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Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent.

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BothGunsBlazing

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While she was very impressive. I could really do without the backhanded compliments in every headline I've seen of this.

it's practically like .. HIDEOUSLY UGLY TROLL BEAST THING ABOMINATION ACTUALLY SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD! like, yeah! go her!!! Like, wait, what? You don't need to be good looking to able to sing? Are some people just finding this out now?

there is a beautiful mute girl walking around somewhere who used to be a mermaid. I can only assume Ursula up there stole her voice. :doh:
 

TraciJo67

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While she was very impressive. I could really do without the backhanded compliments in every headline I've seen of this.

it's practically like .. HIDEOUSLY UGLY TROLL BEAST THING ABOMINATION ACTUALLY SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD! like, yeah! go her!!! Like, wait, what? You don't need to be good looking to able to sing? Are some people just finding this out now?

there is a beautiful mute girl walking around somewhere who used to be a mermaid. I can only assume Ursula up there stole her voice. :doh:
This is exactly how I feel, BGB.

A very subtle but unmistakeable undertone that smacks of condescension, both from the audience & judges that night, and from the general public at large. I'm not sure that the thinking is "HIDEOUSLY UGLY TROLL BEAST THING ABOMINATION", BGB, but for sure, some element of that is mixed in. She's not a conventionally attractive woman, she's not young, and she's very unpolished. If I were her, my joy at the acknowledgment of my astonishing talent would be very much tempered by the knowledge that people are considering me the "underdog" that they feel compelled root for. Blech.
 

imfree

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I saw some mention of it while flipping channels last night on one of the gossip shows. She was quite frumpy but had a very beautiful voice. I hated how the audience was snickering at her when she said she wanted to be a professional singer. Another lesson on not to judge a person on their outside appearance!
Susan is proof that the power to sing great does not
from a good outward appearance, but from the heart!
The gal is an amazing singer!:bow:
 

BeaBea

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I do sort of get what people are saying - but to me that voice would be extraordinary regardless of the face it came out of. We are all used to being sold a 'package' though and so I guess the superficial age we live in means we tend to expect polished looking performers. I actually find it heart warming that Susans voice was not only fantastic, it was also enough to overcome every single one of the prejudices that the audience had to get such a fantasticly warm reaction.

Tracey xx
 

BothGunsBlazing

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This is exactly how I feel, BGB.

A very subtle but unmistakeable undertone that smacks of condescension, both from the audience & judges that night, and from the general public at large. I'm not sure that the thinking is "HIDEOUSLY UGLY TROLL BEAST THING ABOMINATION", BGB, but for sure, some element of that is mixed in. She's not a conventionally attractive woman, she's not young, and she's very unpolished. If I were her, my joy at the acknowledgment of my astonishing talent would be very much tempered by the knowledge that people are considering me the "underdog" that they feel compelled root for. Blech.
Well, I did say practically "hideously ugly troll beast thing abomination" not completely. I read one that said "never been kissed woman" yesterday and it just struck me as so completely unnecessary.
 

BeaBea

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I read one that said "never been kissed woman" yesterday and it just struck me as so completely unnecessary.
Susan actually said that herself in the brief chat the competitors have before they go on stage. She said she'd never been married, never even been kissed and then pulled a funny face and cracked a joke. It was actually kind of sad and awkward but also touching and sweet - and very moving to watch, particularly when she went on to sing such a sad song about lost love and missed chances.

Tracey xx
 

BothGunsBlazing

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Susan actually said that herself in the brief chat the competitors have before they go on stage. She said she'd never been married, never even been kissed and then pulled a funny face and cracked a joke. It was actually kind of sad and awkward but also touching and sweet - and very moving to watch, particularly when she went on to sing such a sad song about lost love and missed chances.

Tracey xx
Oh, did she? I guess I've only seen the clips of her actually singing the song once she arrives on stage.

:p I was like ouch, that's a harsh assumption. haha - still though, I've read some pretty mean stuff about this whole thing. I guess I keep looking at it from the perspective of like, some one losing weight and suddenly they're worthwhile and gorgeous. I usually overthink this sort of thing though. ;) I guess in this particular situation I should just let the positive be just that and not be all cynical.
 

Dansinfool

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All I can say is BRAVO Susan Boyle. I tip my hat to you.
I've done nothing but talk about this women for the past two
days. She was amazing to say the least.
This a women who new she had talent. She was just never given the chance to show case it. I don't think she gave a rats ass
what people thought about her. As she said" She's gonna rock the house" and she did.
With something like 10 million views on Utube and such I think
she is well on her way to getting the recognition she deserves.
I know I'll buy her first CD.
Actually, someone said Simons record company will be offering her a contract deal.She won't be unemployed for long :)
Once again she has prooved, dont judge the book by the cover.
When are people ever going to learn.
I hope she wins the whole damn thing!
 

CCC

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Amazing clip.
To the people commenting on the fact that the praise she received was basically a back-handed compliment (re: her looks), I think we just have to stop being cynical (believe me I'm guilty of that too) and accept when something so uplifting happens. The world is much more superficial than most of the upstanding members of this community and by no means perfect, and it's likely that less attractive people (I'm not saying her, just in general) will never be treated the same way as attractive people. Something like this is a beautiful thing to see, even if she was clearly held to lower standards straight from the start. People love stories about underdogs. I'm not trying to be blind to any sort of moral injustice, but let's just try to be happy for her and the people who've hopefully been inspired by her.
 

D_A_Bunny

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Angels don't all look like Victoria's Secret models. They look like you and me. And everyone in that audience was reminded of that. I hope they will remember. It doesn't matter what one looks like on the outside. Only how you look on the inside.
 

mossystate

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The world is much more superficial than most of the upstanding members of this community......
See, now, this is one of those backhanded thing-a-mah-jigs. There are MANY superficial people out here. Many. Are you saying that because the superficiality is related to fat, which is something that the ' mainstream ' frowns upon and finds ugly, that fat people and those who like them...are somehow more noble? Trust me...superficial comes in many sizes.

It is not being cynical to make note of something very obvious.
 

Les Toil

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Fantastic performance and I'll be cheering for Susan all the way up to her smash debut CD.

I'll tell you what bothers me. The manipulation of the news and entertainment medium to convince us most of that audience as well as much of the world was looking down at her. If you look at that clip you'll see that most of the audience had smiles of hope on their face before she sang, but of course who did the director of the show choose to zoom the cameras on? The snickering young shallow jerks. By far the biggest butt was the female judge on the panel who made the comment "Before you sang, everyone was against you". That was HER shallow feelings towards her and not the entire world's OR that audience. I believe the vast majority of the people that saw Susan sing were cheering the underdog on before she opened her mouth. Boo to the director of that show and boo to Miss "Everyone was against you" and boo to the newspapers for capitalizing on anything but her great talent. I'm sure most of the people that were in that audience wanted to yell up at that judge and say "How dare you assume we have any pre-judgement against this woman!".

If you and I were hoping for the best before she sang, I'm assuming most people were too. :)
 

JoyJoy

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Brian,

I've watched the video many times, and I think you and I are perceiving the audience reaction differently. What I heard was laughter and mocking that started the minute she came on stage, complete with (what I perceived as) sarcastic wolf-whistles...and when she started talking and joking with the judges, even more laughter and groans and cat-calls, especially when she made the comment about Elaine Paige. To me, the derision from both the audience and the judges was quite clear, which makes her bravery even more significant in my eyes, because I detected no support at all for her until she started to sing.

The disgust I feel for people in general was wiped out by the beauty of her voice, and I look forward to hearing more. If I recall correctly, from when I saw her this morning on The Early Show, she's going to be performing again this coming Saturday night.

This writer says it so well:

"I'm still stuck on Susan Boyle, and still weeping. I suppose that's so 24 hours ago, and I should be thinking instead about how Mel Gibson's divorce might affect his box-office cred with conservative Catholics. Instead, I play the YouTube clip over and over of Boyle, the frumpy, middle-aged British lady who marched out on the stage of the national TV show Britain’s Got Talent this past weekend. She bided her time through the judgmental hoots and snickers of the studio audience and judges (headed by international snickerer-in-chief Simon Cowell). She sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. And she brought a worldwide audience to their feet -- to her feet -- with the grandeur of her voice. I'll get back to pondering how Vin Diesel's future might change with the success of Fast & Furious soon enough, but right now I'm pondering why the experience of watching and listening to Ms. Boyle makes so many viewers cry, me among them. And I think I've got a simple answer, at least for me: In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging -- the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts -- the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms. Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace. She pierced my defenses. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective from time to time.
Yep. Simple as that. That's why I weep. What's your excuse?"
Some other great articles:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamar-abrams/susan-boyle-talent-withou_b_187337.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/letty-cottin-pogrebin/why-susan-boyle-makes-us_b_187790.html

What are we all crying about? What is it about this woman that touches us so deeply? Partly, I think it's the age thing, the fact that a woman closing in on 50 had the courage to compete with the kids -- and blew them out of the water. "Women of a certain age" should be forgiven for finding vicarious satisfaction in Susan's victory. In plain words, it's an up-yours to the cocky youth culture that often writes us off.
Then, too, we were weeping for the years of wasted talent, the career that wasn't, the time lost -- both for Susan Boyle and two generations of her putative fans. If someone with a voice like Julie Andrews' spent decades in a sea of frustration and obscurity, how many other women (and men) must be out there becalmed in the same boat? I believe we were crying for them and for whatever unrealized, yet-to-be-expressed talent may lie within ourselves.
But I'd wager that most of our joyful tears were fueled by the moral implicit in Susan's fairy-tale performance: "You can't tell a book by its cover." For such extraordinary artistry to emerge from a woman that plain-spoken, unglamorous, and unyoung was an intoxicating reminder of the wisdom in that corny old cliché. The three judges and virtually all those who watched Susan Boyle in the theater (and probably on YouTube as well) were initially blinded by entrenched stereotypes of age, class, gender, and Western beauty standards, until her book was opened and everyone saw what was inside.
I think we cried because her story appears to be en route to a happy ending, but also, perhaps, for all the books whose covers have never been cracked.
 

JoyJoy

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And then there's this take on it, which I like best of all:

I'm happy for her. She appears to be a solid, decent person for whom, God knows, some good luck is long overdue.

But I can't help wondering, what would have been the reaction if Susan Boyle couldn't sing?

What would the judges and the audience have thought, and said, had her voice been a creaky rasp, or an out-of-tune shriek? Would she still possess that "inner beauty?" Would we still acknowledge that the derisive treatment she received before performing was callous, insensitive and cruel?

The unspoken message of this whole episode is that, since Susan Boyle has a wonderful talent, we were wrong to judge her based on her looks and demeanor. Meaning what? That if she couldn't sing so well, we were correct to judge her on that basis? That demeaning someone whose looks don't match our impossible, media-reinforced standards of beauty is perfectly okay, unless some mitigating circumstance makes us re-think our opinion?

Personally, I'm gratified that her voice inspires so many, and reminds us of our tendency to judge and criticize based on shallow externals of beauty. What I mean is, I'm glad for her.

But I have no doubt that, had she performed poorly, Simon Cowell would be rolling his eyes still. And the audience would have hooted and booed with the relish of Roman spectators at the Colosseum. And that Susan Boyle's appearance on the show would still be on YouTube, but as an object of derision and ridicule.

So let's not be too quick to congratulate ourselves for taking her so fully to our hearts. We should've done that anyway, as we should all those we encounter who fall outside the standards of youth and beauty as promulgated by fashion magazines, gossip sites, and hit TV shows.

We should've done that anyway, before Susan Boyle sang a single note.
 

Les Toil

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Hey Joy, I agree we both had a different take of the audience's attitude towards her. When she walked out she got a gracious applause. She got the cat whistle from that one individual--and I really have to assume the vast majority of people in that audience considered that person as much of a dick as you and I and so many of our friends would have. And when she responded to Simon's raised eyebrows over her age by jokingly swivelling her hips in a faux sexy manner, she received a sea of "you go girl!" applause as opposed to a sea of derisive laughter. And when she announced the name of the song she was about to sing she received another gracious and encouraging applause. And yes, I clearly heard the snickers when she referenced that Elaine Page woman (who's blonde, thin and conventionally pretty), but I guess even the nicest audience might make a playful fuss if a tall, muscular, alpha-male black man referenced Clay Aiken as the singer he wants to emulate or compete with.

I dunno, I still believe most of the people within that audience and outside of it had absolutely no ill thought or pre-conceived bias against her as that judge in the middle crassly assumed we all had. And again, the director clearly zoomed in on that group of jerky teens. I still think the world is filled with less assholes than we realize.
 

CCC

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Are you saying that because the superficiality is related to fat, which is something that the ' mainstream ' frowns upon and finds ugly, that fat people and those who like them...are somehow more noble?
Nope. Not at all; in fact, I'm fairly ignoble myself. I really wasn't trying to say anything confrontational.
Only that I have a high opinion of many people on these boards based on their capacity for intelligent discussion and the ability to, yes, be observably less superficial than the average Joe on the street. Maybe six years of lurking still hasn't been enough time to notice the "ugly" side of this community though (pardon the pun).

And perhaps cynical was the wrong adjective. How about "seeing the world through glass-half-empty-colored glasses"?
 

Fascinita

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Chapter ICIII

Wherein the media squeezes a little entertainment out of its own cynicism (and that of viewers!)

--------

A media event! Yay!

The woman is delightful, on the other hand.
 

JoyJoy

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Brian, you know...I went back and listened to it again from your perspective, and I can see it differently now. I think that this is perhaps an instance of my own cynicism of society framing up a situation without considering another possibility. I do have to wonder, though, about the judges comments to her after the song about how "everyone was against" her, and that everyone was laughing at her. Surely they had some reason to believe that was the case. It's hard to know for sure, without having actually been there, what the atmosphere was.

Another link...for those who are wondering if this is the only song she can sing well: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/videos-pics/entertainment/videos/2009/04/16/exclusive-susan-boyle-s-first-ever-music-release-listen-to-it-here-86908-21283593/
It started automatically for me, and was confusing because it shows pictures of her BGT performance on the media player - but they say this is her singing a recording of Cry Me a River for a charity CD in 1999.
 

LillyBBBW

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Brian, you know...I went back and listened to it again from your perspective, and I can see it differently now. I think that this is perhaps an instance of my own cynicism of society framing up a situation without considering another possibility. I do have to wonder, though, about the judges comments to her after the song about how "everyone was against" her, and that everyone was laughing at her. Surely they had some reason to believe that was the case. It's hard to know for sure, without having actually been there, what the atmosphere was.

Another link...for those who are wondering if this is the only song she can sing well: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/videos-pics/entertainment/videos/2009/04/16/exclusive-susan-boyle-s-first-ever-music-release-listen-to-it-here-86908-21283593/
It started automatically for me, and was confusing because it shows pictures of her BGT performance on the media player - but they say this is her singing a recording of Cry Me a River for a charity CD in 1999.
Wow. That was simply gorgeous.
 

Fascinita

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If I were her, my joy at the acknowledgment of my astonishing talent would be very much tempered by the knowledge that people are considering me the "underdog" that they feel compelled root for. Blech.
Not only her talent, but her refreshingly honest, upbeat attitude makes her interesting to watch. I bet a lot of people would have found her authentically charming and talented regardless of whether Simon Cowell "approved" or not. (What choice did those judges have? And wasn't it all carefully engineered from beginnig to end anyway?)

It's strange to me that all the media has to do is brand someone publicly an underdog (pointing all the while to its own supposed "enlightenment" after a former cynicism) and millions jump eagerly at the opportunity to nod along. I hate that, in spite of her talent, the main attraction in this media event has been the supposed surprise that a woman who looks like Susan Boyle can have a great voice. The locus of entertainment subtly shifts from the talent itself to the faux shock experienced by the judges.

What's worse is that this element of "pleasant surprise" is supposed to represent how we all feel about it. But I just don't believe that most people are that natively vapid. It's just that we seem to like to glorify spectacle. And, boy, does the media know how to turn a profit from that tendency.

The stories we tell ourselves...
 

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