‘AGT’ star performs in Suffolk

Published 5:36 pm Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rising star Bria Kelly, who was eliminated from the television contest “America’s Got Talent” on Wednesday, returned home on Thursday and already is back performing with her band, Bria Kelly and Friends.

Patrons shopping at the Suffolk Farmers’ Market on Saturday were treated to the voice of recent “America’s Got Talent” contestant Bria Kelly.

The 16-year-old Kelly, who hails from Smithfield, was knocked out of the television competition Wednesday, but she had only good things to say about her experience before taking the stage at the farmers’ market.

“It was crazy,” said the young star, whose father entered her in the competition “just to see how I would do,” she said.

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After a YouTube round, Kelly was among a dozen contestants chosen from the video-sharing site to compete. She made it through several weeks of competition — singing songs by such artists as Miranda Lambert and Pink — before failing to make the cut of the top three finalists.

Kelly said the competition was “fun but stressful.”

“I was really nervous,” she said. “But once I got on stage, it all went away because I had nothing left to lose.”

The competition was held in Newark, N.J., but Kelly also traveled to Brooklyn and Manhattan for photo and video shoots associated with the competition. They didn’t get much chance to see the sights, though, her mom Jan Kelly said.

The elder Kelly said it was interesting to see the massive amount of production that goes into the show firsthand. Both she and her husband were able to make the trip with their daughter, which meant spending about a month and a half in New Jersey.

It also is going to give Kelly and her band, currently called Bria Kelly & Friends, some good exposure, her mom said.

Kelly is used to being in the spotlight. She has been singing her entire life and, at the age of only 11, won the right to sing the National Anthem at an NFL game in front of 40,000 people.

She also has appeared on the “Nashville Spotlight” television show and won the July 4th National Anthem Contest sponsored by 97.3 The Eagle, which gave her the right to sing the National Anthem in front of 8,000 people at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach.

She has opened for acts such as Miranda Lambert, The Carter Twins, Craig Morgan, Josh Kelley and Little Big Town.

Kelly said she appreciated the feedback given by the show’s judges — Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern — even if it seemed harsh to those watching the show.

“They’re there for your help, so I don’t give them too much grief,” she said.

Kelly said she is glad to be back home and singing with her band. The group also has gigs coming up at Driver Days at 3 p.m. on Oct. 20, as well as at the Smithfield Farmers’ Market on Sept. 22, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17.