Odd Pod: ‘American Idol’ star William Hung and more appear on ‘What Was That Like’

Society & Culture August 25, 2021
Listen to ‘What Was That Like’

Have you ever heard someone’s incredible story, either in person or on the news, and wondered what it felt like to experience things firsthand? Whether surviving unthinkable tragedies, living different lifestyles, or winning it big, Scott Johnson’s “What Was That Like” brings real guests on the show to share their unbelievable stories. This podcast was also selected as the Odd Pod for Podsauce’s seventh episode.

Since 2018, the stories have ranged from life-threatening tragedies to the bizarre. People share their experiences about living through a mass shooting, only eating food from the trash, walking away from a plane crash, surviving a train derailment, thwarting a bear attack, and more. With incredibly real storylines and titles such as “Robert was in a gunfight with pirates” and “Gil fell off a cliff,” each episode is different. It’s a fascinating listen, especially if you prefer dipping into standalone podcast episodes.

Scott spoke with viral sensation William Hung about his American Idol audition-found fame, finding out what it’s like to win at failure. William has shifted gears at many points in his career since 2004.

On American Idol, William advanced through two audition rounds for producers on the show by singing Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” before appearing in front of celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson on national television. As a college student, he skipped two days of classes to pursue his dream. Although one would presume this appearance would disappoint William, it did not bother him whatsoever.

After the episode premiered, William was swarmed every time he went out in public. William was scheduled for a slew of talk show appearances like The Ellen Show and Larry King Live. Venues wanted William to perform, and he booked gigs at California’s Wango Tango and Rose Bowl. How did this feel for him?

William rode the wave. His friend created a website. William was offered a $25,000 record contract, he accepted, and wound up selling a significant amount of units for his debut, Inspiration! On the podcast, William said he still wonders how he went viral and managed to make a career out of his wild American Idol audition.

In the four years to follow, William landed huge commercial deals and was able to fully sustain himself with income from the entertainment industry. When the income stream petered out, William returned to school. He graduated, took a job as a Statistical Analyst at the LA County Sheriff’s Department, where he extracted crime data from police reports. He moved on to the Public Health Department, but felt these jobs were unfulfilling. William joined Toastmasters, a program for people to improve their leadership skills and practice public speaking to a live audience. He gained useful skills through this program and began public speaking forums professionally.

Listeners learn that William translated his poker hobby into a professional career. William also mentors and coaches individuals, hoping to empower them with his story. We can read more about William’s journey in his book, Champion by Choice.

“What Was That Like” is Podsauce’s Odd Pod for Episode 7. Dax cites several unbelievable episodes including “Emily was caught as a drug mule.” In the episode, Dax said he can relate to the “I Got a Deal on Shark Tank” episode since he experienced this in real life.

Besides learning about people on “What Was That Like,” Scott also owns a computer repair business in Florida. He started “The Computer Tutor Podcast” in 2012.

Listeners are invited to submit their stories on “What Was That Like’s” website. Tune in for new episodes.

Listen to ‘What Was That Like’

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