By Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
Monday, Apr 19, 2014
Imagine joining a singing competition and being told bluntly by its head honcho, “You look like William Hung”.
For local bespectacled getai rookie Fei Li Yang, however, the comparison to the American Idol reject hardly fazed him.
“I’m not offended at all. Actually, it’s not the first time I’ve been likened to William Hung,” the 29-year-old said with a laugh.
“A decade ago, when I was doing my BMT (basic military training), my commanding officer also said the same thing. American Idol was the rage on TV then and coincidentally, I had just won Tekong Idol, the army’s internal singing competition.”
Hong Kong-born American Hung, now 31, is best known for his cringe-worthy, off-key performance of Ricky Martin’s hit number She Bangs during the 2004 audition rounds of American Idol Season 3.
Pudgy, pasty-faced and a hoot to watch with his hilarious hand actions, Hung was mercilessly booted off the show. Nevertheless, he won over audiences with his earnest attitude and emerged an overnight sensation.
Fei is the only finalist from Singapore in Getai New Star 2014, an inaugural regional getai competition that will culminate in a ticketed grand final next month at Hong Lim Park.
Of the 10 finalists in Getai New Star, eight are Malaysian, while Singapore and Indonesia have one representative each. The eventual champion will win $10,000.
The chubby father of a three-month-old baby admits that his nerdy, “un-Ah Beng” demeanour is rather similar to Hung.
“Also, both of us are not tall, I’m only 1.7m,” he added.
“Anyway, the most important thing is that my wife doesn’t feel I look like him.”
But looks is where the similarity with Hung ends, Fei said, stressing that he “sings much better” than his American look-a-like.
“It has always been my dream to be a singer, cut an album and popularise Hokkien pop,” he said.
Read the full report in The New Paper.