STERLING, Ill., Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Jonathan Brannan from Ocean Springs, Miss., can carry a tune, drop a dad joke — and sport a sweet beard. It's his range of talents, along with a knack for balancing family and fun, that has made him the winner in the first-ever 'Most Talented Beard in America' contest. Hosted by men's grooming leader Wahl, the contest came along at just the right time for Brannan, as he plans to use his $20,000 prize money to adopt a baby this spring.
In a year full of heavy news, Wahl launched the contest as a way to spread positivity and celebrate all of the bearded guys out there. The quest to find furry phenoms started in September when the company put out the call for men with beards to submit a video of themselves performing a talent. Hundreds of hairy hopefuls entered, 10 finalists were chosen, and public votes determined the top 3 winners.
In addition to bringing home $20,000, as the grand prize winner Brannan also earns beard bragging rights with the new title of 'Wahl Man of the Year.' It's a title Brannan didn't foresee; while a lifelong fan of beards, he faced some facial hair hurdles. By the time he got to an age where he could actually grow a beard, he was also starting his career as a TV reporter, and it wasn't allowed. However, once he left the TV biz, both Brannan and his beard flourished. He's now the development director for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, and enjoys life with his wife and 6-year-old daughter. The family of three is excitedly anticipating the addition of a baby boy they will adopt in April 2021.
"It's kind of every man's dream to be recognized for his beard, and the story behind this recognition is wild," said Brannan. "It blows my mind, to be honest. Just the fact that I found out about the contest literally the day before the entry deadline is crazy enough, but then the rest of the story, including our adoption needs makes winning this even sweeter."
According to Brannan, his win is a testament to the amazing support of friends, family and everyone who voted for him. Brannan is in good company with the following runner ups, who also garnered impressive support:
2nd Place winner Benjamin Taylor from Glenwood, Md., who is deaf, is a biologist who truly loves the outdoors. But he's also a multi-talented sleight-of-hand magician, fire artist and comedian. Taylor's video submission shows off his beard and skills, while explaining them through sign-language. He takes home $10,000, and plans to donate some of his winnings to an organization that provides resources to families with deaf children.
3rd Place winner Cliff Prowse from Little Rock, Ark., and his wife are a musical duo who help organize the Yadaloo Music & Arts Festival. Affectionately known as the "Bearded Fiddler," he's a musical producer, composer and instrumentalist. His video entry showcases his multi-instrumental talent as well as his beard. His $5,000 prize is more than welcome during a time when, like many musicians his ability to perform has been hindered.
For more information about the 'Most Talented Beard in America' contest, or for facial hair tips and tools visit WahlUSA.com or follow @WahlGrooming on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
About Wahl Grooming Celebrating its 101ST anniversary, Wahl continues to help men look and feel their best with innovative products manufactured to define and elevate the men's grooming category. The company set the standard with the first-ever practical electric hair clipper in 1919, and later strengthened its leadership with the world's first battery-powered facial hair trimmer. Wahl crosses its centennial milestone by introducing a complete line of personal care products including a beard oil, shampoo, and body wash. It's this continued commitment to excellence that has solidified Wahl's place as the world's go-to brand for men's grooming solutions. For more information, visit WahlUSA.com.