Despite being voted off a talent show, Taiwanese singer Jimmy Lin is now a celebrity, writes Barry C Chung
Unless you've been living in a bubble the past few months, chances are you've heard of Jimmy Lin Yu-chun. The bowtie-clad, mushroom-headed singing sensation was a contestant on Super Star Avenue, a Taiwanese version of the popular talent show American Idol.
Lin sang Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, but was voted off the show. However, he rose to stardom after the video made it onto YouTube, with more than 7 million hits and counting. Following in the footsteps of Scottish singer Susan Boyle, Lin signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment two weeks ago. Young Post talked to Lin about music, life and everything in between.
Young Post: Can you describe your experience on Super Star Avenue?
Lin: I had been through a lot of failures. But seeing Susan Boyle's courage to get up on stage and conquer the world with her vocal talent inspired me to challenge myself to do the same.
YP: How did you feel when you were voted off?
Lin: I wasn't upset at all. I thought I showed what I could do to the audience. When I was 16 or 17 years old, I took part in a lot of competitions. Back then, I didn't have too much experience, but I learned something from the judges every time.
YP: Is there a story behind your choice of clothes and hairstyle?
Lin: I was actually a dancer in one of Taiwanese singer Cyndi Wang's videos. The hairstylist put a wig on me and I thought it was very cute. So after the shoot, I went to a salon and cut my hair like that. It is my trademark now.
YP: You have very interesting facial expressions when you sing. Why do you move your eyebrows so much?
Lin: They are all unintentional. I actually didn't realise it myself, until I saw my performances on TV. In fact, I am very focused during my performances. I don't really notice my expressions.
YP: Is there a reason why you mostly sing songs by female artists?
Lin: It's because I realise I have a unique voice. So, singing songs by female artists allows me to show the audience that I have a unique voice.
YP: Who is your favourite artist(s)? Who do you get inspiration from?
Lin: First of all, definitely Whitney Houston. I love all the divas like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. I also like Leona Lewis, who is also with Sony Music, Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera. As for Taiwanese artists, I like A-mei and Wang Leehom. As for the Japanese, I really like Ken Hirai and Misia. From China, I especially like Jane Zhang [who performed on the Chinese show Super Girl].
YP: Do you find English difficult?
Lin: Yes! It is very difficult, because the pronunciations are very different from Chinese. Therefore, I spend a lot of time working on the correct pronunciation of the lyrics.
YP: Do you have anything to say to Young Post readers?
Lin: I hope everyone will support my album launch in July. I love Hong Kong, especially the food. The fans in Hong Kong are very affectionate. At a performance in Tuen Mun, the mum of one of the fans cried when she saw me. I gave her a tissue to wipe her tears and she used it to help me wipe my sweat off. She held my hand and told me that I inspired her and gave her courage.