'AGT: The Champions' Brian Justin Crum Opens Up About Firing Back at Social Media Trolls (Exclusive)

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After coming in fourth place on Season 11 of America's Got Talent, singer Brian Justin Crum returned to the stage on Monday's new episode of AGT: The Champions, where he blew the roof off the theater with an amazing rendition of Elton John's iconic "Your Song."

The masterful vocal display and his commanding stage presence earned him a spot in the finals -- alongside inspirational singer Kechi, who got Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer -- and Crum joined ET Live's Denny Directo and Cassie DiLaura on Tuesday to dish on competing against the best of AGT's best.

"I put more pressure on myself than I think anyone else would put on me," Crum explained. "But it's not a competition for me. They love to push that kind of narrative, but I look at it as an opportunity to showcase."

Crum explained that, for the most part, all of the contestants spend hours upon hours hanging out together backstage during the production of the show, and during that time they begin to form real friendships and bonds. 

So, while the show's competitive aspect plays a big role for viewers at home, for the contestants themselves, it's more about getting the chance to show what they've got and prove their mettle, even if they don't make it to the finals.

However, some viewers take the competition aspect a little too seriously, which is one reason that Instagram and Twitter trolls can sometimes post some truly despicable stuff about some of the contestants.

In fact, after AGT announced in an Instagram post that Crum and Kechi had advanced to the finals, the 30-year-old singer found himself responding to some particularly hateful responses, eventually writing, "Bahaha y'all live to troll! Maybe some of you could pick up knitting to fill up some time. Just a thought! Love and light."

"We're putting ourselves out there in a such a huge way. And look, I'm all about criticism. If you say, 'I didn't like the song choice' or whatever, that's fine. Say something constructive."

Crum also said that he isn't new to online negativity and social media trolls, and typically refrains from responding, but something got to him this time around.

"This is the first time I did [respond] and I actually texted one of the AGT social reps and I was like, 'I'm embarrassed that I engaged with this person,'" Crum shared. "Because it's so not worthy of my time and my energy."

"I need to be celebrating how well last night went and not focusing on these people who are, like, hiding behind their private profiles," he added.

Check out the video below for more on America's Got Talent: The Champions, which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.


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