Stuttering veteran Tim Poe divides opinion with a Garth Brooks cover on America's Got Talent

Tim Poe sings on America's Got Talent

A veteran of the war in Afghanistan, country singer Tim Poe found his military career cut short after 14 years service when a grenade attack left him with a broken back and a brain injury. This left Poe with a permanent stutter which was apparent on stage during his Austin audition for America’s Got Talent.

We got an extended intro to this war hero, and I must say that Tim’s story was heartfelt and genuinely touching. Near-death experiences bring up emotions that we largely ignore, and when Tim says he was faced with the prospect of never seeing his daughter walk down the aisle, it was a touching moment that most of us could empathise with. And his choice of Garth Brooks’ If Tomorrow Never Comes was a perfect fit for this poignant story.

If there’s a downside to this, it’s that Tim’s voice lacked the power to really make the song stand out. And you’ve always got Garth’s original with his perfect country twang as a testament to how it should be done. Tim’s voice remarkably didn’t stutter during the performance, but I think his injury affects his singing in other ways. Reading other comments on the internet, many are torn between respecting this war veteran and the actual quality of Tim’s vocals (which wasn’t wonderful).

Chances of winning: 30% if you’re judging this performance on the singing. 70% if you’re supporting the American veteran in the cowboy hat.

What the judges said

  • Howie Mandel: Wow! So you don’t stutter when you sing? Everything about you is amazing. I have to say, you sir are a phenomenal talent.
  • Sharon Osbourne: You have a really rich, beautiful tone to your voice. You bring people in. The song you chose was perfect for your voice. Really good choice of song.
  • Howard Stern: I do want to thank you for your service in Afghanistan. I don’t know what to say to a hero like you. What I like about you is that when you sing, you’re not pushing it. You didn’t feel like you had to come out here and do all kinds of vocal tricks and stuff and I was moved by your performance and I thought you did a good job.

Tim Poe’s rather predictably going through to Vegas. But do you think this is the million dollar performance that the judges are looking for? Watch Tim perform again:

Update: Unreality TV commenters have alerted us to the fact that Tim Poe’s war injury may well be a fraud. More information on this story as it develops.

by Gerard McGarry on June 5th, 2012

Gerard is the founder and editor of Unreality TV. He writes about TV dramas as well as reality TV talent shows and is obsessed by sci-fi and Doctor Who. Follow him on Twitter @gerrybot or Google+

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6 thoughts on “Stuttering veteran Tim Poe divides opinion with a Garth Brooks cover on America's Got Talent

  1. Nicki says:

    I suppose you’ve heard by now this guy is a fake? Google Tim Poe fraud. He’s no hero.

    1. Joni says:

      I know he’s a fake, that’s why I posted the link. So you could scroll down to the comments that were made by REAL soldiers that know him, and know the TRUTH.

  2. Janet says:

    Touching story. Not a bad singer. Thought it was curious that he didn’t stutter even once after singing his song and talking to Nick. Not a million dollar act.

  3. Joni says:

    The story WAS touching. I really hope they can find a way to charge him with a crime, like impersonating a REAL Soldier!

  4. Jode says:

    Such a shame. But it seems as if we are in an era of people playing on the publics sympathy with lies. Case in hand the woman who lied she had cancer to get her wedding paid for and the man who lied about having war medals. And they never seem to have any remorse.

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