'American Idol': Heejun Han explains his wacky Billy Joel performance
Han perched against a piano and began a slow, mournful version of "My Life" before appearing to lose track of his performance. But just when we were all about to faint from our collective gasps, Han ripped off his suit jacket to reveal a casual outfit underneath and began a much more up-tempo version of the song. Phew -- it's clear this was planned all along.
When Zap2it informed Han after the show that that we actually thought he'd forgotten his words or something else equally disastrous, he laughed. "That was what I was actually going for!"
Diddy and Jimmy Iovine, who didn't really seem to be on board the Heejun train during Han's mentoring session, were totally in on the plan too. "Oh yeah, they liked it! They were like 'Do it, do it, do it, do it!' I was like 'Okay guys,'" he says.
As Han danced through the audience, it was clear he was having an amazing time (despite the fact that all his jumping around might've affected his vocal performance).
"Today's performance was literally a metaphor," he explains. "When I was ripping off the clothes, it was saying 'This is who I really am.' The past three [weeks] I've been trying to impress so many people in such a short time that it came out of the performance. But today my focus was just to have fun on stage and show who I really am. 'American Idol' is about picking a person as a model who can deliver the message that you can become someone if you truly believe in yourself, so I stuck to the plan."
He continues: "For me, I want to touch peoples' hearts by making them laugh and making them happy, because I think that's what we need at this point all around the world."
Phillip Phillips, Han's roommate and on-set BFF, defends his pal's performance. "I thought Heejun did awesome. He's been so serious these past few weeks. A couple of notes were off, but he was having fun. Especially at the end when he was singing. he hit some awesome notes. He actually had fun and it was good to see that."
Han has certainly brought a lot more personality to the "Idol" experience than many of his competitors, so the comedic element of the number didn't surprise fellow finalist Joshua Ledet.
"I was not shocked," Ledet says of the zany performance. "That boy is always doing something crazy and making us laugh. I was very proud of him because he just got on that stage and he just rocked it out. He had a good time. Coming from last week, the negative feedback he got, and the joy on his face was so amazing."
As for Han's other awkward moment -- the Tommy Hilfiger fashion mentoring session -- the finalist says that Hilfiger just didn't really seem to get his sense of humor.
"Not at all, man. It was like the toughest, toughest mentor session I've ever had in my life -- just Tommy Hilfiger trying to catch my idea of fashionable, whatever that is. And I had such a hard time -- I had no idea who Tommy Hilfiger is! Guess what I was wearing the whole time?"
Han flashes the label of his boxers -- they're Tommy Hilfiger. "I had no idea who that was but look at what I was wearing! I had this underwear for like 20 years and I never knew who the heck Tommy Hilfiger was."