A stronger second half of the show gave hope for L.A., though even these acts were less than brilliant. A group of dancing 6-to-9-year olds, T.J. and the Little Mamas, captivated the crowd with an acrobatic dance routine. (Watch a clip.) They had genuine charisma, all-important talent, and looked like the Laker Girls (plus a boy who could do back-flips). But would they be cut out for a regular act in Las Vegas? They need to finish elementary school first.
With the show slumping, David Hasselhoff donned his Baywatch outfit to get the crowd pumped, complete with shades and lifeguard whistle, but it didn't seem to rally the troops. "Even the Hoff couldn't rescue us," Piers Morgan said.
Here's some of the worst of the worst:
• Nasty Nate, the night's first singer, looked like Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo with a long wig and lip-gloss. When he launched into Tina Turner's "Simply the Best," Hoff said it was "simply the worst." • Speed-reading "poet" Iota Arcone, 30, penned some verses about AGT. But his jumbling of the words obscured his so-called creativity in a charmless and annoying way. • A potentially promising dance act, San Francisco's Sheldon Wesley and Alexandra turned into a dull tap routine that didn't entertain anyone. • Clad in all black, Mr. Pedicure, 55, failed miserably with a toe-dancing disco act -- and showed off a busted-up and bandaged set of toes. Gross. • Terri Willis, 49, said she was the seventh cousin of Celine Dion, but sang out of pitch and had almost no range.
Here are some that worked:
• Brie, 17, overcame a stutter as a kid to develop a singing talent. Belting out a Jonas Brothers song, which drew screams from the crowd, she was a powerful cross between Norah Jones and Alicia Keys. Piers praised her "raw talent," while the Hoff and Osbourne said she had "attitude" (in a good way). • Fire-eater and spitter, Miss Germany, a 30-year-old bartender, won the judges' approval, even if we've seen it all before. The Hoff called her a "hot mama." • The Scott Brothers, 44 and 45, robot-danced their way to a winning spot for their break-dancing, which was one of the better acts of the night. • But baritone singer Lawrence Beaman, a 34-year-old deliveryman from Mississippi, was the night's main act. Trained in a church, sang a successful version of "Old Man River." Who would have thought? -- Nicholas White
Tell us: What was your favorite act of the night?