He’s the J.R. Martinez of "AGT." Injured war hero Tim Poe emerged as the act to beat this season as "America's Got Talent" rolled into Austin, Texas, Monday night. The father from San Antonio spent 14 years in the military but was injured in a near-deadly grenade blast in Afghanistan in 2009.
“It broke my back, gave me a brain injury,” he told the judges.
Poe, 35, is no longer able to speak without stuttering. But man, can he sing.
He blew the judges away and brought tears to the eyes of hundreds in the audience with a moving rendition of Garth Brooks' “If Tomorrow Never Comes.”
And it's remarkable how the stutter goes away when he sings!
“You, sir, are a phenomenal talent,” Sharon Osbourne praised.
Expect to see Tim and his guitar on stage in New York this September when the season seven winner is crowned!
Also knocking our socks off at the best audition city of the year:
Joe Castillo, 54 (sand artist)
His act may look simple, but you try telling an entire visual story using just sand and light.
With his art projected onto a giant video screen, Joe morphed patriotic images of military service men carrying the American Flag into the Statue of Liberty -- all to the soundtrack of “God Bless The U.S.A.” This act reminds us (a lot) of last season’s Silhouettes. And that’s a good thing. They came in second place.
Bandbaz Bros., 34, 58 (balancing act)
This Iranian uncle-nephew circus act looked like it could go horribly wrong at any moment -- snapped neck, anyone? -- but luckily it didn’t.
Ali (the uncle) has been “retired” for 11 years -- but somehow he was able to balance his young partner on his head, upside down, and with his teeth.
“It is truly amazing and edgy,” Howie said. “Every element worked.”
Sebastien "El Charro de Oro," 10-30 (Mariachi band)
One of the best mariachi singers you will ever hear -- and he’s still in elementary school.
Howie mandel compared him to a Mexican Jackie Evancho -- a joke, we think -- but he did ooze charm and won audience points with his explanation of why he no longer has a girlfriend (work comes first).
Things did not go quite as well for:
Lulu, 27 (pole dancer)
Who ever thought Howard Stern would be the first to “X” a girl on a pole? Well, perhaps we should mention that Lulu might weigh 300 pounds and at times it didn’t look like the pole was going to make it.
“There were times I didn’t think you were gonna get up that pole,” Howard said. “I hit my buzzer because I didn’t think this was a million dollar act.”
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