Imitation, even parody, can be so flattering.
You know pop star G.E.M has entered the big league when one of her many phenomenal performances on Chinese reality singing competition I Am A Singer 2 becomes fodder for Hong Kong comedian Wong Cho Lam's wacky, hilarious parodies.
The 22-year-old Hong Kong vocalist, whose real name is Gloria Tang, has consistently wowed audiences with her effortless renditions of songs ever since she joined the television contest which pits professional singers against each other.
One particular ballad, Existence, originally by Chinese rocker Wang Feng, was moving, but Wong, 34, did a rib-tickling parody of it on comedy show Your Face Sounds Familiar, re-enacting the tiniest of details.
Wong had previously parodied performances of A-listers Jacky Cheung, Eason Chan, A-mei and K-pop boy band Big Bang.
"Cho Lam is so amazing! I watched his video and he looked and behaved like me, so much so that it's a little scary," Tang told M in an e-mail interview.
"We are around the same height - approximately 1.6m - and even our bare tummies look the same. His reworked lyrics of Existence are funnier, but they definitely touched a chord with me," she added.
I Am A Singer 2, also featuring veteran Taiwanese singer Phil Chang and Malaysian balladeer Shila Amzah in the running for top honours, airs over Mango (StarHub Ch 836) on Fridays at 8pm. The finale on April 4 will be aired at 8pm live from the Chinese city of Hunan.
The Chinese media has referred to Shila as Tang's "stiffest contender" on the show, but Tang, who cites US pop star Beyonce as her role model, stressed that her only rival is herself.
"The toughest part is coming up with something fresh and exciting for audiences," she said.
One thing's for sure - Tang's popularity has surged on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, with her followers jumping from 1.5 million to eight million in less than two months.
She said: "When the numbers started increasing at a rapid pace, I was shocked. I'm extremely happy and touched by the support from my fans."
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