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‘America’s Got Talent’ eliminates controversial contestant Tim Poe

Tim Poe, the “America’s Got Talent” contestant who caused controversy when questions arose about his honesty regarding his past as a soldier, was officially eliminated from the NBC competition on Tuesday night.

The 35-year-old veteran sang George Strait’s “The Chair” at the Las Vegas finals, but didn’t impress judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne or Howie Mandel.

“I don’t know that he holds up to other singers on this show at all,” Mandel said after a snippet of Poe’s performance.

Stern remained noncommittal. “We have a lot of great singers that we saw,” he said. Mandel proclaimed, “Let’s look at more and we’ll make a decision.”

Then, at the end of the episode, Osbourne is seen sadly telling a montage of people (including Poe), “The fact is, you won’t be coming to New York.”

Poe caused a stir earlier this month when he appeared in earlier rounds of the show, and told the judges that his stutter was the result of a 2009 injury in Afghanistan. However, no one one could find records of his injury. Later, it was revealed that the show producers had showed a photo of Poe on patrol in Afghanistan that wasn’t Poe at all — instead, it was U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone.

Poe told a TV station in Texas that, “he believed he was telling the truth but doesn’t know what is real,” writes the AP, and that his fiancee says Poe accidentally submitted the wrong photo to producers because he was in a hurry.

According to published reports, Tuesday night’s Vegas finals were actually taped a month ago -- which means that Stern’s recent quotes about “if [Poe] makes it through Vegas, let America vote about him” were apparently for “suspense” purposes.

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