How Many Times Have You Watched Susan Boyle?

Via Jane Hamsher@ Twitter:

So how many times have you watched Susan Boyle?

My answer: At least six, I never get tired of watching it. She was great on Larry King Live tonight as well. I don't know which I like watching more, her singing or the judges' and audience reaction to her when she first started to sing. (Video link here.)

It's great that one person can make so many people in so many countries smile. More than 30 million viewers on You Tube in under a week. I wonder if that's a record.

The reaction among commenters here the other night were terrific. I'm reprinting a few below: [More...]


I had chills when she opened her mouth and that beautiful voice came out.

Inspector Gadget:

The world needed a touch of what's real right now. I thought she had a special joy inside her during the introductory interviews (backstage and on stage). She did not show any uneasiness in who she is at all. People who judge by appearance miss a great deal in life, IMHO.

Befuddled Voter:

What a once in a lifetime voice.


From mockery to amazement in the blink of an eye. Talent wins out. What a fantastic concept.


When I first saw the clip and watched the judges and audience reactions grow from dismissal to grand acceptance I swear the smile on my face was from ear to ear and then some. What a gift she has given to everyone - first her voice and then the lesson to never, ever judge a book by its cover...
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    Her "lost" recording... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:38:17 PM EST

    From 10 years ago.

    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:18:04 AM EST
    pretty darn amazing.

    thank you (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by sher on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:06:50 AM EST
    That voice (none / 0) (#75)
    by sj on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 04:46:31 PM EST
    is so rich and sophisticated.  And by sophisticated I mean multi-layered and timeless, not "fashionable".  

    Beautiful, thanks. (none / 0) (#85)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 06:53:22 PM EST
    Twelve times (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Sweet Sue on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:00:10 PM EST
    I told my beloved husband that the youtube clip of Susan Boyle was "Rudy" for women. He got that instantly and, by the end, we were both wiping tears from our eyes.
    The truly wonderful part is the transformation of the audience from Media trained meat puppets to human beings-inspired human beings.

    It is quite addicting (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:03:47 PM EST
    Her performance was done live with just a microphone and piped in music. That takes her talent to a much higher level for me. No sound mixing or background sounds to enhance. Her voice is beautiful.

    I'm sure I've watched/listened to it several dozen times already, and that's a conservative estimate. The song was perfect for her voice and her life.

    Eventually we'll hear if she has taken voice lessons or if this is self-constructed talent.

    Loved, loved, loved the faces and reactions of the judges all the way through the performance. I think Piers Morgan is a really interesting man, anyway, after watching him on Celebrity Apprentice. His reactions were the most expressive.

    No training (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:25:26 PM EST
    According to this NYTimes piece, she's never had a lesson in her life.

    She's got a terrific voice and a first-rate sense of how to use it.  She does end up straining uncomfortably in a few places, but a few lessons from a good teacher would set her straight on how to avoid that, I'm sure, since she's got such a generally terrific understanding of how her voice works. That's a first-rate talent, IMO, with an unusual creamy-sounding voice.


    Oops. Forgot the link (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:26:01 PM EST
    she said on LKL tonight (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:50:28 PM EST
    she did have lessons. I assumed it was through her church choir.

    I just heard that (none / 0) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:59:16 PM EST
    on the Larry King repeat.  You're right, she did say she'd had lessons I think off and on for a couple of years.

    She does need a better teacher, though, than she could have gotten in her Scottish village, especially if she's going to end up going on tour and singing night after night in big venues, which can end up really damaging the voice if it isn't handled right.


    In my experience (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:03:09 AM EST
    anyway, the number of choir directors, never mind church choir directors in obscure Scottish villages, who have a clue how the voice actually works is tiny.  Most, to the contrary, end up abusing their singers' voices through good intentions but gross ignorance.  She could well have learned good habits about diction and legato and where to breathe, etc., there, but I'm skeptical about much of anything else.

    Obscure (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by trillian on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 06:44:34 AM EST
    Blackburn isn't an "obscure" Scottish "village",as Simon called it.  It's an ex-urb of Edinburgh....where there is lots of access to the arts.  She probably never had the wherewithal to take advantage of it.

    Yes, the modulation of the voice (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:06:58 PM EST
    is so good, but that can be taught by a good choir director.  The diction, though, is even more surprising, as it's so good -- and especially when you hear her talk, with that thick Scots accent.  I suspect all of this means that she has the rare "perfect ear," and for more than tonal pitch.  

    Yep, now that I've heard (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:13:43 PM EST
    the "Cry Me a River" tape linked above -- she's a perfect mimic in more than pitch.  That one doesn't sound like the same voice, as she picks up American blues sound so well that she could be a Southerner here.

    But she brings to it more than mimicry, as is evident when you can watch her in the video from Britain's Got Talent.  That's the gift -- she's got a perfect ear, a great voice, and passion in it, too.


    You're right.... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:21:17 PM EST
    it's a combination of talents I've never seen before. She absolutely picked up the energy of the audience approval and by the end of the song she was completely absorbed in the passion.

    She really captured the audience and drew them all the way into the song with her...more incredible, though, is her ability to pass the energy and passion to so many who are watching it on YouTube, as well.


    exactly (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by kempis on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 07:26:35 AM EST
    In addition to her obvious musical gifts, she seems to have that rare "it" that the great performers have. She must have been terrified, and yet she had faith in her voice's ability to win the crowd, so she planted her feet on the stage, let 'er rip, and set in motion the sort of crowd-singer feedback loop you see with the great ones like Garland and Streisand. By the end of the song, the crowd (including all of us), are her closest friends in an intimate circle, and she's sharing herself with us through the song.


    I want a CD and a T-shirt. :)


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by otherlisa on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:35:28 AM EST
    I saw a clip of her on...the Today Show? (the one with Matt Lauer), and they asked her to sing, and she did a few bars of the Les Miserables song - exact same key as she sang it on Britain's Got Talent.

    I have done a fair amount of singing - that pitch ability and musical memory is not something you learn, it's something you're born with. She has a natural gift in that sense and also a great instrument to work with.

    It carries over to foreign languages too. Same kind of memory.


    According to a news report I read, (none / 0) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:02:30 AM EST
    Ms. Boyle is one of 9 children in a Catholic family.

    I went to Catholic grade school and many of the nuns were extremely good of whipping the more talent kids (not me)  in shape for their choirs. I know it was reported that Susan sang at church. So maybe that is where she got much of her training.


    Several times (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:04:48 PM EST
    and ditto for Paul Potts last year.  This is not the first time that the Brits' "Idol" has found a fantastic voice without a pretty face.  The American show could learn something from it.

    Paul Potts audition night, and (none / 0) (#43)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:42:55 AM EST
    Andrew Johnston (the magnificent 13 year old choir boy) did not have the audience clips showing the mockery that this audience gave Susan Boyle.

    I wonder how those featured faces are doing right now among their co-workers, neighbors, and people in passing.


    I've watched it at least four or five times, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:12:46 PM EST
    and have had the song sort of stuck in my head for a couple days.

    Bonnie Hunt, on her show today, talked about how it really bothered her that in the video, the "pretty people" seemed so shocked that a beautiful voice could come out of the mouth of someone who would not be considered "beautiful" She said it was as if the people were thinking, "how can this be?" "How is this even possible? - Why, she's not even pretty!" Bonnie was even more put off by the way Boyle was interviewed by some of the talking heads, tlaked to as if she were brain-damaged, or some kind of circus-worthy oddity because she had - gasp! - never been kissed!  

    I have to agree - the more I have watched it, the more jarring it is.  Maybe we have all been so used to the way American Idol packages the really bad auditions, with so many of them seeming to be people who aren't the most attractive, and more than a few who are just made to look like total freaks.

    I have to wonder whether Boyle will be taken in hand and made over - if that's something she wants, great, but if not, I hope she can hang onto her sense of self; something tells me it won't be easy.

    Something tells me that (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:24:53 PM EST
    Susan Boyle is very happy to be who she is and won't be able to relate to changing that. She could lose the passion in her voice if she lets anyone try to make her into their idea of a star.

    I'd say she could have some influence on changing the industry, though.


    I think this lady (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:29:11 PM EST
    is impervious to all that.

    It is funny, isn't it, how the insufferable Simon Cowell is transformed by his genuine joy and pleasure in hearing her sing?  He should watch the clip of himself over and over again and learn something from it.


    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Natal on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:51:35 PM EST
    She seemed in her element singing -- self-possessed, confident, unshakable. I don't think she's easily swayed or manipulated.

    Funny, the first time I (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:07:13 AM EST
    thought Simon Cowell was an  attractive man was when I saw him watching Ms. Boyle.

    That's how it's seemed to me ... (none / 0) (#98)
    by zaladonis on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 07:45:48 AM EST
    and, further, the reaction of the "judges" was so patently put-on I've been amazed at people being taken in by it.  I mean, there really are people so naive that they think someone who looks and behaves like Miss Boyle performed on Simon Cowell's show without him knowing exactly what was going to happen?  

    I'm so sick of the falseness and high school superficiality of our current culture, and how so many people feed into it.


    Susan brings tears to my eyes (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by fly on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:28:43 PM EST
    and incredible joy to my heart!!!!!!
    I love this wonderful lady!!
    The voice of an angel and the heart of a champion!! She has opened the world to her beauty!!

    Someone said it was like Shrek's bride singing. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Mark Woods on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:04:03 AM EST
    This whole idea that beautiful voices come out of beautiful bodies/faces is a recent, TV-driven thing, but we have all been subtly trained by it.

    I predict she will end up as a new sensation on Broadway or the West End, with a recording career, as well.

    She has great dramatic potential as a character actress, if she can learn to act.

    We separate our overweight, aging actual selves from the pretty surrogates who act our our projected lives on TV, and we are shocked when someone who actually looks like most of us becomes the subject of media consumption, like Susan Boyle.

    We prefer to consume the exquisitely Barbie doll beautiful, folks so beautiful that they are a form of the grotesque.

    It unsettles us and goes directly into our souls when an 'Everyman' emerges, and in our consumer-intimidated, internalized self-hatred we end up calling the ordinary 'ugly' or 'dowdy'.

    Susan Boyle is rocking our collective world in more ways than we know, perhaps. True artists always unsettle us.

    Wonderful comment, Mark (none / 0) (#45)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:15:46 AM EST
    I hope they don't push her beyond her level. She's not an actress, she's never performed on Broadway or West End -- she could easily bomb and the audience would flip on her. Similarly, she's never had to do a concert tour, performing every night. That takes training and pacing -- over years, generally.

    I hope she is too solid to be turned by all the surreal media attention that could destroy her life and her sense of who she is.


    I think she's cute (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by nellre on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:18:57 AM EST
    I don't know what others saw. I saw nothing to ridicule

    On America has talent there were mature and even elderly who performed... nobody made a big deal of that.

    I think Simon Cowell was either faking it or he should be fired.

    Simon (none / 0) (#46)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:16:44 AM EST
    At one point, he was looking out of the corner of his eye towards the camera as he was reacting.

    I've lost count. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Lil on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:44:10 AM EST

    why is it so amazing (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by nycvoter on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:51:31 AM EST
    because she's not attractive?  I don't understand why people are so amazed she had a great voice?

    Not ugly. Not a chick. (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 04:26:12 PM EST
    A plain, middle-aged woman who doesn't spend hours daily fussing over her appearance for the sake of men or judgmental women, thankyouverymuch.

    Or get botox injections... (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:21:37 PM EST
    Or go to the gym. Or refuse to eat normal food because she's on a seaweed diet. Or get head-to-toe waxing.

    We've forgotten what normal people look like.


    I didn't think "ugly", (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Lil on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 07:18:32 PM EST
    when I saw her either, and I definitely don't like the "chick" comment either.

    lovely comment (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 06:59:11 PM EST
    I guess some of the nasty comments on this thread are useful in the sense that they exemplify the antithesis of the spirit that the performance displayed.

    Other than that, they suck.

    Maybe (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:29:46 PM EST
    Maybe what grabbed us most of all was her enormous sense of dignity and personal integrity in the face of insult.

    Once. Very enjoyable. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:22:52 PM EST
    But,given this is a "reality" show, how can one be certain the reactions before she started singing weren't staged?

    Once as well... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:43:07 PM EST
    even if it was staged, who cares...if that doesn't make you feel good inside there's something wrong with ya.  There are no words.

    You Must Be Joking (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:43:14 PM EST
    That is really cynical. Certainly if she were already a star her singing would be critiqued on another lever, but as the story goes it could not have been staged. She wouldn't have been able to pull that off, imo.

    I wasn't referring to her singing; was (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:48:20 AM EST
    referring to the reaction of the judges and audience, both before she started singing and after.  

    It was an audition in Scotland she was singing at (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:45:28 PM EST
    She would have had a pre-audition with the producers but it's supposed to be a surprise for the judges, and it clearly was.

    I can't get over (none / 0) (#6)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:48:10 PM EST
    that she hadn't sung for two years, since her mother died -- after she left employment to care for her monther until her death.

    That must mean she hasn't sung in choir, hasn't sung publicly.  She must have sung around the house or something for that voice to still be so strong.  (I used to sing in choir.  I know the difference it makes to sing for hours every week vs. now. . . .)

    And reading that the reason for that dress was that it is her best dress, the one she got for a nephew's wedding.  It's such a very typical "aging auntie" dress (says this aging auntie).  I love it.

    I hope she sells... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 09:59:04 PM EST
    millions of records...the obsession with the superficial could use a little anti-venom in popular culture.

    People I would never expect are asking me if I've seen it...its kinda wild.


    Saw a short interview w/bartender (none / 0) (#18)
    by caseyOR on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:36:39 PM EST
    as Susan Boyle's local pub. The bartender said none of the locals were surprised because they had all heard Susan in her regular visits to karaoke night at the pub.

    Watched it twice. I received it as a link from a (none / 0) (#12)
    by BlueDevil on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 10:07:00 PM EST
    friend. Does the audience usually deomonstrate such overt contempt for a contestant? I was surprised by that. But I've never watched that show or similar ones. They were harsh, imo.

    Mrs. Boyle was outstanding.

    This one is a British program, but (none / 0) (#42)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:39:51 AM EST
    the mockery done on American Idol is why I refuse to watch that program. I think the American version of "Got Talent" with David Hasselhoff as Simon Cowell only lasted one or two seasons.

    her story reminds me of this guy last year on (none / 0) (#69)
    by Amiss on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:20:44 PM EST
    America's Got Talent, his name was Donald Braswell. He completely turned the audience around.



    They showed the vid on Oprah (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:35:09 PM EST
    unfortunately, we had 'Breaking News" and missed what was said after they played it.

    I'm glad she's getting the exposure and her dream. The Brits seem to come up with some good talent for their show. They also had (last season?) a 16yo girl and her border collie make it to (at least) semi finals doing the dog sport freestyle dance. Simon was quite taken with the dog (and her). It was pretty funny when he first saw them. When it's well done, you don't see the cues the dog is getting and the better they work together, the more amazed some are with the dog :)

    Her performance was excellent, and she had (none / 0) (#23)
    by DeborahNC on Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 11:37:14 PM EST
    outstanding presence to have very little or no professional experience. Susan's voice is melodious yet powerful.

    My son sent the link to me yesterday, and I was riveted to my computer screen. I watched it three times.

    The audience had prejudged her negatively, so I was thrilled that she did so well. It's a shame that a person's appearance can narrow the perceptions of those observing them. That goes both ways. Often, if a woman is attractive, some people assume she is unintelligent. And, if a person is considered unattractive by stereotypicial standards, it's often assumed they have nothing going for them.

    Unfortunate and very, very shallow.

    Well Susan blew them away. Congratulations to her!

    Once for me, no offense. (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:58:26 AM EST
    I think the people who leap to the conclusion that all the other people who were surprised that she could sing so amazingly well were surprised because she isn't "pretty" are the shallowest of all.

    She's surprising not because she's not "pretty" but because this show purposely features a number of "nutters" who the the viewers love to watch the judges make fun of, and because she initially looked so completely out of place on a national stage many assumed she was going to be one of those "nutters."

    iow, a large part of the show depends on conditioning the viewers into expecting their fair share of ridiculous contestants who shouldn't have come within a mile of this or any stage, and this woman looked like she would be one of them.

    From the show's website:

    The turbulent trio of Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden once again preside over the judging panel. They may bicker, they may snigger... but their manicured hands are always wickedly poised by their buzzers to puncture long-held ambitions in a splice. Join in the fun at the audition stage, as we surf the talent spectrum all the way from the sublime to the seriously awful!

    Each auditionee takes to the stage hoping that their act will be the one to delight. The judges hold precious hopes in their hands, but they gleefully shatter those dreams with just the buzz of a buzzer, as soon as the act fails to impress. If there are three dreaded buzzes the audition is over; but a few hold the panel's attention. If they last the full 3 minutes onstage, they could be in luck!

    Some may not want to accept the difference, but I think it's significant.

    Thought I may have missed something (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:11:16 AM EST
    by not watching this show.  

    On the other hand, Brit press (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:18:53 AM EST
    that I've read reports it differently than sarcastic does.  Yes, they have the "nutters."  But the Brits report that the expectations of the audience were different.  I'll have to find a link again to capture what it meant in Brit context.

    Seems quite cruel to me, unless the (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:38:26 AM EST
    "nutters" are pd. to be "nutters" and are fully aware of their role.

    Definitely (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:06:45 PM EST
    But that's a mainstay of Brit entertainment for some time, from what I've seen on BBC and read.  It was part of the first version of the copycatting tried here but was left out of Idol.  Not that we as a people are any better, with mockery a bit of a national pastime -- including on this blog -- too.

    Left out of Idol? (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:16:32 PM EST
    That nasty mockery that takes place on American Idol is exactly why I won't watch that program. It's mean-spirited, and intended to humiliate.

    Nearly every season, the networks trailer the worst of the worst trying to get people to tune in to see the whole wreck. And, they tune in by the millions.


    Well, yes, but (none / 0) (#67)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:11:08 PM EST
    I understand (I've rarely watched it) that the "nutters," the topic of this subthread, don't get to Idol -- although some get to Youtube.

    Next season, tune in for any of the (none / 0) (#70)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:29:03 PM EST
    episodes where they are in the auditioning phase. The mockery gets to the program in full fashion. Where else would the youtube clips come from?

    Once each song. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:42:05 AM EST
    "Cry Me A River" was really a shock...the lady sings the blues!

    Can't think who her voice reminds me of...

    I'd love to hear her sing some swing...some Nelson Riddle/Sinatra arrangements...some Ella...

    Susan Boyle (none / 0) (#39)
    by Tiffany1 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:43:36 AM EST
    I spent quite a while this morning googling  her name and listening to her sing over and over again.
    Did you hear her version of Cry Me A River?
    Incredible and yes I had tears in my eyes listening to her sing.
    Can't wait to hear more from her.

    Once. (none / 0) (#47)
    by SOS on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:26:28 AM EST
    had to see what all the hoopla was about so watched the youtube clip and she is an excellent singer.

    Or she's a natural (none / 0) (#48)
    by SOS on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:30:35 AM EST
    Us musicians have a saying. You can either play or you can't, or in this case you can either sing or you can't. She obviously has it.

    Plus, you don't "compete" music.


    Do you put this much passion into (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:46:56 AM EST
    your music? What Susan has been able to do with her voice and presence is so much more than

    you can either sing or you can't

    Well (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:51:10 AM EST
    Emotion or not, most of what I responded to was the fact that she was being set up as a laughing stock and turned it around.

    Without that very emotional context her performance would have been more run of the mill.


    My reaction was much different than yours (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:03:45 PM EST
    The audience meant absolutely nothing the first time I watched it. They were rude.

    That song, her voice, and the incredible applause she received simply lifts my soul. The show is for "amateurs" so, when talent like hers appears it is newsworthy, so to speak. I truly don't think that "run of the mill" would ever be a fair or accurate critique of her singing. Read the comments about her "Cry Me a River" performance. That was strictly audio.

    Everyone has different taste in music. I think the quality of her singing is up with the best.


    OK (1.00 / 1) (#62)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:19:18 PM EST
    Send her some money. That type of singing is run of the mill in the professional pool of singers. The poignancy was entirely about expectations or lack of them, imo.

    Had she been a gorgeous woman in her 20's and on the stage of a professional setting she would be judged accordingly, quite differently than this freak show.


    What a gem of a comment, this one (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:37:20 PM EST
    and those to follow.

    Freak show, idiot savant? Can't be easy being squeaky.


    Yeah (2.00 / 1) (#73)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:44:44 PM EST
    I am sure that you loved the exploitation movie Shine as well.

    BTW- How many CD's do you have of Cry Me A River?  


    You know absolutely nothing, squeaky (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 07:42:34 PM EST
    Bet all you want, but you have been 100% wrong on so many of your statements of analysis against your fellow commenters. Your cynical attitude toward Susan Boyle is not attractive.

    Jealousy is often a cause for not wishing others well.


    Jealous? (none / 0) (#90)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 07:58:39 PM EST
    lol, why would I be jealous? Not my thing. And I totally wish her well, it is just that I know a bit about the music biz and it is not pretty. The only chance she has of making money is that she gets a record out last week. Otherwise she will be exploited as a circus act, imo.

    I'm guessing Simon Cowell (none / 0) (#91)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:20:56 PM EST
    knows a heck of a lot more about music and the talent that sells than you'll ever know. Sorry, but I'm going with Simon's thumbs up.

    Dream On (none / 0) (#94)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:48:58 PM EST
    Most working musicians are servant class, no different that it was in Mozart's time: work a day stiffs with little remuneration. Those very very very few that rise up to stardom make good money, after their backers that is. If you think that Susan Boyle is going to be another Barbara Streisand you are deluding yourself. That does not take away from her beautiful voice or talent.

    Fair point raised (none / 0) (#76)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:17:05 PM EST
    I think it's a fair point squeaky raised. I, too, wondered how her voice would be rated at an audition where everyone (including her) were young and beautiful.

    Someone raised the point about her stage presence, and her ability to command an audience. That's not voice alone. And she can certainly fill a theater with her sound.

    But I honestly don't know how the pros would rate this -- and I don't trust the show-biz pros who want to get in on the act of praising her right now.


    Hard Life (2.00 / 1) (#79)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:49:19 PM EST
    It is a hard life being a singer. Sounds to me that she loves music and can make people happy, which is enough. Being a star, iow selling records and world tours, is another thing all together.

    I hope that she can cash in on this and get back to her life. The social skills of navigating through shark infested waters, aka the music biz, is quite demanding.

    I applaud her moment in the sun, and was moved to tears. Turning pro is another kettle of fish. Exploitation is the name of the game.


    But (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:55:13 PM EST
    that's not what she wants.  

    I hope she gets a shot at what she wants, which is not to get back to her life -- alone without her mother now, and without work.  


    Good Luck To Her (none / 0) (#82)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:58:11 PM EST
    I hope that she does not get exploited. If there is money to be made on her the sharks will be circling.

    Truer words were never spoken. (none / 0) (#83)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 06:22:10 PM EST
    And, Cream City, she didn't say she was unhappy living alone -- she did say that West Lothian, or whatever it is, is her home and she always wants to live there in her mother's council flat.

    She said she wanted to be a professional singer.

    We'll see where that goes, but squeaky is right: where the money is, the sharks circle. And that comment about not being kissed can make her bait for the cruelest kind of exploitation. (National Enquirer tells all: "Susan Boyle's hot night of...")


    I go with her words (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Cream City on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 07:08:53 PM EST
    in the Guardian (and I said nothing about where she lives or will live, as one can be lonely anywher):

    Now living alone, with only her cat Pebbles for company, she was spurred to enter the competition by a pledge she made to her mother to do something with her life. "It's all been complete mayhem, like a whirlwind going like an express train," she said. . . . "But," she admitted, "I could get used to it. . . ."

    She does expect life to be very, very different. "Well, I certainly won't be lonely any more," said the church volunteer, who has admitted she has never been kissed. . . .

    And there is more out there of her comments on loneliness, unemployment, etc.

    Why would you even go (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:24:01 PM EST
    to those thoughts? Can't you just applaud what is happening for her? Glass is half full to Susan.

    She seems really sensible and sensitive. I bet when something doesn't feel right to her, she's got what it takes to say no.


    I certainly hope... (none / 0) (#93)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:34:16 PM EST
    ...that she has at least someone who is looking out for her best interests.  The bright lights of fame and fortune are too overwhelming for anyone to handle on their own.

    And you are correct, the modern recording industry (and the related marketing and touring) is rife with explotation.  There's always someone who is waiting and willing to make a buck off the talent of others.      


    She doesn't have to compete (none / 0) (#65)
    by SOS on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:34:42 PM EST
    she has the "gift".

    Success (none / 0) (#50)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:40:04 AM EST
    If she wants money she better get her first album out while the public still remembers her. Otherwise she will be one of many, that is if she isn't exploited as some kind of freak, which is part of why this performance was so touching.

    Do you get the impression that's her goal? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:50:46 AM EST
    Money? I think it is that she wants to work as a singer. She doesn't give the impression at all of someone looking for monetary wealth. What do you bet she gives most of her earnings to charity?

    She really just needs to put that particular song on iTunes at the moment. She's going to get plenty of tv time as the season for Britain's Got Talent continues. My guess is that her first album will be released within a month of her completing the show.


    Well (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 11:53:27 AM EST
    In order to "work" as a singer, at least as I think you imagine, you have to be in the position to make money for other people, management etc.

    If she just wants to enjoy her voice and music, she can do that for free where she lives, choir, musical events etc.


    Do you have to find a way to argue (none / 0) (#60)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:11:38 PM EST

    I'm only talking about HER money and what SHE will do with that. I have no doubt she is going to make those around her (label, agent, etc.) plenty and they may or may not give a big chunk of theirs to charity.

    There are more ways than recordings, tours, and concerts to be a professional singer making enough to live on.


    Please list a few. Tough career choice. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:23:15 PM EST
    You really can't figure that out without help? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:34:51 PM EST
    I've know quite a few very gifted (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:27:12 PM EST
    singers who have not been able to sustain themselves financially with their singing. I think there is a fair amount of being in the right place at the right time behind the success of some singers; also, who you know.  Not always, but often.

    Lol (1.50 / 2) (#64)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 12:33:05 PM EST
    IMO the only way managers are going to make money off her is if they present her as a type of idiot savant, otherwise there is too much competition.

    My point about her money is that she will have no money unless management picks her up. THat is the way it works.

    A perfect analogy is the prodigy. They are often wildly successful because they are freaks. Once they get into their 20's many have nervous breakdowns because they lose their "act" and are judged as adults. Yehudi Menuhi wore shorts on stage well into his 20's. He did manage to make the transition, most don't.


    Remember Ginny Too? (none / 0) (#77)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:20:16 PM EST
    Or was it Ginny Two ... or Tu?

    No (none / 0) (#81)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:56:51 PM EST
    Missed that one, although it was nice to watch the trailer to Girls, Girls, Girls..  

    Was Ginny Liu exploited?


    Last I heard... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 06:34:32 PM EST
    She was playing cocktail lounge circuit in Hawaii, but I easily could be wrong.

    Point is, she didn't go on to the NY Philharmonic.


    Admittedly... (none / 0) (#66)
    by KoolJeffrey on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:08:31 PM EST
    ...her intial success will lead to some "rock star" opportunities, but with continued training, she should be able to make a nice living as a recording artist or session vocalist, at the very least. She will always have a chance to make appearances at times of her choosing.

    Italian TV (none / 0) (#68)
    by Mikeb302000 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:40:54 PM EST
    played her triumph at the Britain has Talent show this morning.  I had just read about here here on your blog, then saw her again on TV this morning on the early news.

    What a performance and what numbers of Youtube views!

    Let's face it (none / 0) (#97)
    by nellre on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 01:03:13 AM EST
    Les Miserables if full of wonderful and difficult songs. I love it all and I will find tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat throughout the entire play, live (especially) or televised.
    More lumps and tears can be found here: