As cliché as it is, it still happens — books are unfortunately judged by their covers. And from the growing pool of Susan Boyle-born foreign reality TV shows, a clip of Taiwanese male singer Lin Yu Chun has become viral due to this exact state of mind.
Wearing a tuxedo outfitted with a red bow tie and sporting a bowl cut as well as an innocently cherubic face, no one suspected Lin of being able to perfectly reproduce the ridiculous range of the one-and-only Whitney Houston. But, oh boy.
Closing your eyes while watching the video, it’s easy to imagine either the real Houston, or some other extraordinarily talented female imitation. But Chun breaks gender roles and sings the song better than many female singers who have covered the famous track, and hits notes that even high-pitch-capable women cannot possibly hit.
Popeater.com remarks that not since Susan Boyle has there “been such a talent” as this young man. And indeed, it seems the talent of both Boyle and Lin are even more shocking due to their seemingly average-joe apperances. But Chun outdid Boyle’s impressive rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables in his refusal to let the obvious gender of the original artist stop him from delivering a captivating rendition of the song.
Lin’s video went viral last Tuesday and before the weekend had already been viewed 5 million times. While the video is definitely a unique YouTube experience, it unfortunately reiterates the tendency of society to associate talent with beauty. Indeed, most celebrities need to maintain a good image in order to garner more fans, but singers like Chun and Boyle break this stereotype, removing the thick layers of makeup and glitzy costumes associated with performance artists and opting to catching viewers’ attention with straight-up skills.