Though we’re all disappointed that nine-year-old Hongkonger Celine Tam failed to reach the finals of America’s Got Talent – it’s all your fault, Mel B – it does at least afford us an opportunity to look back to her first audition, take stock and think of other Hongkongers who rose to fame for their memorable performances on reality shows and singing contests...
1. Celine Tam
The nine-year-old Hongkonger with a big voice has been melting hearts ever since her precocious rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On as she auditioned on America’s Got Talent, which resulted in an unprecedented global ‘awwwww’ epidemic and the golden buzzer that takes her straight to the quarter-finals. Though Tam didn’t make it all the way to the final – queue sad face emoji – we’re certain we haven’t seen the last of her.
2. William Hung
The man who started it all. William Hung is arguably one of the first reality show contestants who went viral thanks to his charmingly off-key rendition of Ricky Martin’s popular hit She Bangs on US singing competition television series American Idol in 2004. The Hong Kong-born American shot to fame and won over audiences around the world with his ‘unique’ dance moves and lovable smile, going on to release not one, but three albums. Though he’s no longer pursuing a career in music, Hung still welcomes public speaking gigs to share his story and, as his website states, ‘helping you find your inner courage!’.
3. Goldie Cheung
The 48-year-old tai chi instructor first graced the stage when she auditioned for The X Factor, Britain’s popular TV singing competition in 2011 and stunned audiences with her memorable yet incomprehensible self-penned song Copperbell and salacious moves – wrapping her leg around judge Gary Barlow’s neck at one point. The Hong Kong-born contestant managed to make it to the final 16 before deciding to withdraw from the show, but we’ll always remember her loud personality and eccentric dances.
4. Gill Mohindepaul Singh
You probably know him better by his stage name Q Bobo (喬寶寶) but Singh sky-rocketed to stardom thanks to his energetic performance on Minutes to Fame《殘酷一叮》– Hong Kong’s attempted answer to Britain’s Got Talent – while wearing tight leather pants and showing off the kind of hip-thrusting moves that would make Elvis proud. But more importantly, the Hong Kong-born Indian wowed the crowd and TV bosses with his fluent Cantonese. Now an actor who frequently appears on TVB, you can easily see Singh do his thing in various local television dramas.
5. Corinna Chamberlain
Born to an Australian mother and a New Zealand father, Chamberlain caught the city’s attention with her perfect Cantonese and well-reviewed performances as a contestant on The Voice of the Stars《星夢傳奇 》in 2013, a televised singing contest for TVB actors. With striking blonde hair and a sweet voice, the Hong Kong-raised actress and singer came in third in the reality show and is now a prominent television actress and personality here in our SAR.