Brian Justin Crum may not have won America’s Got Talent this week but he’s a big winner anyway.
The big-voiced openly gay singer finished in fourth place on Wednesday (14 September) a day after wowing judges with a reworked version of the Michael Jackson hit Man in the Mirror.
By sharing his story of coming out as gay and overcoming bullying, depression and a weight struggle, Crum gained legions of fans as he moved forward through the competition week after week.
He tweeted to those disappointed fans after his loss: ‘Don’t be sad guys!!! Im not!’
After the show’s finale, 29-year-old Brandon Moore of Chicago was among those who spoke to CelebMix.com about what Crum’s appearing on the show had meant to them.
‘His story simultaneously broke my heart and gave me hope,’ Moore said. ‘Win or lose, Brian is proof that you can come out of a terrible situation stronger than ever before and rise above and still do incredible things, and inspire millions along the way.
‘I’m so proud to call myself a fan of his. I know he’s going to continue to uplift and inspire people (myself included) all over the world with his story, talent, and kindness long after America’s Got Talent is over, and I cannot wait to see where he goes from here.’
The winner of the television competition’s 11th season was 12-year-old singer Grace VanderWaal. VanderWaal writes her own songs and plays the ukulele and has drawn comparisons to Taylor Swift.
Other acts to finish ahead of Crum were the second-place duo the Clairvoyants and third-place Magician Jon Dorenbos who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Rounding out the top five was singer Sal Valentinetti.
A photo posted by BrianJustinCrum (@brianjustincrum) on