Margaret Lyons
July 15, 2010 AT 03:07 PM EDT

Image Credit: Trae Patton/NBCLast night marked the first live elimination episode of America’s Got Talent, but that sounds a lot more exciting than it actually was: The night was entirely devoid of surprise, and whatever tension ostensibly built during the outrageously long pauses (“The act going through to Hollywood is…[grow beard, turn grey, sunrise, sunset] …”) was more annoying than thrilling. Our first four semifinalists:

  • Nathaniel Kenyon The Bieberish crooner is a born heartthrob and an early front-runner, even if his singing is just pretty good.

  • Christina and Ali Those backing vocals hurt more than they helped — especially because the sisters sing well and sound good together. Here’s hoping the next round has them doing something less produced.

  • Fighting Gravity I’m totally rooting for these guys. Their dreamy black-light dances are so strange and original, plus they’re the only act I can actually see as a Vegas headliner.

  • Future Funk Yes, they are adorable, but they’re almost too practiced: “We’re the whole package,” pleaded 10-year-old Bailey Munoz, sounding like someone three times his age.

Were you surprised by any of the picks, PopWatchers? Who’s your early favorite?

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