Susan Boyle – A Phenomenon

I have just been watching the videos of Susan Boyle’s performance on the TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. Normally I avoid such programmes like the plague, mainly because most contestants have no real talent, and the whole thing stinks of a ‘put-up job’. The world-wide furor over a certain frumpy lady of 47 from Scotland prompted me to see what all the fuss is about. Like the rest of the world, it was for me a wake-up call.

During her first performance, I watched with interest the reactions of the judges and audience when she walked out on stage. Her appearance certainly belied her talent, but even so, it was shocking to see the bare-faced derision for this Scottish spinster not only by the judges, but also the audience. I hope for her sake the stage lights prevented her from seeing the looks on peoples faces. But she got the last laugh!

In today’s society, to be a successful pop singer you need the looks and body of a model, male or female, and a huge P.R. machine that will force your music down everyone’s throats. Without it you have no chance. If you have the body and looks of Beyonce, or the sultry aura of George Michael for example, fake as it all is, you are an instant hit with the fickle music crowd of today. Never mind if you don’t have talent, they’ll fix that in the recording studio.

It was therefore extremely refreshing to see an average, middle-aged woman come out on stage before an audience with the intention to sing. She had obviously not spent hours in front of the mirror doing her hair and makeup, and getting herself into a sexy dress, she was just, ordinary.

As soon as she started to sing, mouths popped open all over the auditorium. The faces of the judges were a picture in themselves. For someone off the street so to speak, with no formal vocal training or coaching, she stunned them all.

A video of her performance was placed on Youtube, and suddenly she was a world-wide hit. Views of the first video have topped 59 million, which must be a record even for Youtube. After receiving this mega-exposure, it was no surprise that American talk-show hosts were lining up to get her on their programmes.

Since then of course, the next round of the talent show has taken place, and guess what, Susan is through to the final. I think the judges would have been lynched if they hadn’t vote her through. Singing ‘Memory’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical ‘Cats’ she wowed the audience yet again, despite obviously feeling a bit nervous.

Two previously recorded songs have been found by someone, ‘Cry Me A River’ and ‘Killing Me Softly’. I have listened to them all, and I have to say, it is very seldom that I get emotional when I hear a song or piece of music, but these literally brought tears to my eyes.

Whatever you may think of her looks and the way she dresses, she has tremendous talent, and I hope she can make it as a star in her own right. It must have taken a lot of courage to step out onto that stage knowing what the reaction was likely to be. But thank God, there is still justice in the world. She had the last laugh, and I sincerely hope she now has a career as a singer. She deserves it.

Sing little bird, the world is listening.


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