Pop Culture

Howie Mandel boosts 'America's Got Talent's' 'chosen,' blasts ousted Tim Poe

After the season's first live broadcast of "America's Got Talent," judge Howie Mandel may have a good idea as to who will advance closer to the $1 million prize, but he also knows at least one person who's definitely no winner.

"I was appalled," he said when TODAY's Natalie Morales asked him about the deception pulled by contestant Timothy Poe, who claimed armed forces credits and injuries he did not have, and who was voted off the show last week. "This story at this time in our lives in this country is not something to play with. There are so many heroes out there, and he went from hero to zero in like one night. He doesn't deserve to be on the show."

There's one guy Mandel is happy to have on the show, and that's Howard Stern, who dominated Monday night's show with his opinions. Said Mandel, "I'm thrilled that Howard joined the show this year. I think it's a real asset to our show. I was a little apprehensive, but I gotta say that coming here, we're actually doing (the current live shows) in Newark, the electricity and the energy is far beyond what you could have ever imagined."

Meanwhile, Mandel was delighted by some of the other talent in the room on Monday night. Mandel said he was wowed by several performances, including David Garibaldi & his CMYKs, who painted and danced simultaneously, who he called "amazing"; the father-daughter singing team of Maurice and Shanice Hayes ("she's a star on her own ... I think America's heart's going to go out to them," he said); and he specifically singled out Edon, a 14-year old boy who came out on stage with his synthesizer and wearing a yarmulke (a Jewish head covering), as having "the voice of an angel." 

"You know what, he is 'chosen,'" joked Mandel about Edon's chances of moving forward.

Be sure to tune in Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST on NBC for the first live round of elimination on "America's Got Talent."

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