I must preface this by saying that my disagreement has nothing to do with the fact that I love Heejun Han. I am able to disassociate the emotional swell of my crush from my crush object’s actual abilities. [I just happened to luck out with this year’s season of Top Chef in that my TV husband Paul Qui did deserve to take home the crown] Do I think Heejun has the strongest voice? No. Do I think he will win American Idol? Not really. But I do think he’s become an Asian American pop culture revolutionary?
And Jimmy Iovine’s mini-rant about Heejun’s class clown persona and that the show is not “American Comedian,” just further cemented that belief for me.
Let’s face it, Asian Americans have not fared well on American Idol. The contestants of Asian descent who have made it past Hollywood Week have typically been … boring. Technically skilled, but not as captivating as they could have been, whether it was due to song choice (i.e. snoozy ballads) or lack of stage presence (Oh, Thia Megia…). Season 3’s Camile Velasco (who awesomely sang the hook to The Fugee’s “Ready or Not” in her audition) was just too hip to conform to Idol’s staid routine even in its early seasons and even AI’s resident Asian stud John Park (the one who set Shania Twain’s loins afire during his audition) failed to excite audiences. It’s been argued that singers who receive little screen time during the Hollywood Week episodes are facing one hell of an uphill battle to capture the hearts of America once voting begins, especially if they don’t have a maudlin backstory to tug on viewers’ heartstrings. I think that’s true for a show like Idol — and its competition The X-Factor — which put a large emphasis on creating a “package” star.
And who had a ton of well-deserved Hollywood Week time? Heejun Han. Since his audition, he’s been giving America some of the best deadpan one liners that reality TV has ever seen. Even his facial expressions — though, often bordering on the absurd — are genius. Plus, he really can sing. So while Jimmy and the increasingly joyless Ryan Seacrest question how seriously Heejun is taking the competition, they’d be naive to think he’s not taking his career seriously.
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at email@example.com.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- lynn1066 on The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- bridgetarlene on The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- etoiledamore on The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- literatebrit on The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- Matt Pizzuti on The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- Open Thread: Scandal S03 E09: ‘YOLO’
- The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
- The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- On Disability and Cartographies of Difference
- A Muslimah’s Guide to Rocking the World
- Quoted: Dr. David Leonard Pens Open Letter to Marissa Alexander
- The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black celebrities comedy diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity interracial relationships Kerry Washington latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion Scandal sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes True Blood tv Uncategorized white youtube