Smithfield teen Bria Kelly stepped on stage in front of celebrity judges and millions of television viewers Tuesday night and sang with power and confidence. Judges on"America's Got Talent" responded with encouraging words.
Kelly sang the Miranda Lambert hit "Gunpowder & Lead" while striding across the stage with professional poise. She gave the song just the right amount of rasp and sass -- easily out performing another 16-year-old singer on the show, Drew Erwin, whose YouTube audition cllip had created much excitement.
The judges agreed that Kelly was much better.
"You did a great job tonight," the sometimes prickly Howard Stern told Kelly. "You've got a great voice ... You need that charisma injection sometimes ... I think you're onto something. You did a good job."
Sharon Osbourne complimented her performance and gave some tips. "Try not to shout so much. Stick to the melody ... Well done," she said.
Howie Mandel put it more emphatically. "In my opinion, so far tonight, you, young lady, are the standout."
Here's her performance:
Kelly's competition was not exactly fierce on Tuesday. Aside from Erwin's lackluster performance, the evening's YouTube edition of "America's Got Talent" included a bland dance troupe 7 in Unison, dull rock band Reverse Order and unimpressive air-guitar act Romeo Dance Cheetah.
Four of Tuesday's 12 performers will get to advance into the competition's Top 24. Results will be based on audience voting. A results show will air 9 p.m. tonight on NBC.
Whether she gets good news or not, Kelly's hometown supporters will be able to hear her perform 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Smithfield Farmers Market.
The Smithfield Farmers Market is located in downtown Smithfield, in the parking lot behind Bank of Southside Virginia.
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