Jimmy Rose, a 33-year-old singer from Pineville who sang from the heart about coal mining, took third place Wednesday night on the two-hour finale of America's Got Talent.
"This has been a crazy experience and a humbling experience," Rose said after he was eliminated. "Coal mining has taken such a huge hit and I'm just proud to represent it in a positive way." Dance performer Kenichi Ebina won the competition.
Kentuckians have done well on the show. Central Kentucky sand artist Joe Castillo was a finalist last year, coming in fifth, and Kevin Skinner, a singer and chicken farmer from Western Kentucky, won season 4 of the talent show in 2009.
Rose, an Iraq veteran who worked briefly as a miner, performed Wednesday night with country singer Dierks Bentley to sing I Hold On, a new single from Bentley's upcoming album.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The song's lyrics reflected Rose's tenacity: So I hold on / To the things I believe in / My faith, your love, our freedom / To the things I can count on to keep me goin' strong / Yeah, I hold on,
"I just think he's representing country music so well," Bentley said of Rose after the performance.
On Tuesday, Rose performed his signature song, Coal Keeps the Lights On, and Garth Brooks' The Dance. The judges responded favorably. "I love your voice, I loved that performance and I think America has to vote for you," former Spice Girl Mel B told Rose.