would be exiting the show due to their strained off-screen relationship.
Despite the slow start, ABC News President James Goldston told PageSix in November he felt Strahan and Haines’ show would eventually thrive.
“We’re incredibly happy with Michael and Sara and their performance on the show...Michael brings the leadership we know so well from his football days to the show — we couldn’t be in better hands.”
"No day but today"? Well, not quite.
Fox's plan to air a live broadcast Sunday of the hit musical "Rent" hit a snag when one of the lead performers broke his foot.
According to The Associated Press, actor and singer Brennin Hunt, who played Roger, suffered the injury Saturday during a rehearsal. With no understudy for Sunday's broadcast, the network ended up airing prerecorded footage from dress rehearsal until the live finale, which also included members of the original Broadway cast.
Vanessa Hudgens (Maureen), Jordan Fisher (Mark) and other cast members informed viewers of the change a few minutes into Sunday's broadcast.
"Last night during our performance in front of a live audience, one of our cast members sustained an injury," actress Hudgens said. "A visit to the hospital confirmed that Brennin Hunt, our Roger, has broken his foot and will be unable to perform tonight."
Fisher added: "Most of what you'll see tonight will come from last night's performance, but we have all rallied together to rework the final act so that all of us, including Brennin, and the original Broadway cast of 'Rent' can perform it for you live."
As promised, Hunt, wearing a cast, joined his co-stars for the show's final moments.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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