Let's hear it for Susan Boyle!


Tell me you can watch this video of Susan Boyle’s triumph in her audition for Britain’s Got Talent without crying. I think I’ve seen this at least a dozen times, and each time I bawled and bawled. I have a desktop full of crumpled tissues to prove it.

A few snarky YouTube commentators wrote that her voice “isn’t anything special,” that as a “pro in musical theatre,” they claim that she’s just average, or some such nonsense. These folks obviously missed the huge, huge point glaring at them in the face, i.e., that it’s not just her voice (and clearly, as someone who is not a pro but rather a sheltered church-choir amateur, Boyle is a revelation) but rather the stark, brilliant contrast between the audience’s expectations and her mind-blowing performance. Her back story (she only entered the competition in order to fulfill her dying mother’s wish for her to “make something of [herself]”), her obvious gush of glee and exuberance, her amazing self-possession despite the audience’s skepticism and cynicism…those are what make this video so bloody moving.

I desperately wish I could watch her progress through the show’s trials, but for now I’ll just be content keeping track of her from across the pond. Britain’s bookmakers are already betting on Ms. Boyle’s ultimate victory. I can’t even imagine what that must be like, having your entire life change in mere minutes, going from being an object of scorn and condescension to the center of the entire world’s attention.

Ms. Boyle, congratulations. Welcome to stardom.

5 thoughts on “Let's hear it for Susan Boyle!

  1. What I don’t get is why it was assumed she couldn’t sing before she opened her mouth? Maybe she doesn’t look like a 20-something pop star, but that doesn’t have anything to do with her voice. There also are plenty of attractive people who can’t sing a note.While I hope she goes far, the way the audience received her initially makes me so sad.

  2. That’s true, but what really impressed me wasn’t so much the audience’s reaction (which to me doesn’t really matter in the whole scheme of things), but rather how she carried herself. Did you notice how self-confident and self-possessed she came across? Surely, with her background (bullied as a child, never married/kissed, etc.), she knew perfectly well that people would react negatively towards her, but she gathered up her nerves and not only performed but performed phenomenally. I know of talented pros who freeze in front of live audiences, and yet her voice was sure, strong and powerful. That was what really drew tears to my eyes. She knew exactly what song would showcase her voice and how to perform it. You could tell that once the music began, she had gone within herself to really pull out all the stops, never mind the skeptical audience and judges. That’s a first-class woman. At that point it didn’t matter what the audience thought, only that she knew her gift well and knew without a doubt that she would transform everything. And it did!As of this morning, it’s at 12+ million views on YouTube, 5+ million more than just since yesterday when I first saw it. No doubt, this woman is going very, very far.Thanks so much for your comment!!!Cheers,Marjorie

  3. Yes, her confidence and self-possession in the face of the initial derision was so inspiring. Go, Susan Boyle! She is incredibly talented, and such an inspiration. 🙂

  4. Did you guys hear that there’s now a so-called “backlash” against her? The accusations range from “Her voice is really awful” to “They [the producers] knew all along that she was good and only manipulated the audition for maximum impact.” Obviously, I don’t agree that she can’t sing, but as for the latter, I really couldn’t care less if the whole audition was “rigged.” I suspect that some people are simply deeply envious, deeply resentful of a middle-aged woman’s phenomenal success (amazing how older women still frighten the shit out of people), and/or deeply insecure about their own place in the world. I still believe in Susan Boyle. And yep, I’m still totally inspired.Cheers,Marjorie

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