The Amazing Story and Performance of a Contestant in a Korean Talent Program-Truth!

The Amazing Story and Performance of a Contestant in a Korean Talent Program-Truth!


Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded YouTube video link about a young South Korean man named Sung-bong Choi, who auditioned for the popular Korea’s Got Talent television show.  When asked about his family background he told judges that he ran away from an orphanage after being beaten and grew up living in the streets.  He then proceeded to surprise everyone with his operatic voice.

The Truth:

According to a June 7, 2011 Time Magazine article, “Sung-bong Choi has the voice — and a grim Oliver Twist-ian childhood story— to become the next talent sensation.”    The video of his audition has rocketed him to international fame on the World Wide Web and people all over the world are sharing this story with friends and family.

During the interview, Choi told judges that he grew up alone in the streets of South Korea for ten years after running away from an orphanage at age five.  He survived by selling energy drinks and chewing gum and said that he slept in streets and public rest rooms for ten years until he began working as a manual laborer.  He melted hearts and even brought one judge to tears as he sang Sarah Brightman’s “Nella Fantasia.”

The Time Magazine article also said there there was some controversy about his formal training and it was later discovered that he attended a high school specializing in the performing arts.   The performer disclosed this information to the judges and the studio audience but that part of his story was edited from the broadcast.

updated 6/21/11

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Youtube Video of Sung-bong Choi  on Korea’s Got Talent