We know that reality competitions have a history of trying to make stories as dramatic as possible for TV — but sometimes, this edit often only paints a partial story. We saw this most recently with “gentle giant” Jermaine Jones on “American Idol,” and now there accusations flying that “America’s Got Talent” contestant Tim Poe may have stretched his story about being a war hero in Afghanistan in order to bring more attention to his act.
So was this a ploy for sympathy? At this point, it depends on who you ask. According to the Associated Press, a number of military sources (including the Minnesota National Guard) are claiming to have no evidence that the country singer was injured in a blast. Meanwhile, his ex-wife claims to the New York Post that she has never heard him stutter, and that he was in a band for years prior to trying out for the show (something that was not mentioned on the show in order to make him look a bit more green for the judges).
However, Poe stopped by You Served Talk Radio (a show catering to military veterans) and claimed that many of the statements being said about him are simply not true. He blamed the lack of concrete military records on the right information not being processed, and also admitted that certain parts of his story were embellished in order to make his story more dramatic.
We also know that Howard Stern was not exactly kind to Poe on his radio show Wednesday, basically accusing him of taking advantage of Americans’ respect for veterans and ruining it for men and women in uniform who to want their stories to be perceived as truth.
Be sure to check out Poe’s original audition below. What do you think about this story? From our standpoint (and like with many other auditions we see on this show), the strange thing is that he really didn’t need the sob story. Was he the best singer we’ve ever heard? No, but he was good enough to make it through to Vegas regardless of his past.