Though his American Idoljourney ended this week, 23-year-old contestant Beane is proud of the impact he made on the show. 

The Pennsylvania-based wedding singer appears on Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show where he opens up about feeling comfortable expressing himself on the ABC competition show. 

“I think the freedom that American Idol gave me to dress how I wanted and present as an artist was super, super lovely, to really feel like myself every time I was on stage,” he shares of the experience. 

One moment in particular from earlier this month stands out to him. Beane had the opportunity to sing a duet with Josh Groban to the Robbie Williams song “Angels.” 

“We did a little pronoun shift and he was so wonderful,” Beane says of Groban. “He let me sing the word ‘he’ instead of ‘she’ and it’s like those tiny little moments — it kind of correlates to painting a hand or a little bit of eyeliner, whatever — that I think kind of acts as almost a form of protest, in a way, just changing the norm a little bit. Maybe not screaming about who I am, but those little kind of tweaks I think let people have themselves be seen.”

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