The YouTube clip of Susan Boyle’s audition for Britain’s Got Talent was compelling watching, not just for the singing but for the reaction from those watching.
The audience this year learned from that and there was no sign of scorn when 80-year-old Janey Cutler walked on stage.
Whether or not she wins the contest, she gets full marks for showing that 80 isn’t too old to give something a go.
. . . who won Britain’s Got talent this year?
Just wondering, because Susan Boyle who came second, is breaking records with the release of her first album.
There’s no shame in being the second best talent in Britain and Susan Boyle was gracious in defeat.
In last night’s final she sang I Dreamed a Dream, the song she’d sung in her audition.
She has not only dreamed a dream, she’s helped other people dream too.
And while she hasn’t won Britain’s Got Talent, she has launched her own career.
A video of her final performance is here.
The winner was Diversity.
Saxaphonist Julian Smith came third.
Upadte: Youtube has the video:
Tonight 10 finalists will perform to claim the prize in Britain’s Got Talent.
Tonight all will be important to their family and friends.
Tonight the eyes and ears of the world will be on just one.
Tonight we’ll wait for the ordinary woman with the extraordinary voice.
Tonight our hopes and prayers will be with the one who has won our hearts.
Tonight, we’ll dream with her and for ourselves.
Tonight she’ll affirm that because she can, we can too.
Tonight’s the night, Susan Boyle, sing your heart out.
Sing for your mother.
Sing for your family, your friends, your village.
Sing for the other ordinary people who have extraordinary gifts.
Sing for us.
Sing for yourself.
Sing your heart out because
Tonight our hearts are with you.
Tonight’s your night.
Tonight’s our night because of you.
Tickets to Cats were sold out weeks ahead when I was in London in 1992.
The only way to get one was to queue for returns. I was third in line when I got to the theatre at about mid day, hoping for tickets to the 8pm show that evening.
It was worth the wait.
I’ve seen the show three times since then – one in Christchurch, twice in Dunedin and will go again when the Oamaru Operatic Society performs it later this year.
If I had to choose a favourite song from Cats it would be Shimble Shanks the Railway Cat, but Memory, which Susan Boyle sang for her semi final performance in Britain’s Got Talent, is a close second.
Six weeks since she wowed the judges and the public in her first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, Susan Boyle will face the music again tonight (tomorrow morning in NZ).
The Times reports that millions of people will watch the show tonight as Boyle competes for a place in the semi finals.
A fifth of Britain’s population are expected to switch on their televisions this evening to watch a dancing dog, a break-dancing pensioner and a man who can do unspeakable things with a clothes hanger. What they and millions around the world will be waiting for, however, is the return of a doughty Scottish lady whose name is known from West Lothian to New South Wales.
Susan Boyle has gained global recognition for her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra is preparing for her arrival in July to record an album, a place is being prepared for her in a West End show and a line of Susan Boyle dolls is in production in America.
Tonight the world will learn whether she is also considered good enough to proceed to the next round of Britain’s Got Talent. Assuming that she is, Ms Boyle will perform next week in one of five semi-finals in advance of the final on Saturday evening.
Her fame has put the wee town of Blackburn on the map and regardless regardless of the result of the contest she’s already a winner on the internet.
Her performance has reached the top five in a list of the most watched viral videos – and in only five weeks.
Britain’s Got Talent introduced Paul Potts to the world and it’s done the same for Susan Boyle.
Who’s Susan Boyle? Straight Furrow (and we’ll pass over why a farming paper is covering this at all) described her as a frumpy middle-aged woman who astonished judges on a television talent quest.
But did she astonish them?
There’s no doubt that their faces went from unimpressed to wowed as they got over her appearance and were captivated by her voice. But did they really not know how well she could sing before the show was filmed?
After all she had to audition to get that far so isn’t it possible the judges might have heard a wee whisper that her voice was stunning and maybe even have been encouraged to appear especially underwhelmed by her initial appearance to contrast with their excitement once she started singing?
Even if the judges hadn’t been prepared, putting her on the show without any grooming or wardrobe preparation suggests the producers wanted her to look that way so the contrast between her appearance and her voice would have maximum impact.
And it did.
Not only was she a hit on the show, YouTube has taken her to the world where it’s been watched by tens of millions of people. Boyle’s now the favourite to win the show with its 1000,000 pound prize and she’s already in discussion with a recording company.
Doors are opening to a new life so much better than the old one which has been anything but charmed.
Boyle is 47, unemployed, perpetually single and lives alone with her cat, Pebbles, in Bathgate, West Lothian – a town apparently dubbed “a dump” by Britain’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan. Boyle’s sunny (if gauche) demeanour masks a sad life: the youngest of nine, she was deprived of oxygen at birth, which led to learning difficulties and, as a result, a childhood marred by bullying. Forty years later, it was her mother – whom she lived with and cared for – who wanted her to audition for the ITV talent show. But she died in 2007, leaving Boyle suffering from depression and anxiety.
Then she got the audition:
Simon Cowell was at his sneering best. . . Girls in the audience sniggered and there was a snort of barely concealed derision from Morgan.
Everyone concluded that this podgy woman with a frumpy frock, a wiry hairdo and heavy brows fell into the comedy-audition category. They settled into their seats for a good laugh, knowing she would massacre the song from, as she put it, “Les Miserabs”. But then Susan Boyle started to sing.
And . . . there followed one of those transcendent moments that make TV history. Boyle’s voice rose pure and clear over the huge Glasgow theatre. Before even the first refrain, the sniggers had turned to applause.
It’s like a real-life Cinderella story with every chance she will live happily ever after and I hope she does.
But I do have some reservations about the way the whole thing was manipulated. I watched the YouTube clip with a grin and listened with tears in my eyes. Then I watched again and I wondered, what would have happened if she hadn’t had an extraordinary voice?
The sniggers turned to cheers when she started singing but if she hadn’t sung so beautifully would they have turned to boos and instead of the outpouring of warmth would there have been scorn because the woman with ordinary looks also had an ordinary voice?
Even now, her appearance is part of the story because appearances count – and not just for women because Paul Potts straightened his teeth after he won an earlier competition.
But there is something about the way it was done with Susan, the feeling that there was a deliberate attempt to encourage the sneers at her appearance that leaves me feeling that we’ve all been manipulated.
It was very good television but it wasn’t good behaviour.
UPDATE: Whaleoil has a similar view
Also at THP Andy Borowitz posts on the issue.