WHEN HUNG SUNG
Much like the rest of America, the most replayed moment ever on my TiVo has to do with a pop singer who can’t sing or dance very well. But this one keeps his shirt on.
I admit I’ve watched William Hung, the “She Bangs” guy from “American Idol” about a billion times, and every time I hear him say, “I already gave my best, and I have no regrets at all,” it fills me with happiness. But I’m a little uneasy about his overnight internet cultdom – all the fansites, remixes and petitions that have sprung up in the last few days. Hey, if American Idol brought him back as a correspondent or even if, dare we dream, he got his own sitcom or something (called, er, I don’t know, “Hung Out to Dry” maybe?), I’d be the happiest guy in the world. But it sounds like this kid really doesn’t enjoy all the attention. Much like the Star Wars Kid, he feels like the butt of a cruel joke, and I really can’t blame him for that.
Around the 999,999,999th time I watched his performance, I finally listened closely to his singing. And you know what? It’s not terrible. I mean, he’s no Trenyce or Josh Gracin (yes, I’m kidding), but he’s no Keith, the “Like a Virgin” guy, either. William was way more on-key than most of the rejects who get shown on the air. There are many wonderful things about his performance – his exuberance, his goofy dancing, his good nature and positive attitude. But let’s be honest: a part of what stands out about him is his thick accent. You can bet that since he came to America, kids at school have constantly been picking on him because of that accent. So now the guy feels like the whole country is picking on him. Hilarious, huh? I’m not saying that’s the only thing that makes his performance funny, but to him, it probably seems that way.
So here’s a suggestion to all the people trying to force celebrity on the guy: back off. If he doesn’t want his face plastered on t-shirts, then leave him alone. Isn’t his lack of celebrity a big part of what was so appealing about him in the first place? Why ruin it by making him into another overexposed star? Think about this: if you start selling William Hung bobbleheads and put him in Jack in the Box commercials, he’ll just end up getting a big head about himself and losing sight of what made him famous in the first place. Trust me, the William Hung bandwagon won’t be a fun ride for long. It’ll ruin what was so great and unexpected about him in the first place, and we’ll all grow to hate the very mention of him. So let’s not turn him into the “I Didn’t Do It” Boy. Let’s just enjoy “She Bangs” for what it was – a fun, lovable, one-of-a-kind moment in time.
Lord knows I’m not deleting it from my Tivo anytime soon.