16-year-old Gen Z Lawrence Wong lookalike takes TikTok by storm
The resemblance is uncanny.
What started as a simple TikTok quickly escalated into an amusing, viral series which spread like wildfire on Singapore’s TikTok.
On May 5, Cyrus Teo posted a TikTok video about people who made fun of his academic stream. On it, he received many teasing comments about how he looked like Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), Lawrence Wong.
In response, Cyrus posted another video a day later using the shapeshift filter on TikTok. With the filter, he “morphed” himself into Mr Lawrence Wong. The video has since garnered over 150k views.
@teocyrus Bringing it back!! Day 1 of Morphing into Mr Lawrence Wong until he notices!! shapeshift #shapeshift ♬ оригинальный звук - dis it is
The 16-year-old secondary school student is no stranger to TikTok as he has been posting content such as dances for two years. However, this trend was the first to gain significant traction, with views skyrocketing to the thousands.
Cyrus took the opportunity to turn it into a series where he would post a video of him “transforming” into Mr Wong, with the goal of doing so every day until he got noticed by the DPM.
To the amusement of netizens, Cyrus has also fulfilled their requests in his videos, such as doing an impression of the DPM’s “Signature Finger”.
“I felt that because people said I looked like him, my self esteem was raised quite a bit … Lawrence Wong is very handsome, and I somehow got along with my peers even better thanks to the trend,” Cyrus shared with Youthopia in an interview.
He also remains undeterred by hate comments, as he’s grown used to receiving them during his time on the platform.
Despite being featured by other publications thanks to this trend, the youth noted that his close friends and family remain shocked that his content is so well-received by the masses.
Cyrus has since taken to rebranding himself as the Gen Z Lawrence Wong lookalike on all his socials.
He made the decision upon the advice of an online friend who graduated with a media-related diploma, adding that his content “got lucky” in becoming even more viral thanks to the morphing series.
In fact, he’s been successful in his endeavor of getting noticed by Mr Lawrence Wong himself.
@teocyrus #duet with @lawrencewongst I have no idea what I should do next now 🙃 #fy #fyp ♬ оригинальный звук - dis it is
“I was shocked that he actually did it and noticed me,” he said.
Cyrus said that all the publicity has landed him a brand deal with a local company ErgoTune.
“I enjoy the comments I have received and knowing that people enjoy my video(s) makes me want to do (them) even more,” he said.
The youth cheekily added that other than fame, he hopes to get a collaboration or photo with Mr Lawrence Wong.
He also has a few more ideas in store for this series, as he now starts off on a brand new venture of getting Mr Lawrence Wong to leave a comment on his videos.
On a more serious note, Cyrus shared that through this TikTok trend he’s getting to know more about Singapore’s politicians.
“I didn’t really know much about Singapore politics before, however, I did know that Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore’s first Prime Minister) had the same birthday as me,” said Cyrus, who added that he now knows about two politicians – Mr Wong and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung – through their social media pages.
Cyrus added that memes or social media pages for politicians are definitely useful, as youths who follow them will be able to learn more from the content that is pushed out.
It just goes to show that through memes, and a little luck with the TikTok algorithm, Singapore youths can be made aware of Singapore’s politicians.