john park: the next american idol?

On Tuesday evening, I started getting a flurry of emails about one guy. A guy with a golden voice. I'm talking about 20-year-old American Idol contestant John Park, who apparently made a huge impression during the hit show's audition stop in Chicago. A crazy deluge of emails, all telling me I had to see this YouTube clip from the show. And I'm in California -- American Idol hadn't even aired here yet!

So I watched the show... and damn. John Park is smooth. A guy with a voice that can not only melt your heart, but apparently make guest judge Shania Twain all kinds of flustered (did she just say he had "a beautiful bottom end?"), and snag himself a golden ticket to Hollywood. I like it! Just watch the clip, and believe. (If that one doesn't work, try this one.)

What's with all the judges' comments about being "surprised" about his audition? Yes, Shania. Asians can sing. Too bad the only ones that usually end up on American Idol are the people who make fools of themselves (i.e. William Hung). That's why John here is such a breath of fresh air.

Call me a fan. And while it's still early, speculation has it that John has actually made it into American Idol's Top 24. Hell yes. I am already rooting for this cat, not only because he's talented and he's Asian American, but he also hails from my alma mater. Here's a video of John rocking a smooth solo with his a cappella group: Purple Haze - Coming Home. Go 'Cats.

UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly's recap of John Park's audition is pretty good, particularly this excerpt:
My only complaint with Shania (and Kara) was their publicly and repeatedly expressed surprise that John was able to sing, um, well, like a hunka hunka burnin' love. I'm not exactly sure what the female judges were getting at. Are Asian guys not supposed to be able to sing soul? Or sound super-manly? Or convincingly play the role of the sex symbol? (Ladies, please immediately adjust your dials and open your damn eyes to see John Cho on FlashForward, Daniel Henney on Three Rivers and especially Tim Kang on The Mentalist for evidence to the contrary! You can send thank-you notes later. That is all.)
That's what I'm talking about. Nice to see the Asian guy get some rare love on America's most popular TV show.

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