Remember that name because in about a year, everyone will be talking about this 14-year military veteran. Poe took the stage during the Austin, Texas, auditions for "America's Got Talent," unleashing a voice that was rich, powerful, and totally addictive. Though he got the allotted time for his audition, precious few people wanted him to stop singing.
Poe told the judges that his career had ended in Afghanistan in 2009. A grenade hit the soldier, breaking his back and leaving him with a brain injury. He said he saw the grenade coming before he felt the impact. "That's the reason I stutter a little bit," Poe explained.
Before Poe began to sing, Howie Mandel looked visibly conflicted on camera, as if he knew that he would not be able to hit his button if the soldier struggled through the song. Stern had a poker face as Poe sat down with his guitar, not betraying the thoughts or emotions inside his head.
Mandel was visibly relieved, though, when Poe opened his mouth and sang "If Tomorrow Never Comes," a moving piece that had the crowd weeping and standing on their feet. "Everything about you is amazing," Mandel said.
"I didn't know I could sing until my speech pathologist told me, to help my stutter, that I should sing in the shower. That's what I did," Poe explained.
Performers like Tim Poe are the reason for "America's Got Talent." Forget about the people mutilating themselves on stage or grabbing the only 15 minutes of fame they will ever get. If the producers would fill their shows with men and women like this career military man, the ratings would be phenomenal.
"What I like about you is that when you sing, you are not pushing it. You didn't feel like you had to come out here and do all kinds of vocal tricks. I was moved by your performance, and I thought you did a good job," Stern said before the voting.
Young performers with big talent at the Austin auditions.
Children have to earn their way each week on "America's Got Talent," especially with Howard Stern at the judge's table. Sebastien De La Cruz, a 10-year-old Mariachi singer from San Antonio, had the looks, charm, and talent to impress everyone at the Austin auditions.
Stern, always a hard-sell, called De La Cruz "personality plus" and commended him for "taking the roof off the place."
"I did not expect that big voice to come out of that little body you've got," Sharon Osbourne said immediately after the performance.
Sitting in front of his keyboard later in the show, fresh-faced Edon Pinchot unleashed a smooth singing voice that surprised everyone. "You sang with such emotion, I just want to hear you sing more," Osbourne said.
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- Howie Mandel