America’s Got Talent: Houston Has Country, Rap and Opera

07/09/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Overachieving 8-year-old -- soon to be 9 -- Eleisha Miller's cuteness outstretched her (lack of) talent with smiles, jokes and pure charm. Playing the piano while singing "Proud Mary" for her audition in Houston on Wednesday's America's Got Talent, Miller sold her act with a big smile and confident posture. Sharon Osbourne was not afraid to vote no, citing her underdeveloped voice -- which everyone seemed to recognize. Piers Morgan, though, said she was so funny, her singing didn't matter.

How about those acrobatic basketball players, the Acrodunks? After the same old acts of singing, dancing ... and making goofy hand noises, the quintet of b-ballers was surprisingly good. Even the irascible Morgan was wowed and called the act "impossible." The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" playing in the background didn't hurt.

Stay-at-home mom Barbara Padilla, 36, showed a range and strength of voice in her opera performance. The Guadalajara-born singer has the personality to be a lead singer and that all-important touching back-story: She is a cancer survivor and said onstage that she had spent the previous five years recovering from the disease. "I believe in miracles," she said. "When you have hope, you keep going." Her story had Osbourne reeling. "As well as an amazing talent," Osbourne said, "she's an amazing person."

A Hoston-based country band, the Texas Tenors, got enough love from the crowd to turn the auditorium into a big hoedown, despite the group having been together for only three months. Although Osbourne acknowledged that they could be crisper, the act, dressed identically like Clint Black, fit the hometown crowd like a glove. Although they may not play outside Texas with the same enthusiasm, they have an infectious energy that lit up the crowd. Cute, but unemployed, Osbourne offered the guys a job.



A 20-year-old rapper from Dallas named Eclipse -- a waiter at Olive Garden by day -- showed off impressive lyrical skills that had not only Nick Cannon raving from offstage, but David Hasselhoff (dressed like a cowboy) was completely blown away. “We have not had a rapper as good as you on this show ever,” the Hoff said.

And with that, Texas brought the sizzle back to America's Got Talent. Said Cannon: "The judges are smiling again." -- Nicholas White

Tell us: Who was your favorite performer of the night?

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