The 26-year-old serviceman looked like a good fit. Good looking, great backstory, nice looking family (including cute little daughter, Cadence), great voice. That he was a military service veteran and wanted to dedicate his audition to those he had served with won him even more points with the "American Idol" judges panel. But as quickly as he secured his gold ticket to Hollywood, his dreams of becoming the twelfth winner of the hit talent show slipped away. And all of it was his doing...
Fox News reported Friday (Feb. 1) that Matt Farmer admitted he was no longer part of "American Idol." It was part of a long confession to Guardian of Valor, a website dedicated to ensuring the veracity of military service records and the outing of impostors, wherein he also admitted that much of the backstory that was featured on "Idol" was constructed of lies.
Farmer told the "Idol" judges during his Long Beach audition he had been wounded in Afghanistan when an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), a very real threat for all those serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, exploded, sending him to the hospital. His injury was so severe, he had to medevaced out. He said he suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the medication that he took for it made him sterile, which, he added, made his daughter a miracle baby.
None of it was true...
Within minutes after his segment aired on "Idol," many that served with Farmer began bombarding the website for Guardian of Valor, attesting that the man was spinning fanciful yarns and supplying stories about the young man's actual service. His roommate, Nick Betts, even told ABC News that he had been with Farmer his entire tour overseas until he was shipped out. He said that just about everything Farmer had said on "Idol" was a lie.
Farmer wasn't in Afghanistan. He was never involved in an IED blast, nor was he wounded during his tour. He was medevaced out, Betts said, after getting drunk and having the alcohol mix poorly with medication he was taking.
Farmer attempted to explain his segment on "Idol" to guardian, stating that he had spent hours with "Idol" producers and cameras, that they had edited and spliced his story. But when confronted with the fact that he had openly stated he was wounded by an IED, Farmer reportedly wrote, "It was ALL lies. I in fact HAVE lied since a younger age and had a problem with it. I am coming out and making a statement (even though I was instructed not to) because I DO want to come clean."
He later reportedly wrote that he was "remorseful" and: "I wanted to contact you directly and let you know that 'American Idol' took certain things I said out of context. Three pictures that were shown were not ones provided by myself but stock photos THEY used," Farmer reportedly wrote. "I at NO time gained any monetary values about my story that was used on 'American Idol' and want it to also be known that I am no longer a part of the show."
As for the TBI and drugs that made him sterile. Apparently untrue as well...
It is as yet unknown exactly where Farmer and "Idol" parted ways. One thing is for certain, though: Even if he had made it through to Vegas after Hollywood Week, there would have been no way the judges would have put him through, knowing that he wouldn't stand a chance with the voting public as part of the Top 10.
"American Idol" airs on Fox Television on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. (EST).
Take Home Message: Lying is never a good choice. Whether for advancement or to cover up a wrong, falsehoods generally end up generating more falsehoods to explain inconsistencies and are often far more trouble than simply telling the truth and enduring the repercussions from doing so. But in a case where one lies and dishonors others with those lies just to secure a little fame, it can lead to lasting disgrace, a shadow that can follow not only the liar but those close to them. But if lying is a pathologically compulsive concern, as Farmer has claimed his lying to be, it is good to note that he is addressing the issue. It is an important first step in getting help and treating what can be a debilitating and very destructive condition.
(photo credit: American Idol, Fremantle North America, Fox Television)