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.