Last night was the end of Vegas week on "America's Got Talent," and if you felt the pressure ramping up on the standby contestants, you weren't alone. Even that 6-year-old tap-dancing star who became a legitimate viral-video hit had to prove her worth. Already reeling from missing out on the "judges' favorites," the remaining 150 acts had to compete for just 20 slots in the live shows. And things weren't so rosy at the judges' table either, where Howie and Sharon quickly grew tired of Stern's repeated assertion that he's the "voice of America." Let's take a look at a few acts that rose above the squabbling and the nerves.
Most surprising: high wire, high risk
Donovan and Rebecca came to the New York audition with a lyrical acrobatic act, and though they wowed the entire theater, the dynamic duo recognized that the judges would expect everyone to take their performance to the next level in Vegas. They achieved this by switching to an aerial rope act, causing a lot of gasps backstage. In typical Howie fashion, he wasn't impressed, but Sharon and Stern were blown away.
They feel good
The Distinguished Men of Brass, former theme-park workers who banded together after becoming unexpectedly unemployed, first trumpetedtheir way into America's heart in the Tampa Bay auditions. Americans love a comeback story and so does Stern, but Sharon and Howie worried that the group didn't step it up enough.
Desperate for a magician
The judges found Jarrett and Raja's first audition a little slow, but Stern was "desperate for a magician," so he sent them through to Vegas. This time around, the act (they call themselves the second coming of Siegfried and Roy) got right to the illusion. Not only did they impress the judges, but they also put the other magic acts on notice.
America's newest sweetheart
When we met Lilliana, now going by Lil Starr, she shocked everyone by switching from her cutesy persona to a hard-hitting, soulful little tap dancer. This time around, she mixed some hip-hop into a tribute to our soldiers and charmed the judges right into a ticket to the live shows.