"America’s Got Talent" will take action over contestant Timothy Poe after it was discovered that a photo he provided of a soldier wasn’t actually him and that the Army has no record he was injured in Afghanistan, as he claimed, TMZ.com reports.
Initially, the show planned to edit Poe’s appearance. A question remained whether he would be kicked off the show, with at least one source saying Poe was being eliminated from the show anyway, Fox News reports.
Poe presented a heroic backstory to the show, including the claim that injuries suffered in Afghanistan caused him to stutter. He also provided a photo that purported to depict him as a soldier in Afghanistan.
“AGT” producers said Poe gave them the photo, and they aired it without questioning him, the TMZ story says. The program planned to edit his appearance in an upcoming Las Vegas episode, and producers were discussing what they would cut and what they would keep, according to the piece.
The soldier in the photo is Staff Sgt. Norman Bone, who contacted TMZ to clarify the identity of the person in the snapshot, according to a separate TMZ story.
Poe defended his claims of wartime injuries, according to the New York Post.
“It may not have happened exactly like I said it did,” he said, according to the Post. “I really do not remember a lot of things since the accident. I remember a blast going off by my head and being in Afghanistan and telling one of the sergeants."
Poe said he didn’t mean to exaggerate his military status for personal gain, the Post story said.
"AGT" judge Howie Mandel told TMZ: "I was blown away that I was totally taken in. I’m really angry with the guy."