Susan Boyle, 47, is a single woman from a small village in Scotland, and lives with her cat named Pebbles. She inspired and amazed a British talent show audience and judges, and YouTube viewers, with her singing performance.
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From the news story Talent trumps all for YouTube sensation Susan Boyle, By Scott Collins and Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times.
“On Saturday’s season premiere of “Britain’s Got Talent,” a U.K. show in which “American Idol’s” Simon Cowell is one of the judges, Boyle was, from the moment she stepped onstage, perhaps the most unlikely star since Marie Dressler, the frumpy 1930s movie heroine. A close-up showed Piers Morgan, another judge familiar to U.S. viewers from “America’s Got Talent,” wincing.
“Amanda Holden, the program’s third judge, e-mailed on Thursday: “When she came onto stage the audience immediately started booing and hissing her, based purely on her appearance. She looked a little odd [and] was a bit nervous and searching for her words.'”
“‘We were laughing at her,’ Morgan said in a phone interview Wednesday. ‘She was someone who seemed to be completely deluded.'”
“Until she started to sing. Boyle, who had some limited previous vocal training and then mostly in church choirs, shrewdly picked “I Dreamed a Dream,” a heartbreaking ballad about unfulfilled dreams from the hit musical “Les Misérables.” A few bars into the song, as her earthy, pleasing voice took command and soared over the auditorium, the crowd could be heard letting out a collective gasp, then starting to cheer raucously.
“‘It wasn’t singer Susan Boyle who was ugly on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ so much as our reaction to her’ was the title of a piece by Guardian commentator Tanya Gold. Press and TV analyses since then have examined the unlikely success of her less-than-glamorous presentation, in particular audiences’ reaction before and after her performance.
“‘Why are we so shocked when ‘ugly’ women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else? Men are allowed to be ugly and talented,'” wrote Gold.
“But the Internet has already delivered its own verdict on her potential. Boyle’s is already the most-watched clip this month on YouTube, more than doubling the total views of its runner-up. Demi Moore has written tweets praising the singer on Twitter, and Oprah Winfrey has reportedly extended an invitation for Boyle to appear on her program.”