Tim Poe, the singing soldier who apparently made exaggerated claims about his military service in the open audition rounds of NBC's "America's Got Talent," was sent home from the competition Tuesday night for the less-controversial reason that he underperformed.
Singing George Strait's "The Chair," Poe was ejected from the contest by judges Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne. "I don't know if he holds up to other singers on the show," Mandel commented. No mention of Poe's back story was made on Tuesday night's episode. Poe had claimed he was injured in a grenade blast while serving in Afghanistan. The Minnesota National Guard subsequently said it had no record of his alleged injuries.
There were a total of 45 spots left to be allocated for the live finals, which will take place in New York City this season. We saw some familiar faces go through, including duo Eric & Olivia, mariachi singer Sebastian and escape artist Spenser Horsman. We said goodbye to father-and-daughter duo Jorge & Alexa Narvarez and the much-featured early favorite, Goth opera singer Andrew De Leon. Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday's show:
-Mentalist Eric Dittelman asked Osbourne to write down the name of her first crush. She actually made up a name - totally unknown to Eric - but he still guessed correctly. Justin Rivera used cardboard boxes in his less-impressive act. Spencer Horsman, the high-danger escape artist, staged a Houdini-style escape from a tank of water after being shackled with handcuffs and chains. He appeared to drop a pick he was using to undo a lock on the box but made it out in true showman style, within his allocated one minute and 25 seconds.
-Eric and Olivia are youthful singers who are often teased about being a couple, though they insist they are not. They performed a version of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." Howard Stern thought that they could be a headline act.
-Former street singers Maurice and Shanice Hays are a father-and-daughter combo who stumbled on some of their lyrics. They were followed by another dad-and-kid outfit, Jorge and 7-year-old Alexa Narvarez, who sang "Be My Baby," by The Ronettes. Both acts were sent home.
-Jacob Williams is a dorky comedian who performs self-deprecating humor. Sammy Obeid and Dave Burleigh each took a turn on the stage, as did Kellen Erskine, who needed work on his delivery. Seasoned stand-up Tom Cotter gave a more polished performance. Tom advances to the finals.
-Last of the funnymen to go was Frank Roche, who decided to drop his comedy impressions for the Vegas audition. He badly fumbled his lines, forgetting almost the whole routine, and was sent home immediately.
-Mariachi singer Sebastien once again wowed the judges with his big voice, even though he's just a young boy. Soul singer Issac Brown also showed prowess beyond his years with a version of "Blame it on the Boogie," made famous by The Jacksons.
-Ulysses had passed his national audition by singing TV themes, including the theme to "The Love Boat." This time the 49-year-old sang "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers, and was met with dividing opinions from the judges, with Howie in his corner and Howard rejecting him. Recovering addict Tim Hockenberry, who has been clean for five years, sang Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." Tim will also appear in the New York stage of the contest.
"America's Got Talent" returns on Monday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.