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Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent.

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LillyBBBW

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She has a lovely singing voice.

But, I'm just a bit jaded against reality TV. (It's not really real.) They do casting calls, plots are scripted and winners and losers are decided ahead of time. It just seemed like a set up to me. Parade her out as a frumpy old woman for the audience to mock and then "shock" them with her amazing voice.

That being said, she is a genuine talent and I hope she has a successful career ahead of her.
Yes. Reality tv or no, ratings are ratings and this is just the type of story that will get people to watch. Funny how the camera knew just whose face to capture in reaction to her responses and the two lackeys backstage putting on a show on cue, etc. The editing was perfect, songs evoke just the right mood about her. Also she demonstrates a knowlege of vocal dynamics and technique that shows she's definitley had some sort of vocal training and is practiced at it. I hate to be a cynic but I'm certain there is some staging and set up happening here to appeal to the broad audience. Be that as it may I still believe this is the wonderful break for Susan we all know it to be, depite the set up the network is deliberatley propping up around it. The central story of Susan Boyle is real even with the technicolor flourises. I'm very very happy for her just the same.
 

Jack Skellington

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Also she demonstrates a knowlege of vocal dynamics and technique that shows she's definitley had some sort of vocal training and is practiced at it. I hate to be a cynic but I'm certain there is some staging and set up happening here to appeal to the broad audience.
Agreed.

Yes, she has some amazing natural talent. But her singing ability went beyond that. Like you said, it was obvious she had some professional vocal training. Natural talent can honestly only go so far. She was very technically skilled as well.
 

mossystate

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Yes, she has some amazing natural talent. But her singing ability went beyond that.
Yeah. She said that she had always wanted to perform in front of a large audience. When she sang, I think it was obvious that she was not just a shower singer.
 

pani

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Here is my response to some of her critics from my own blog:

Why Susan Boyle Moved Us to Tears

Leave it to the mainstream media (MSM) to take the poignancy out of the moment. We love her, we watch her over and over, we are reduced to tears. But some media cynics just don’t get it. Kind of like how the pre Christmas eve Scrooge was unable to see what most dogs and kids knew all along. They tell us that we are overreacting, and tritely dismiss her popularity as the disparity between how she looks and how she sounds.

I say NOT SO FAST! I think this is more than just a morality lite sound bite, “can’t judge a book by its cover,” and we should have known that what was in the package with the plain wrapping was better than what was in the one with the fancy ribbons. We are humbled at her magical Seraphin like voice because we are reacting to the power of our own experience. Yes, we are taught to obsess on all the wrong things: looks, fame, fortune, power and a whole list of other externals. But we don’t just judge others on those things, we judge ourselves as well. How many of us have shackled our dreams because we don’t feel adequate enough? (Insert pretty, thin, young etc here!) Everyone knows if you don’t have the right props you won’t succeed. Be a good little person and bow out until someone finds the right product you can buy to fix yourself. When someone just like us dares; well, how dare they? We cringe with resentment; deep down, we would never have the nerve. And yet, when she opened her mouth to sing (or let the angels sing through her), all that melted away. She dashed all our defenses, pierced a million pretenses. Dysfunctional cultural delusions crumbled faster than credit default swaps because they couldn’t hold up to the moment of truth. Real greatness comes only from the heart and the soul. And when one has this, all else is eclipsed.

The lesson of Susan could never be more salient than at this very moment. Our society is falling under the weight of its own lies. Corruption, cheating, dishonesty everywhere we look. What isn’t a lie anymore? From the products we by to the politicians who are bought off, nothing is as it seems. As we walk through the fog of fraud, we stumble upon authenticity and are stunned by it. We weep because we are still able to recognize it. This isn’t like how our taste buds have been so deadened by processed food the natural doesn’t taste right to us anymore. We still respond to real beauty! We are not soul dead yet. Maybe we will be o.k. We just need to stop listening to those leading us down false paths for their own agendas and listen to our own inner wisdom. I think Susan really is an angel in disguise letting us know the only thing we can trust is the sincerity way down deep in ourselves. If we follow that, it is not too late to find our way home.

Susan’s performance is a modern day archetypical moment. But I hope we are carefully in choosing the right fairy tale. MSM is only too happy to use the rags to riches cliché of Cinderella. But this goes way beyond Cinderella. This is the Buddha as beggar, the goddess as goat herder. This lesson is a reminder of the inextricable link between greatness, humility and simplicity. Leave the Cinderellas to the commercial sponsors. Although Sleeping Beauty may not be too far off, because Susan’s true greatness can only be appreciated by the pure of heart.
 

MatthewB

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I watched it the other day, and was floored less by Susan Boyle's performance (which was simply stunning) than by the reactions on the faces of the judges. Piers getting a lump in his throat! Simon gawping like a little boy! :p

My dad unwittingly shed tears when he watched it, and he doesn't cry at much. ;)
 

Celestial Ceece

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Celisa Stratton,
One thing.. seeing i am from scotland and there are only 5 and a half million of us.. i know all scottish people personally and this..'Jackie Russell'.. she is 'ruff'. muwahahahahahahahahaha!!
I didn't recognize her accent at first as being Scottish. My 8 year old nephew knew it thought, and I said, "nahhh" and then they said she's a Scot. My nephew laughed at me and said, "how did you think I knew that she was from Scotland?"

I answered, "ummm, was it Shrek's accent?"

He said, "nope, I could just tell!"
 

mergirl

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I didn't recognize her accent at first as being Scottish. My 8 year old nephew knew it thought, and I said, "nahhh" and then they said she's a Scot. My nephew laughed at me and said, "how did you think I knew that she was from Scotland?"

I answered, "ummm, was it Shrek's accent?"

He said, "nope, I could just tell!"
Celisa! You have chattered to me before, You should know scottish!!.. mind you, i dont really sound like her at all, so .. erm..thats ok ..lol but cool that your nephew knew!
 

Ho Ho Tai

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A friend e-mailed me to ask whether I had seen the Susan Boyle video. I replied as follows, and decided to post here as well. My comments are certainly not as well thought through as what has already been posted in this thread, but since I have not seen any reference to articles from The Scotsman (even by you Scottish folks) perhaps I'm adding something of value.

*********************************************************

I have seen some of the Boyle video, though not from youtube. That website gives my computer the fits. But I did see her on one of the TV channels, either CNN or MSNBC. On the latter channel, there was a discussion about the suggested 'makeover', which they agreed was a repulsive idea. (A real sign of maturity, as far as I am concerned. I think one must either accept or reject the lady for what she is, and for all that she is. Doing little tweaks of hair, clothing, et c. to make her 'more presentable' to a larger audience just reeks. I also saw it mentioned that she was an oxygen-deprived baby at birth, explaining - what, exactly, I don't know. Perhaps relevant, perhaps not.

There is a developing thread on this at Dimensions. The issues are so similar to what many Dimensions people experience, but for other reasons, that there is no surprise that the consensus there is similar to the above.

I hope that Ms Boyle does well, but I fear that, just as she is getting used to the idea of fame and acceptance, the media, and the world at large, will drop her back into obscurity.

I get a daily e-mail newsletter from one of the oldest newspapers in the world, The Scotsman. They have numerous articles on their website on Susan (not all terribly tasteful) but did feature this rather nice one the other day.

http://www.scotsman.com/latestnews/A-dream-comes-true-as.5179534.jp
 

JoyJoy

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No matter how staged her performance might have been, no matter how Simon and crew will benefit from the ratings boost....she's made a lot of people stop and think, and gotten people talking about important things, and put smiles and warm fuzzies in many hearts. That makes her pretty powerful.
 

William

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Hi

I loved that moment near the end of her song where she pauses and looked at the judges as if she was saying "Now you see me as I truly am"

I may have shed a tear or two

William :)



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!
 

JoyJoy

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http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0421/p06s13-wogn.html

Robert Canfield, a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., quotes Ms. Schwarzbaum in his blog where he typically comments on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Dr. Canfield says, in response to emailed questions, that Boyle captured "the hopes of a multitude."

Her performance resonates with millions, he says, because "most of us in our heart of hearts have severe doubts about ourselves.

"So when a Susan Boyle appears on stage before a clearly condescending audience in a society that can read class status in every move, the hairdo, the dress, she appears as a loser. And we feel for her. We see how precarious her position is, how vulnerable she is, and we feel for her," he writes in his email.

"We can see in her an objectification of what we fear about ourselves. So when she comes forth with that voice, that music – as if we have discovered Judy Garland at the age of 47 – we are thrilled. She's going to make it, we think. She's going to win (!). And we unconsciously invest ourselves in her achievement."



The Times of London asked Boyle, given how much importance the entertainment industry places on appearance, might she succumb to pressure to have a makeover?

"Maybe I'll consider a makeover later on," she told the Times with a laugh. "For now I'm happy the way I am – short and plump. I would not go in for Botox or anything like that. I'm content with the way I look. What's wrong with looking like Susan Boyle? What's the matter with that?"
 

Tina

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Agreed.

Yes, she has some amazing natural talent. But her singing ability went beyond that. Like you said, it was obvious she had some professional vocal training. Natural talent can honestly only go so far. She was very technically skilled as well.
She actually said on stage that she did have voice training to be a professional singer, so that's not anything that's been hidden. She put it right out there. But yeah, another one here who is not a reality show fan, or a fan of watching television at all any more. If I like a show enough to want to see it, I watch the DVDs.

Anyway, she got the makeover...
 

JoyJoy

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When I first read your post, Tina, I was disappointed because it felt like she had gone back on what she was quoted as saying in the article I posted...and I guess, in a way, she did. But after reading the article you posted, I'm glad she did make the changes she has, because it seems like they're trying to use her "frump" to their advantage and make a few bucks off of it. I'm glad she's being true to herself, and changing her appearance seemingly because she wants to, not because they're trying to "improve her image".

From the article Tina posted:
"Jones said Boyle's decision to dye her hair brown was causing some consternation among the powers-that-be at "Britain's Got Talent" by stoking fears that she may no longer seem real.
"It's got massive implications for her because the people above her want her to look ordinary," said Jones, who praised Boyle for spending 35 pounds ($51) at a salon near her home in Scotland rather than trekking to London for a 200 pound ($295) cut at a celebrity salon."
 

mossystate

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I had read that she did not want to change and that she had said, " what is wrong with looking like Susan Boyle". It's her buisness what she does, but, it was not like she did not know about salons and department stores. Might have just been something that she thought...eh, what the hell, I am game for new experiences. Again...her business...but...let's face it....one of the reasons so many were so drawn to her was because she was not ' spruced up ', in terms of how she looked....or, acted. She looked like a person you could see...anywhere. I just hope she is not banking on the makeover for anything but putting a little more spring in her step. My bet is that the eyebrows grow back. I have to admit that I did a ..." aw...fuck "...when I saw the newest picture. But, Ms. Boyle is on a wild, and I hope for her, a fantastic ride.
 

Jack Skellington

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Anyway, she got the makeover...
I really don't see the problem with that because it sounded like something she wanted to do for herself when the show just wants to play off her "frump" look for ratings and exploitation. I mean she is only 47. If she wants to look a little more her age or a bit more professional, that's her business. It's not like she is trying to sex herself up or look like a supermodel.
 

Tina

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I don't see the problem, either. If it makes her feel better about herself, why not? I'm not so sure I'd say that about plastic surgery, necessarily, but what's wrong with some cosmetics, a hairdresser and some new clothes?

M, I was hoping plastic surgery and the fake tan wasn't in the plans, but I think that everyone wants, deep down inside, to look their best. Maybe she just said that at first because for so many years maybe she felt that no one cared how she looked? Who knows, I can't read her mind, but I have to say I'm not at all surprised. If they do the whole Hollywood diet/plastic surgery makeover thing I believe I'll feel a bit differently, just because I'm tired of Hollyweird plastic people.
 

mossystate

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I don't know that anybody is saying there is something ' wrong ' with it. I know it was just refreshing to see a woman not ' touched '...that's all. Really has zero to do with the particular woman in question.
 

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