‘American Idol’ Contestant Creates Elaborate Lie About His Military Past
'American Idol' hopeful Matt Farmer is facing a lot of heat following reports that the Tulsa, Okla. native lied about injuries sustained as a military servicemen in order to advance to further rounds on the popular reality competition.
According to MjsBigBlog, Farmer, 26, used his 'American Idol' audition to share the story of being hit with an IED (improvised explosive device) while serving with the US military in Iraq. He claims the incident resulted in a traumatic brain injury and that the medication necessary to treat his condition was supposed to make him sterile. He even brought out his adorable daughter -- who was conceived six months after his discharge -- during his rendition of Sam Cooke's 'A Change is Gonna Come' to add to his credibility.
But new allegations regarding the truth of the matter came to light through the Guardian of Valor site, which seeks to “out people who falsely claim military service and/or claim unauthorized medals or tabs."
"His actions endangered the rest of his platoon and company and forced the rest of the company to be searched in what is called a ‘health and welfare’ for illegal substances,” Sgt. David Johnson spills. The two were stationed together during a prior call of duty.
In fact, multiple sources alleged that Farmer "never saw combat" and was "never blown up." Reports say that Farmer was actually dismissed from the military for alcohol abuse while using an extremely potent medication for acne treatment.
United States Army Infantryman John F. McManus says that the soldier's story is a complete fabrication and “a bold-faced lie,” and that he has “used the blood, sweat, and tears or real, hard-working, tough, brave and honorable Infantry soldiers to paint himself as someone he was most certainly not.”
As his story began to spread, Farmer made a statement to address the controversy, claiming that his sad story was taken "out of context" during the several hours of interviews with the 'American Idol' producers.
As it turns out, that too was a lie. "Everything you have read is correct. It was ALL lies. I in fact HAVE lied since a younger age and had a problem with it," the Season 12 'Idol' contestant finally revealed, coming clean once and for all. "I am coming out and making a statement (even though I was instructed not to) because I DO want to come clean. Just so everyone knows I’m not reviving [sic] any sort of disability for Tbi."
He adds, "I do in fact take FULL responsibility for the actions and words I have said, and know that this will never go away. In NO way was I looking to take from everyone who has served. I started to believe my own lies. And after I believed them… I would catch myself talking like it had happened to me my entire life."
Later in his statement, the contestant gave his deepest apologies to those he served with, admitting openly that he "at no time was a sniper, was never deployed to Afghanistan, did a single tour in Iraq, and was never at any time hit or wounded by an IED." He claims he will be getting help for his obvious issue with presenting make believe as truth.
Given that Farmer did not make it past the Hollywood round, it's unlikely that we'll see much of him as 'American Idol' Season 12 forges on. But the recent uncovering brings to light the reality that some reality show hopefuls (and show producers) do sometimes exploit personal trauma and tragedy -- regardless of merit -- to market 'American Idol' to middle America. Perhaps Farmer should have learned a lesson from 'America's Got Talent' contestant Tim Poe, who also lied about being injured while serving his country -- and was discovered.
Watch Matt Farmer on 'American Idol'