Ever since he first appeared on Korea's Got Talent, Sung-Bong Choi's life story and compelling baritone voice has been winning him hearts the world over.
From the start, life was against Sung-Bong, having to escape the harsh brutalities of an orphanage at the age of 5. With grit and an inherent instinct for survival, he made a living selling gum and energy drinks on the streets of Korea. In his own words he lived like a 'Dayfly'.
With a touch of self-doubt in himself, he nevertheless auditioned for the Korean version of Britain's, and once his stepped foot in front of the TV cameras, the world recognised in him, a truly sorrowful but uplifting tale, that had to be told.
This blog intends to follow the journey of the mysterious manual worker from Korea..
note: The two backing tracks in this clip are Coldplay - The Scientist and Damien Rice - Cold Water
Sung-Bong Choi Transcript – Audition – 04/06/2011
Narrator: There’s an ordinary looking guy getting ready to go on the stage...
Sung-Bong: I’m 22 years old, and my name is Choi, Sung-Bong
I’ve lived through very difficult circumstances
I still feel uncomfortable challenging in this competition
I just want to be like other nomal people
Sung-Bong walks onto the stage and presents himself to the judges:
Song-Jun Ah: Hello
SB: Hello. I’m Choi, Sung-Bong and I’m 22 years old
SJ: From the way you look, I can’t tell what you do for a living
SB: I’m a manual worker
(audience and judge laugh a little)
SJ: …early in the morning?
SJ: As I look into your application, you left the “Family” section blank
SB: I was left in an orphanage when I was 3, and when I was five, I ran away after I got beaten by people there
Kolleen Park: How have you managed to live since then?
SB: I sold gums or energy drinks on the street. I had that life for about 10 years
SJ: Did you stay with anyone else besides yourself?
SB: No, I was alone.
SJ: So, you’ve lived by yourself since you were 5 years old?
SB: I’ve lived like that for 10 years. I slept on the stairs or public toilet…for ten years like a dayfly
SJ: Did you go to school?
SB: No, I took the GED test to get my elementary and middle school degrees and high school was the first school I’ve been to.
SJ: Wow, you’re unbelievable…Are you going to sing today?
SJ: Do you enjoy singing?
SB: Rather than say “I sing because I enjoy it”, I like singing because it was the first thing I liked after living that dayfly-esque life. I’m not a good singer, but I just like it.
SJ: Let me hear you sing…
Sung-Bong sings “Nella Fantasia”
SJ (in tears): I just wanna give you a hug!
KP (also in tears): Why do you wanna sing?
SB: When I was young…I’ve had many bad things happen to me like…I was sold to somewhere
SB: One day when I was selling gums at a night club, I saw a vocalist singing on the stage
Usually night clubs have exciting music on right? I was fascinated by the singer who sang on the stage so sincerely. Since then I started to like singing.
KP: So you want to be a vocalist?
KP: I think you do have a good voice in you. Have you had any lessons?
SB: I took master classes if I had a chance. I just listened and practiced by myself.
KP: No matter how you end up in this competition, I’d like to give you some help so that you can
carry on having vocal lessons. Thanks for your awesome performance!
Jang Jin: I think you can tell what a great performance you’ve given us through the audience’s reaction.
You’ve done a great job
SJ: Okay, let’s make a decision
KP: Yes from me
SJ: Congratulations! You are through to the next round!
(Sung-Bong Choi exits the stage)
Host: Now you have hundreds of people cheering for you, and you’ll have thousands of people cheering after this episode is aired. If you do your best until the end of this competition…you know how many people are in Korea, right? More than 50 Million people will cheer for you! And if you try really hard, then I think 6.5 million people around the world will become a fan of you. You did a great job, Sung-Bong!
(Back in the judges’ dressing room…)
KP: Regardless of his hard life, he passionately runs towards what he really wants, and even talented ones rarely have that passion.
JJ: His voice tone magically attracts the listener’s mind
SJ: I’m very glad to have met him…I just want him to be happy, from now on!
Anyone willing to translate the full unedited version of the audition or other translations then please get in touch, and you will be given full credit for doing so.