Among the three contestants Jang, John Park and Huh Gak Jang was the only one who had made it to the top three through performing non-mainstream music.
Encouraging Jang who said she found solace in music when bullied by her schoolmates, Paul Potts, the mobile phone-salesman-turned-reality TV superstar, told her not to give up. He was a guest judge of Superstar K last year.
“I want to say to the girl, don’t give up. Keep going and if you have the talent, it will shine in the end,” Potts said in an interview with The Korea Herald on Sunday. He rose to world stardom after winning the first “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2007 and getting millions of views on a Youtube video clip.
“The most direct route may not be the route for you. Sometimes, it will be slightly longer than you hope but people will see the talent you have,” said the 40-year-old, who confessed a lack of self-confidence when he was bullied in the past.
The advice of the British operatic tenor resonates not only for Jang but for ordinary people who often find it difficult to achieve something, be it landing a job, getting promoted or finding the right spouse.
Potts said he himself went through hardship from the moment he graduated from university.
|British singer Paul Potts poses for a photo ouside the head office of The Korea Herald in central Seoul. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)|
When he left university in the early 1990s, the U.K. was in a recession. He never got past the first stage of the hiring process whenever he applied for jobs because so many people were applying.
However, it didn’t stop him working up from the bottom and this has always been his attitude. In 1996, he was elected as a member of Bristol City Council and worked there until 2003. Potts was a manager of a mobile phone store until he won the TV show competition, took a six-month sabbatical and quit in March 2008.
“It’s not the destination that’s important. It’s how you get there and what you learn from the journey,” said Potts.
He is on a promotion tour in Asia to introduce his new, third album “Cinema Paradiso.”
He said the third album was different from the previous two albums in that he planned the movie-theme concept and chose the producer himself Hollywood movie music producer Simon Franglen who has worked soundtracks for blockbusters such as “Avatar,” “Titanic” and “Moulin Rouge.”
It was the movie “E.T.” that developed Potts’ fascination with classical music, and he had been thinking of releasing a movie album for some time.
Plus, he studied film as part of his university degree, while he was majoring in philosophy, he said.
If he had to recommend just one song out of the 11 tracks, he said he would go for the third track, “Parla Piu Piano” which is the love theme from the film “The Godfather.”
Potts recorded five tracks, including Doctor Zhivago’s “Dove Non So,” in Italian because “it didn’t sound right” when sung in English, he said.
“I’ve always been interested in Italian opera and wanted to learn more about the language and be able to sing in Italian better.”
Potts is an ardent user of Twitter and Facebook where he himself updates where he is and what he has been doing on his mobile phone.
He stressed that it is important for artists to update social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook pages by themselves rather than having marketing department staff do the job to stay in touch with their fans.
Just before the interview, he replied to some Twitter users who told Potts to be careful about eating dogs in Korea, saying, “Nothing wrong with Korean food. Don’t believe all you hear. Some is spicy but it’s generally good.”
However, he says the cylindrical metal chopsticks can be difficult to use. “Nothing sticks to them. It’s a challenge but it makes you eat slower which is perfect for my diet,” said the tenor, who is trying lose weight by going to the gym four or five times a week, despite his tight promotion schedule.
To Potts, image is not really important, he said, adding that he only had his teeth rearranged for health reasons since he became a star.
With a wife 10 years younger than him, Potts said the couple is “not quite over the hill yet” to have children.
Potts expressed hope that he can come back next year to hold a fourth concert in Korea.
By Kim Yoon-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)