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Susan Boyle sings on "Britain's Got Talent"

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Trebor
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That video has over 21 millon views in 6 days. Wow.

This is not the only effect. Many youtube clips of great musical performances are getting a lot of hits and people are leaving marks that it was her who inspired them to search for more great music.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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This is not the only effect. Many youtube clips of great musical performances are getting a lot of hits and people are leaving marks that it was her who inspired them to search for more great music.

Absolutely, Sophia. I read several of the comments and people are definitely inspired by her performance. You really love this, don't you. :) Hey, more power to you.

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Absolutely, Sophia. I read several of the comments and people are definitely inspired by her performance. You really love this, don't you. :) Hey, more power to you.

I liked her performance but more importantly I like to see people responding positively to good art, for a change. The showing at Tea Parties and the world-wide response to Susan Boyle were both good reinforcements to my optimism.

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That is not true in my case.

I agree that it was good, but it was standing ovation almost throughout the performance good? I don't think so...as I said, she is not phenominal in that sense.

However, she is good and it is proper to enjoy her talent for what it is, but I took more pleasure from the justice of the situation (I don't have much appreciation for the song, even if she did it very well.)

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I agree that it was good, but it was standing ovation almost throughout the performance good? I don't think so...as I said, she is not phenominal in that sense.

I've watched the video many times. I do not think that it was "standing ovation almost throughout the performance." There were periods of respectful silence, and there were periods of respectful and enthusiastic applause, even standing ovations. A rough estimate is that it was half and half.

With the addition of having heard her 1999 recording, "Cry Me A River," in which there was no interruptions by the audience, there's an example of her talent displayed in such a context, which was not the context of her performance on Britain's Got Talent.

What was that context?

I do not watch any of the Idol-style shows, although I think I've seen a few minutes of a few of them over the years. It's its own context, whether one appreciates them or not. Apparently it's quite common for people to make fools of themselves, and apparently as well, Simon Cowell is known to be harsh, perhaps even cruelly insensitive. Given what I saw, I think that the judges and the audiences generally do not expect great performances, but that is certainly not to say that they do not appreciate the gems that do show up. The gems are just not the norm.

Miss Boyle, for her own reasons, chose to audition in such a venue. I read somewhere that she had seen someone else perform on that program, or a similar one, and the performer had done well and had been well received. She decided to give it a shot herself.

Miss Boyle, I think, is well aware that she's not an attractive woman. I think that she's been somewhat ill-treated her whole life due to her looks as well as her solitary lifestyle.

I doubt that she'll get much respect here for the fact that she apparently put her own hopes on hold to care for her elderly mother who died a couple of years ago at the age of 99, I believe. I don't know the particulars. Perhaps she had tried to get somewhere with singing, but had found the doors shut to her, overwhelmingly so, perhaps mostly because she just doesn't look glamourous. Still, she chose to care for her mother. (History) Her mother died, she was grieving, but she wanted to move on, to make something of her life as even her mother had wanted her to do, to make a bid at becoming a professional singer.

I actually think that it was ingenious of her to select Britain's Got Talent as her staging ground. She's already 47, close to, if not now, 48. She took a courageous shot in a venue which, were she to perform really well, might just catapult her way beyond what she could hope for in any other manner.

I think her move was bold and courageous, even heroic. A homely, middle-aged woman boldly walked into the lion's den, rebuffed with derision and laughter, and then took herself seriously (as she herself said in an interview, one has to take oneself seriously, that's how she was able to go on in spite of the mocking, which in her own way she foiled so as to get to the purpose of her presence there) and focused on singing her song.

Watch her closely. Asked what her dream was, she said with simply sincerity and seriousness that she was trying to become a professional singer. Her aspiration was to become as successful as Elaine Page, or someone like that. No hesitancy to aim high, no apology for doing so, no self-effacing humility. Asked what song she was going to sing, again with simple, direct earnestness, she said that she was going to sing, "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. Piers, one of the judges, said "Okay. Guess so." (Low expectations) She gave a thumbs-up for the music, and then looked, I think, straight at the judges with not a hint of concern or fear. Piers kind of pursed his lips as though he was ready for some amusement. Miss Boyle pursed her own lips, perhaps looking directly at him, as if to answer him that, as she had said prior to her performance to the two young men waiting in the wings, she was going to make him "rock" (or perhaps "watch"). She was confident; the stage and the audience and the judges were hers now that she had gotten through the perhaps too familiar initial reaction, and she knew that she was going to turn everything on it's head.

She did.

In that venue, not the sort where the audience sits quietly, the audience erupted into applause and whistles and standing ovations interspersed with periods of respectful silence, mostly, until she hit some especially thrilling part of her performance. So what? That was the venue she chose. Perhaps not high-class, but still very respectful nonetheless after how she was surely prepared for it to start.

Within the first few moments of her song, she had won the audience and the judges, and they rewarded her with her just deserts in that context. Given the context, and I mean the entire context with all it's significance, it did not bother me (nor her, I'm sure) at all that her performance was interspersed with applause, whistles and standing ovations. I still heard sufficiently well, and enough, to judge it as a wonderful performance. The reactions throughout her performance were a celebration, well-deserved, of an unexpected and surprising, rewarding, performance.

At the end of her performance the judges did a great deal to redress how she had been first received. She left the stage with the hint of a curtsey and blew the audience a kiss with almost a regal air. She felt no resentment -- she had known, had learned all her life perhaps, what to expect at first -- towards her audience or the judges. She knew the world she was stepping into, the chance she was taking. Yet she knew that she was going to be the victor. She was. She earned it. She got what she went after.

Edited by Trebor
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This is disgusting. A well done makeover is exactly what she should get (it does not have to be anything invasive and yet the improvement in her appearance can be drastic). It would improve her life on many levels. This is like keeping a crippled person crippled for the sake of putting on a good show.

I also find it a bit cynical. I mean, why assume that people will only like her if she looks ugly? Why would they assume that it would make a better show than, say, a fantastic sucess-story where she gets a makeover to look the best she possibly can; she could have both a great career and vastly increase her chances of getting a good man and having sucess romantically. As you say, her life would improve on many levels, and who wouldnt just love to see that? This whole thing could turn into something truly amazing and wonderful, and I really hope she ignores what Amanda Holden has to say about it...

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Well, you have to keep in mind that she could be trying to do a Nana Mouskouri.

Most Americans aren't aware of who Mouskouri was (she retired last year after a 40+ year career), but most of the world got to know her as a superstar for much of her career.

When she was first discovered by Harry Belafonte in Greece, her publicists tried to mold her to the typical late 50s sexy look:

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However, she felt that she could never be that image, because her personality was so different from that. She, instead, went back to her favorite garments, kept her hair the way she always wore it: long and parted in the middle, and kept her glasses, without which she was technically blind anyways. She decided that, as a singer, the audience should focus more on her voice and how she sang rather than on her looks (the Piaf approach, I guess)

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Despite not being the sexpot her publicists wanted her to be, Nana went on to become extremely successful during her career, reaching her peak during the 70s and 80s, to wind down in the 90s until her eventual retirement in 2008 looking, more or less, completely unconventional for someone who went to sell more than 300 million discs worldwide and accumulating around 400 gold and platinum albums worldwide. For many years she was very big in the UK, even having her own television show ("Nana and Friends"), probably during the time Susan was a youngster.

Perhaps she is thinking along the same veins as Mouskouri was. It worked for the Greek songstress, and some of the great popular singers of past generations preferred to focus on the singing rather than on the packaging (Piaf, Barbara née Monique Serf, Yves Montand, Leo Ferre, Georges Moustaki, etc).

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Well, you have to keep in mind that she could be trying to do a Nana Mouskouri.

Good for Miss Mouskouri! (Sexpot to whom?)

As the Obama administration has now made clear, there's change and there's change.

There's something very ugly, evil, in the manner of "stardom" these days. They are embraced and built up, and then they are followed and hounded and run into the ground. Marilyn Monroe seems to have epitomized that experience to a tragic end.

What Miss Boyle does, by way of making any changes, will be up to her; she old enough and experienced enough to have a good strong hold of her own rudder. Likely, she's going to now be able to afford to invest more in herself in many ways, and she'll bloom. Simple happiness and success can be a great transformer.

I saw a clip of a Larry King interview of her as well as Piers Morgan. Mr. Morgan apologized for how he initially treated her (and explained that it had been a long day of auditions, none like her own), and he told Susan that he would like to take her out to dinner in London. She accepted.

Edited by Trebor
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Regarding her looks it's up to what her values are. What makes Amanda Holden's view so disgusting is that Susan Boyle now has a great opportunity to improve her looks(with access to good stylists etc), something that could potentially be of great value to her. I think holding her from that, something which could help her experience life more fully, is a terrible thing to do.

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If she wants a make over, she should get it. If she doesn't, she shouldn't. Paul Potts is about to release, or just did, his second album. He has enough money to do what he wants. If she follows in his path, she will be able to afford to do what she wants.

Edited by K-Mac
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That article is disgusting and I'm afraid that it highlights everything that Jake was saying about this type of show. This image obsessed, trial by style vs substance is despicable.

I still say bravo to Ms Boyle in spite of the show though

Edited by Zip
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  • 5 months later...

I have very little experience (read: none at all) in judging musical performances. To me, an untrained ear, Susan Boyle sounded fantastic. I would put her on par with a professional, but again, this is coming from an untrained ear.

I'd like to judge her from within the context though. I've given quite a number of speeches in debate (which, I realize, doesn't give me any "professional" experience), and I've had a stuttering problem all my life that persists to this day. I've learned that the context means a whole damn lot when I speak, and if I have people laughing at me, or even just commenting that my stutter is "cute", it becomes a lot more difficult to speak properly. I've had a terrible problem with public speaking because of my stuttering, and I often get extremely nervous before going up in front of people to give a speech. Susan Boyle, I imagine, has suffered through similar problems - I imagine that she's been insulted and made fun of numerous times for her appearance, and as you can clearly see from that clip, she was not taken seriously by her audience. She may have skill, but within that context, I'd say that it takes a whole hell of a lot of guts to do what she did, and especially to do it so well.

As for Susan Boyle's looks - I don't think it matters to much either way, and shouldn't be a factor in judging her skill. I included it in my previous analysis because I was judging her character and her actions within the context of that show. I'm not capable of judging her musical skills. I doubt, though, that Susan Boyle has much of any value for good lucks, circumstances considered. No one should be prodding her to change her looks in order to do shows, but I don't see why anyone should be stopping her either. Her looks should mean very little in the context of musical capabilities.

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