On Tuesday night’s episode of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” contestant Jonathan Allen made an impression with his story of coming out, being rejected by his family, and finding love and solace in music.
“Music is what really helped me through the hard time,” Allen said. “My parents didn’t really support my lifestyle. When I turned 18, they decided to kick me out for being gay, on my birthday. It was crazy. “
Allen admits that he hasn’t seen his parents in over two and a half years but still loves them “with all of my heart, but I don’t know if they still love me.”
He said, “Music is what makes me feel like I belong… I’m not a bad person for who I am and I really want them to see that.”
His story wasn’t the only surprise. Claiming he would sing a “classic rock pop” song, Allen soars through a rendition of tenor Andre Boccelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye.” He received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges.
Judge Howie Mandel told Allen after the performance, “Let me just say, you seem like a good person. And you have a dream, and a talent, and your own family disowned you, but with your talent, this show has become your family. And we’d like to say ‘welcome home.’ We love you, we accept you, and we are so proud that you came here.”
Judge Howard Stern said, “I don’t know if your parents are watching tonight, but I would like to say to them ‘what a wonderful son you have.’ You’ve got a gift, you’ve got a way of making us feel an emotional connection. You were wonderful.”