When American Idol was first starting, one fun thing for fans was to see the audition stages, which often saw performers in way over their heads.
However, there were other performers who seemed to show up to make a spectacle, and the most popular of these on American Idol was William Hung, who became a massive internet sensation in 2004.
Hung came out and performed Ricky Martin’s She Bangs and immediately won the audience over. While he did not advance on American Idol, it gave him an audience who loved him for his awkward and bizarre performance.
Even though he was never going to be a major singing star, he still left college to pursue a music career, trying to play off the infamy of his Season 3 audition.
American Idol’s William Hung: Where is he now?
William Hung spoke to In Touch for an exclusive interview and explains what happened to him since he dropped off the public’s radar.
William ended his music career in 2011, after seven years, and went on to work in law enforcement as a technical crime analyst for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
However, he said that really didn’t fit him and he has decided to go back into entertainment. This time, he wants to make it a full-time job.
“I transitioned into a professional poker player and entertainer,” William said. “I do have a lot of friends and fans, which I’m grateful for. And then, I do have my fair share of critics and people who don’t like what I do. And that’s okay at well.”
As for his job description, William refers to himself as a “hustler” and “entrepreneur.”
William also said he wants to continue to work as a motivational speaker.
“I am interested to get back into live-speaking and live-performing,” he shares. “I did some towards the end of last year when the pandemic got a little bit better. I definitely would like to do that. It’s something that I enjoy doing.”
William Hung looks back on American Idol
William Hung said that his work as a motivational speaker directly connects to him appearing on American Idol.
When he appeared, many people ridiculed him and made him the brunt of jokes. However, he never gave up and built his own fanbase.
“People see me as the inspirational icon to chase their dreams. And that’s what I want to do,” William said. “That’s what I stand for because I like to try something new without being judged or ridiculed. That’s a great place to be.”
American Idol Season 20 premieres on Sunday, February 27, at 8/7c on ABC. It will also be available to stream on Hulu.