Posts Tagged ‘American Idol

So, Susan Boyle didn’t win Britian’s Got Talent. And judge and crowd favorite Adam Lambert didn’t win American Idol. Both results were fairly shocking but not at all similar.

While Lambert came to American Idol with experience performing on a live stage, Boyle did not. Lambert’s flamboyant style didn’t just develop overnight while he was in Hollywood on the Idol stage. He has been doing this for years. That’s why he was so good and such a natural with the judges and the press. Whether he’s the lead singer of Queen or a solo sensation by the end the year, his fame will continue to skyrocket.

Boyle, on the other hand, was not used to performing or its subsequent sudden fame. Yes, there is a theory out there that she was planted on the show by Simon Cowell. Whether that’s true or not (I don’t believe it), is irrelevant. In two months Boyle went from total obscurity to international fame and scrutiny.

Going into the competition, she had no expectations and nobody had any expectations of her. As she stood on the stage for the first time, everybody expected her to sound just horrible. Then, she began to sing “I Dreamed a Dream.” From the first note, everyone was blown away. Then came the YouTube video. In the past two months the video of her performance has been viewed more than 200,000 million times. 200 million.

The cameras came. The rumors started. Everybody wanted to know more about this plain-looking woman from Scotland who has the voice of an angel. All of a sudden, the 48-year-old who claims to never have been kissed was a superstar. Talk about pressure.

I suppose after all that attention, she did feel a little overwhelmed and entitled.  Now the expectations were high and the whole world was watching.

In the semi-final Boyle’s performance of “Memory” started out shaky but ended fairly strong. In the final, she again sang “I Dreamed a Dream,” the song that made her famous. Neither one compared to that first performance when she proved doubters wrong. How could they?

She came in second to a dance act, Diversity. Just like Lambert, she’ll be just fine. She’ll need to get a better handle on the press and the pressure, but her voice will carry her. For all of us who were inspired by her courage to shake off the skeptics in the beginning and then shake of the critics in the end, Susan Boyle is still a winner.

(the embedding has been disabled, but you can get to the YouTube video by clicking on this)

I’ve been watching American Idol since its first season in 2002. I was pregnant at the time my favorite contestant, Kelly Clarkson, won (I try to tell my son that he should like Kelly because of this, but he doesn’t seem to care).

The majority of contestants that grace the American Idol stage are young, attractive and do have musical talent. By the end of each season, the stylists have done their magic and have made the contestants into heartthrobs. Last year, I didn’t give David Cook a second look in the beginning, but by the time he won, he was on my hottie list (still is).

A couple of weeks ago across the pond a new star emerged from an audition on Britian’s Got Talent.” Susan Boyle is a sensation primarily because she doesn’t look or act like one.

When Boyle, the 47-year-old unemployed woman from a village in Scotland, walked on stage, nobody in the audience gave her a chance. You see, Susan is rather, uh, frumpy. A little too short and plump with bushy eyebrows and frizzy graying hair, Susan doesn’t look like the next Kelly Clarkson.

Audience members were seen rolling their eyes when Susan told the judges she had never been given the chance to be a star and she wanted to be the next Elaine Paige. The judges, including American Idol’s Simon Cowell, looked they were bracing for the worst 3 or 4 minutes of their day.

Then Susan began to sing. Once the first line of “I Dreamed A Dream” from “Les Miserables” came out of her mouth, everyone in the music hall was stunned. Out of this frumpy-looking woman came the most beautiful voice. The look on the judges’ faces was priceless. They, too, didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. By the end of the performance, everyone was on their feet, cheering.

“I know everybody was against you,” judge Amanda Holden. “This was the biggest wake-up call ever.”

Susan has since become a worldwide sensation, thanks to postings of the video on YouTube. I first watched the video over the weekend. It literally gave me chills.

If you haven’t seen the entire video (which would be surprising considering it has more than 41 million views so far), please watch it. It’s absolutely inspiring to see somebody go from ridiculed to loved within 6 minutes.

You go, Susan Boyle! You are the ultimate frumpfighter.

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