Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordan Sparks, Lee DeWyze — HeeJun Han?
Han, 22, of Flushing, is an aspiring singer who traveled to Pittsburgh last July to audition for TV’s “American Idol” and now has landed himself a spot as one of the 13 finalists on this season’s show.
According to Han’s Twitter account, when he’s not busy infiltrating the ears of judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, he lives with his parents and siblings in Flushing.
Han’s brother, Heeseung, said from the family home that they’re proud and amazed at his brother’s success.
When here, Han works at Milal Mission, a nonprofit group that works for the social equality of disabled children. There, he is a mentor in the afternoon youth program.
“I wanted to prove to them that if you really, really want something and you really really believe in it, you can be someone,” Han said after his first audition.
His song of choice was “How am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton, a song he said has real meaning to him and his work.
“HeeJun is very creative and very caring with the children he assists in our after-school programming,” said Kyle Wang, the grant manager of Milal Mission’s Flushing location. “He has always been outgoing and we hope he will come back in a few months after all his success.”
Wang said that everyone at Milal Mission watches the program together, and of course, votes for their coworker as soon as Han’s voting number hits the screen.
Han’s television persona has made an impression on rockstar Tyler, according to the American Idol website.
“You’re a better star than you are a singer, so we’re gonna put you through, pal,” Tyler said after Han’s first show.
Han’s reputation has grown to become the funny guy of this season. He made national headlines from an on-air segment involving Ryan Seacrest, the show’s host. During the auditions, Han said to Seacrest that his head was too small to let anyone stand next to him on screen.
Han is also noted for trying to keep the team morale up throughout the performances. During the “Hollywood week” of “American Idol” he stood up against Richie Law, another contestant, who was trying to make song choices for all the other contestants. “American Idol” representatives reported after the incident that Han apologized to Law’s family for speaking ill of their son.
Despite a few criticisms in the beginning, Han’s fans have made it clear that they are here to stay.
Han’s Twitter account has grown in the past month to almost 37,000 followers, and he has created a web show on Facebook called, “HEETALKSHOW,” where he welcomes fan questions and comments.
On Wednesday, Han and the other male singers performed Stevie Wonder songs, while the women paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston.
Han’s results for the next round will be on tonight, Thursday, at 8 p.m. on Fox.