Ever the comedian, Heejun Han isn’t letting his exit from “American Idol” bring him down. In fact, the 22-year-old singer brought his wacky sense of humor backstage for his “Idol” exit interviews, entering the room full of reporters and breaking out into fake sobs.
“I’m so sad! I’m going to try out for ‘The Voice,’” he jokes before his “Idol” handlers give him a stern talking-to.
Selfishly, it would’ve been nice to see Han last longer if only because it’s such a blast to interview him — we were practically in tears listening to him joke with the other journalists. But like Han tells us, there are definitely two sides to him. As funny as he can be, he’s also completely capable of earnest emotion.
Of his ill-fated Billy Joel week attempt at levity, he says he was only trying to entertain. “Honestly, it’s entertainment. It’s really about laughing or crying. I
had to choose one, and I let them laugh, so what’s the big deal here?
But I understand from their perspective — this is a singing competition
and I feel like I proved myself with yesterday’s performance so I’m
In fact, Han knew he was the next to leave. Instead of a slap in the face — going home on such a high note — Han says it’s a slap somewhere else. “No, it’s actually really a slap in the butt! Like, you know how athletes say ‘Oh, good shot?’ You don’t want to finish this competition on a bad note. If I got sent home from ‘My Life,’ all that criticism, then I would have a bad mood right now. But I got a standing ovation.
It’s a very zen attitude — and a practical one, considering the steep competition he was up against.
But Han says getting this far in the competition only reinforced his confidence. “People actually start off this competition believing that they can make
it, then at the end of the day they might doubt themselves because they
didn’t make it far. I actually started off this competition doubting
myself, and at the end of the day, now I actually believe in myself.”
If you look at Han’s background, you can tell how much he truly appreciates everything “Idol” has done for him.
“I remember ten years ago, my whole family carried our two pieces of luggage in our hands, saying ‘We’re gonna make it.’ But ten years of our lives, nothing happened. I just received my green card a year ago … but now I’m standing here singing in front of millions of people. People are cheering me on — ‘You can do it, you can do it.’ How can you express what I have accomplished and how proud my parents are?”
If you’re surprised that Han is so earnest underneath all that humor, you shouldn’t be. The guy has sent every piece of swag he’s gotten so far back to the special needs kids he works with at home, and he’s planning on spending his tour paycheck doing the same. “The first thing I want to do with the salary I make, I really want to help my kids out.”
As for what’s next, Han plans to ride his wave of post-“Idol” fame and see where it shakes out. “This is the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had in my life. I’m going to make something out of it by doing anything in front of me. Acting, comedy, sitcoms, singing, dancing, you know,” he says. “If they’re willing to pay me millions of dollars, then I’ll do anything — except adult films.”