Kelly faces ‘AGT’ test

Published 9:07 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Smithfield teen Bria Kelly’s legions of local supporters were to learn late Wednesday whether the talented country crooner will progress to the next round of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

After Kelly belted out a country rendition of Pink’s “Perfect” before the show’s panel of judges Tuesday, last night’s show was to name the next round of contestants. Some judges were skeptical whether Kelly had done well enough to earn a spot in the final three contestants.

“When America has to choose only three acts, you have to do something that stands out,” said Howie Mandel. “You have to exude, you have to blow the roof off the place.”

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Howard Stern disagreed with Mandel, saying Kelly’s voice is the best in the competition.

“Technically, your voice was stronger than anyone else’s who sang tonight,” he said.

Sharon Osbourne said Kelly was born with “great pipes,” but the song needed more emotion.

The 16-year-old is a regular performer around Smithfield and Hampton Roads. A list of upcoming gigs on her website lists the Smithfield Farmers’ Markets alongside BeachStreet USA on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Poquoson Seafood Festival and, more locally to Suffolk, Driver Days.

“America’s Got Talent” hopefuls are barred from discussing the show or auditions, and doing so could jeopardize their selection chances.

According to Kelly’s website, she has opened concerts for major artists and bands Craig Morgan, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Rodney Atkins and the Carter Twins.