Nails on a chalkboard, a wet cassette, a broken record. These are things said online about Christina Xiong, whose performance in a singing competition has been viewed and shared thousands of times. Xiong did her best to belt out songs in three rounds of competition at the Hmong New Year at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds in California in late December.
"I already knew that my voice cracked a lot," Xiong told affiliate KPMH. And the cameras recorded all of her performances.
"My performance was different from everyone's."
The Fresno State student said she auditioned for the competition online. The top 10 were picked by "likes." Xiong said initially she was way behind and had pretty negative comments. So, Xiong decided to promote herself with fliers at Fresno State, and it worked. "I went from probably like 20 to 30 likes to over 200 likes," Xiong said.
That's how she got on stage. But when it comes to singing, Xiong admits she's not the best. "No, I don't think I'm a good singer," she said. "I can definitely improve."
Once her videos began circulating online, though, strangers' comments went even farther than suggesting improvement. "My ears hurt!" someone wrote. "Where is Simon Cowell when you need him?" another one said. Someone else wrote, "Is this supposed to be the worst singer contest?"
"They kept thinking that I'm dumb and that I don't know how I sound like, and they keep saying that I have disabilities," Xiong said. Ouch. So, what in the world, then, would possess this woman with little experience and who was nervous as heck to do this? "I just go with my passion and what I want to do, that's how I want to live my life," Xiong answered.
In the end, Xiong said she feels good about herself, despite the little bit of embarrassment from cracking on stage. "They feel bad for me but I got to feel bad for them, too, because they're not getting out of their comfort zone," Xiong said. "They're just sitting back and not doing what they really want to do," she said.
So, welcome now, Taylor Swift's song "Shake it Off." "Hi, haters, this is for you," Xiong said as she began recording her own rendition of the song.
Essentially, Xiong said she turned her "here goes nothing" into something by doing what she loves, for fun. Just to give you an idea of how much Xiong doesn't care, she's majoring in dance at Fresno State. She has zero experience in dance.
Affiliate KPMH contributed to this report.