Celine Tam Reaches “America’s Got Talent” Semi-Finals

By on September 4, 2017 in NEWS

Celine Tam Reaches “America’s Got Talent” Semi-Finals

Hong Kong’s “little giant lung” Celine Tam (譚芷昀) will be competing against other child singers in the semifinals for America’s Got Talent this week.

The 9-year-old Hong Kong native is one of 21 talents who have survived through the semifinals, who will be competing in a two-week long race. 10 finals will be selected for the final rounds, which will be determined in late September.

Of the 21 semifinalists, six of them are underaged, including 9-year-old Celine, 9-year-old Angelica Hale, 12-year-old Darci Lynne, 12-year-old Merrick Hanna, 13-year-old Evie Clair, and 17-year-old Christian Guardino.

According to the official chart, Celine will first go against Angelica Hale, who dreams to be the next Whitney Houston, and the talented formerly blind singer Christian Guardino, on September 12. The 21 semifinalists will be split into two teams, and after eliminating six from each group, the final 10 will compete for the trophy and win US$1 million.

Celine wrote on Facebook, “I am so happy to have [the] chance to join AGT this year. [I’ve learned] a lot and [made] lots of friend. I am just a 9 [year] old kid and I am lucky to have my family supporting me to build my dream.”

Comparing experience to be as important as water, Celine also thanked her father for being her singing teacher, and teaching her to sing with “skills and heart everyday.”

Source: Mingpao

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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Celine Tam Reaches “America’s Got Talent” Semi-Finals

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  • 39 comments to Celine Tam Reaches “America’s Got Talent” Semi-Finals

    1. happybi says:

      Angelica Hale is 9 yrs old. Not 19. I’m rooting for Angelica as I’m a sucker for her back story. A real fighter at such a young age!

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    2. hannah says:

      goodluck Celine! What an Angel!

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    3. rucofan1100 says:

      how exactly does a hong kong native end up on america’s got talent? does she have citizenship? or does she actually live in the usa, but splits her time in hk? just curious how she ended up on an american tv show (13 hr plane ride?) as opposed to all those chinese singing competitions (4 hour bus ride?)

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      • shimmerstars replied:

        @rucofan1100

        I can answer to your questions! =)

        Celine Tam was born in Hong Kong. She does not have US Citizenship. Her parents are also born in Hong Kong. She was “invited” by the Organisers of America’s Got Talent to participate.
        There is no way in hell she would have been considered because she does not met the entry requirements.
        She is very lucky! The organisers spotted her through her dad’s youtube video’s he’s posted. There was an interview by HK TV station of her dad, 2 months ago and the reporter asked how she got on the show as its unlikely they would have accepted her application. Her dad was pretty frank/honest in his answer.

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @shimmerstars Unfortunately, her dad Steve Tam is a piece of work. Most in the U.S. are probably oblivious but her dad has been involved in quite a few “scandals” in HK, all of which have been reported in HK to the point that I’m surprised her dad doesn’t get spit on when he’s in public (the latest incident was when a security guard at the airport said something borderline negative about him and the guard got fired the next day). It’s kind of obvious that he is using Celine for his own gain (as he has used everyone else who has come across his path). While it’s true that Celine does have singing talent, I also don’t doubt for a minute that her dad is exploiting her for what its worth. I feel sorry for her (since it’s a situation she can’t control) but do wish her the best of luck.

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        • happybi replied:

          @shimmerstars Thanks for explaining! Did not know that is how she got in. As why the heck is she even in this competition if she’s not from the US. Why they heck did they even invite her to begin with! So freaking unfair to the people in the US! Now I’m really rooting for Angelica!

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @happybi LOL…me too! My vote is definitely going to Angelica. Nothing against Celine specifically, but given how her dad is, I feel like by supporting her, I am indirectly condoning her dad’s actions. It’s not every day that a well-known celebrity (locally in HK that is) like Nancy Sit would put her own reputation on the line to publicly lambast Steve Tam (Celine’s father) as an “immoral person with treacherous intent” (and Tam pretty much admitting to such, albeit indirectly, by apologizing to Nancy and donating the money he had supposedly “cheated” from students to charity).

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        • happybi replied:

          @llwy12 It’s just really making me mad to learn how she got there! As for her Dad…he’s going to milk everything he can from this!

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @happybi Yea, it makes me mad too. And to be honest, I don’t care what the dad claims happened in terms of how Celine got the opportunity to appear on AGT – he has zero credibility in my book anyway so I don’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth. Based on all the stuff I’ve read / seen about the family, there’s no doubt in my mind that the dad somehow was directly involved with getting Celine on that show – I wouldn’t be surprised if some type of shady dealing actually took place behind-the-scenes. It’s obvious the dad is hungry for attention – he keeps boasting about the number of competitions that Celine participated in — 8 competitions in 2 years?!?! – and that she had already gone through all of the singing competitions available in HK and Mainland China, so it’s not surprising at all that he would try to get her on AGT. The more I think about it, the more sorry I feel for Celine, as it looks like until she becomes an adult and can choose for herself, her life is pretty much going to be participating in one competition after another….

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        • rucofan1100 replied:

          @shimmerstars thanks!!! had no clue, couldn’t find any info on the matter (was literally thinking, why hasn’t anyone mentioned how odd it is she got on the show?) thanks again!

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        • hannah replied:

          @shimmerstars thanks for the info! Steve sound so sleezy

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    4. 1nit says:

      Don’t think she is from HK. At most she is born in HK and migranted to the US at a very young age. But I seriously think it’s her parents that was born in HK not her.

      People like to make links when there’s something good

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      • llwy12 replied:

        @1nit No, she’s definitely from HK. She and her family actually live in HK and travel every week to the U.S. for the competition. With what we know of how her dad is, it’s not surprising at all that she was able to get on AGT. Though one thing I do agree on is the piece about association — HK media has definitely been blowing Celine’s “success” out of proportion. Some outlets at one point were even reporting it as though she had actually won the competition!

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        • nomad822 replied:

          @llwy12

          Reading what you said …

          Seriously … what’s wrong with China Sings? Less global, less international perhaps … but a whole lot closer/and with child’s welfare at heart. From a parenting pt of view ie travelling wkly to US sounds like utter torture to normal parents, and disruptive to a child. It’s the domain- mindset of star-parents.
          星爸/星妈

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @nomad822 I agree. And unfortunately for Celine, she has parents (well, the father for sure, don’t know about the mother) who take the star-parent thing to extremes mostly for their own personal gain. In the case of her father Steve Tam (or “Dr Steve” as he calls himself), his intentions are pretty clear: self-promotion for both himself (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he released his own “album” recently) and his music school (which Celine is very obviously a poster child for). His previous methods of getting himself and his school “noticed” obviously weren’t working (as evidenced by that whole fallout with Nancy Sit, who, in a rare move, publicly lambasted him for his actions, plus the fact that he had to stoop to the level of manipulating a singing contest winner to gain more business for his school, which later backfired on him, also the stupid move of falsifying his awards records), so this AGT thing is equivalent to finally “hitting the jackpot” for him. Anyone want to bet that if this venture with Celine fails (i.e. she doesn’t win AGT and eventually fades from the limelight), he’s going to go at it again with his other daughter once she reaches Celine’s age? Someone like him who is obsessed with fame and “being known” publicly is not going to stop even if previous efforts failed…

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        • nomad822 replied:

          @llwy12

          And yet he presents as a cool relaxed dad, jamming with his daughter and enjoying a hobby (ie very relaxed sharing of a child’s passion) …. everything can be deceptive, if you join the jigsaw puzzle pieces together.

          Dude obviously can’t cut it as a singer on his own (looks) so unrealized aspirations and ambitions got passed down perhaps. Celine doesn’t seem to mind it, but yes I agree … after her #2 will also be groomed (errr ‘lovingly nurtured’ 😛 ).

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @nomad822 LOL…well, he did release an album that contains songs he sings himself, though no clue how well it’s selling. And the goal of gaining additional business for his music school seems to be working, as there has supposedly been an uptick in the number of eager mothers in HK enrolling their kids in his music school (despite the astronomically high prices) in the hopes that he will “groom” them to become just like Celine (as he boasts in his promos of the school). Oh, forgot to mention the false degree scandal, a rumor which I, along with most people, are assuming has merit due to his quick removal of the “Dr. Steve” moniker after that scandal was discovered, just like he removed his supposed list of singing awards from his bio the minute he was called out on falsifying some of those awards (he really shot himself in the foot with that one, as that list had supposedly been on his school’s website for years and he had used it as promo to boast of his so-called achievements – it wasn’t until Celine started getting all that attention from AGT that the HK media started digging into the family’s background and ended up exposing Steve Tam for the fraud that he is).

          I’m kind of thinking now that one reason why he is eager to push his daughters into an American talent competition (aside from the international exposure) is because the media and the audiences over here won’t give a crap about his background and even if they know, it won’t affect Celine’s chances. I call it the Jackie Chan effect — you know, the fact that Hollywood and American audiences love Jackie Chan and praise him to the skies, but audiences in HK – his home territory – have nothing but disdain for him due to his reputation outside of his work. In that context, it definitely makes a lot of sense the direction that “Dr Steve” is trying to take this whole thing….

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        • 1nit replied:

          @llwy12

          Thanks for the information.

          Her dad’s English and her English is very good for someone not living in an English speaking country.

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @1nit You’re welcome!

          Not entirely surprising about the English being good, as there are international schools in HK that have instruction in English. In one of the articles from other sources, it was mentioned that Celine attends English Schools Foundation (ESF), which is one of the most well-known English-speaking international schools in Hong Kong. Her dad probably studied overseas at some point as well (his “doctorate degree” was from a non-HK university, albeit one that no one has heard of, lol), which could explain why his English is good (or perhaps he has a “talent” for languages too, lol)….it’s actually not too hard to find native Hong Kongers who speak perfectly good English. I have some friends still in HK who were born there, grew up there, educated there, and still live there today, yet their English is as good as mine (that says a lot given that people hear me speak and think I was born here in the U.S).

          On a related note – I came across Dr. Steve’s profile on Linked In a while back ago and to say that he embellishes his abilities is an understatement. One example of what he “claims” he will be able to do if people enroll their children in his music school (direct quote from his Linked In profile): “In fact, with just a commitment of 96 hours of training under Dr. Steve’s apprenticeship, it is guaranteed almost all of his roster of clients will obtain at least a total of 8 awards from sizeable singing contests hosted by dominant radio stations and television channels.” I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always wary about people who claim to “guarantee” certain results (especially results as specific as “8 awards from sizeable singing contests”) – that usually translates to some type of “monetary payoff” or shady “under-the-table dealing” in my book….

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        • 1nit replied:

          @llwy12

          That sound like a pretty big promise. He can’t really promise 8 awards to all his students. There is only so many contest each year. To keep a business going he needs to have alot more students.

          Maybe there’s a fine line in the terms and conditions that say that it’s UpTo The students personal ability. They are only responsible to give that student the opportunity to enter into 8 contests

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @1nit Yup, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though I actually think he was using Celine as a point of reference, since later on down in the Linked In profile, he lists out Celine’s awards and emphasizes the fact that she won 8 competitions (aka awards) in 2 years. If he is truly using Celine as a reference point as I suspect he is, then he is obviously short-sighted too, as he can’t possibly expect every single one of his students to turn out like Celine (and to your point, it’s a lofty promise that is impossible to keep if he expects business to boom and have a lot of students). Um, this dude supposedly has a “doctorate” in business administration (which he so eagerly pushed in people’s faces at his press conference in attempts to dispel the rumors of him having a fake degree), so it’s hard for me to believe that he doesn’t know better not to “guarantee” your customers stuff that you have no way of fulfilling.

          In any case, there’s probably some “fine print” in the actual contract that will somehow hold up in a court of law. Since Linked In is social media after all, he can essentially put whatever he wants and embellish to his heart’s content – I highly doubt most people are going to actually “fact-check” him or analyze his wording (unless they are crazy like me who holds social media content up to the same standards as traditional media and so expect a certain level of ethical and moral decency).

          Personally, if I had children, I would steer them clear of “Dr Steve” and definitely would not fork over one penny of my hard-earned money to him, as he has already proven to me that he has zero credibility and morals and cannot be trusted.

          P.S.: If you guys get a chance, might want to Google Dr Steve’s Linked In profile, as there is a lot of stuff on there that is “interesting” to say the least…makes for some entertaining reading, lol…

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        • rucofan1100 replied:

          @llwy12 “success” – never understood why people get excited about kid singers, havent they heard of puberty? if they can still hit those high notes after puberty, then it’s time to get excited

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    5. nomad822 says:

      While I understand opportunity is golden and should be seized, or maximizing your kid’s potential …. which kind of parent would subject their kids to travelling weekly to America?

      I just came back from a month’s holiday in Singapore/Asia … and that long plane ride even merely 2x a yr (CNY was another visit back) … is nothing to look forward to.

      What’s wrong with just China Sings?

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      • llwy12 replied:

        @nomad822 Well, they get to fly first class, so I guess that’s a consolation? (obviously being sarcastic here). It’s actually kind of sick the way Celine is obviously being manipulated, but that’s just my personal opintion. She has a management company now, though I question her parents decision of putting her under the tutelage of Stephen Shiu Jr and his company (um, his company is the one famous for managing lengmos and producing all those Sex and whatever movies) when there are way better choices out there. Stephen Shiu Jr held a press conference and “contract signing” ceremony for Celine a few weeks ago and the poor girl was decked out in clothes that obviously weren’t her choosing and high heels that she could barely walk in without falling (oh and don’t forget the “grownup” makeup they put on her that made her look way older than her age). Maximizing a kid’s potential is one thing but pushing it to extremes like the way Celine’s parents are doing it is only going to be detrimental to her in the long run.

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        • nomad822 replied:

          @llwy12

          蕭若元? He now has a Jr too?

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @nomad822 No, actually his son 蕭定一, who has been in the industry since 2001 and currently is head of HMV Digital Holdings and production company China 3D.

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    6. m0m0 says:

      she’s a cute girl. sorry to hear that she has such a bad rep dad and definitely sorry for her if the rumors are all true. she’s improved since her 2016 performance in china.

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    7. jjwong says:

      She sings well, has a big voice and is adorable. However, honestly, I don’t see her star quality; not yet, maybe not this young. She sings her little heart out but seems so out of place. The songs she picked is clearly to showcase what she can do. I don’t feel like she feels them. She’s only 9 for goodness sake. She can be technically and vocally right, but I cannot buy she knows what love is xD

      @llwy12 I thought of Jackie Chan too reading through your posts about “Dr.” Tam. Then I took a step back, at least Jackie has actual talents. He didn’t use his fam to get his achievement, albiet it did impact them negatively. There’s no deny that he did put sweat and blood into his work. He made a difference/mark for HK. Tam, on the other hand, is making someone else do his work and benefits no one but himself.

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      • llwy12 replied:

        @jjwong I completely agree with you! Isn’t that the same thing one of the judges had said about Celine on one of the later shows – that she chose the wrong song because at 9 years old, she lacks the experience to be able to express the emotions necessary for that song? That judge was speaking the truth and it’s actually what many of us were thinking as well – that in no way was meant as a “diss” on Celine or her singing and of course all the American audiences knew that. It’s a talent competition, of course there will be positive and negative feedback from the judges, so it’s no big deal. However, as usual, HK media and fans back home blew the judge’s comments out of proportion – they made it sound like that judge was dissing Celine personally and how could she and doesn’t she know she’s hurting the child’s feelings and blah blah blah….and of course, in typical HK style, fans started bashing the judge left and right, saying all sorts of nasty things (it reminded me of that instance during The Voice when a child went on the competition and I can’t remember if it was Miss Chan Chan or Teresa Carpio who said that the song he chose was too mature for him – which of course was the truth – but then HK audiences went off on the adults, bashing them for treating a child that way). Honestly, the reaction from the HK side was embarrassing – if AGT were a Chinese show, you can bet that Celine’s fans would’ve been on that judge’s social media account leaving nasty horrible messages before the episode even finished airing!

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        • jjwong replied:

          @llwy12 It was Mel B who said it was a bad wrong choice and the audience boo’d her. US audiences are annoying too. Some of these live shows, I wish they would just STFU and enjoy xD I saw a clip where Blake Shelton on the Voice called out the audiences have horrible rhythm (they were clapping I think), which it was true. Lol.

          BTW, I don’t find Nancy Sit a saint for calling out Dr. Lam. She gave this vibe that she did it because it effected her own business or some school she supports/invested in. I don’t follow her so Idk if she’s truly geniune but comes off wrong or something.

          @linvin8 Agree that she was probably taught how to behave. And agree that it’s not her fault. She’s only a child after all. I at least hope she does enjoy singing and learns to like showbiz because I doubt her dad will ever change…

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @jjwong No, Nancy Sit isn’t a saint and yes she called him out because it affected her personally, but regardless, it shows what kind of person Steve Tam was. I don’t blame Nancy for being pissed at all, especially since Dr Steve obviously used her for his own personal gain. According to the reports, he had asked her to hire him as a tutor at her school which she did, but instead of teaching the kids at her school as an employee, he asked them to go to his own office/school for private lessons and charged them 5x the tuition – he did all this behind Nancy’s back and she didn’t find out until years later when one of her former student’s parents told her. Plus she didn’t say anything about this despite knowing all these years – it wasn’t until the media found out that Celine used to be a student at her school and started asking her questions about Celine and her family that she said what she did. Regardless of what I think of Nancy as an actress or person, I’m actually glad she spoke out in this case…if anything, it made people more aware, especially the “see lais” in HK who are the ones most vulnerable to Dr. Steve’s “claim” of being able to turn their kids into superstars….

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      • linvin8 replied:

        @jjwong @llwy12 It’s not just her songs but the way she behaves in front of the media in press/interviews etc seems extremely fake as well though she’s hardly to blame. I’m sure it’s one of those “media lessons” she’s forced to take so she can appear “appropriately” in front of the cameras. It irks me because a child should be allowed to be who she wants to be.

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    8. llwy12 says:

      So Celine is back in LA today getting ready for the next round of competitions. Interestingly enough, even the media is now starting to comment on her traveling back and forth. Not only that, school started for her already back in HK, so between that and practicing her singing and traveling here for the weekly rounds and filming, it’s a grueling schedule that is strenuous even for an adult, let alone a child. Sad that her parents are putting her through this….

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      • happybi replied:

        @llwy12 Just a crazy schedule! But hey maybe she’s up for it. Maybe her parents got her convince she will be a super star after this! Just nuts… but I really doubt they can force her if she’s not interested honestly!

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        • llwy12 replied:

          @happybi While I don’t think she’s being “forced” to do it, since it’s obvious she loves singing, I find it hard to believe that at her age she truly understands everything that’s going on. Most likely she is doing what her parents tell her to do because it supports whatever “aspiration” she has to become a singer (I use that word loosely because I’m sorry but at 9 years old there’s no way she has the maturity and mental capacity to “decide” already her future). Based on what the family has made public (and put in their profile pages for their business), the dad “discovered” Celine’s singing talent when she was 3 years old and since then has “encouraged” her to pursue her talent. In answer to critics who have raised the same questions we have in this thread, both parents repeatedly claim that “we are just trying to give her the best of what she always wanted.” So yea, basically her parents are trying to justify by saying it’s what Celine wants, but honestly, she already “knew” what she wanted for her future at 3 years old? Hmmm….

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        • happybi replied:

          @llwy12 She’s probably brainwashed by her parents already. Not going to have a normal childhood for sure. Let see where the competition will lead her.

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    9. aiya says:

      Somebody should tell her dad that the DACA program is on the rope right now. Don’t bank on it. LOL!!

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    10. llwy12 says:

      I was listening to Eileen Cha’s radio show on the way to work this morning and she was saying how Celine is reportedly getting offers through AGT to appear / participate on other American shows, including a potential Las Vegas stage appearance with her (technically her father’s) idol Celine Dion. The offers are reportedly in the six figure range (though not sure if it’s USD or HKD). Looks like Dr. Steve has succeeded in getting his daughter “noticed” in Hollywood (not to mention a big fat paycheck for himself)…..

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      • happybi replied:

        @llwy12 wow.. ching ching ching.. money in his dad bank!

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