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Susan Boyle: Your reaction?

April 16, 2009


They laughed with scorn when she came on stage. By the time she left 7 minutes later, they were cheering and wiping tears from their eyes. 12 million views on Youtube in 4 days. A few dozen tweets a minute this morning. Thats enough to make Britney jealous and “She bangs” William Hung’s jaw drop. Even Simon Cowell pays tribute. Here is the video of That Moment if you haven’t seen it.

What interests me is not so much Susan Boyle’s singing (oh she’s a mighty fine singer, I can tell you that) but why people react to her the way they do. Take a minute to read the lyrics of the song she sang:

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they turn your hope apart
As they turn your dreams to shame

And still I dream he’d come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from the hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

So what did Susan do to create such a disturbance in the force?

The Twits provide some good clues: “Millions of people see themselves in her: undiscovered, humble…” “… the simple dowdy lady showed the world how unimportant looks are.” “Do you think maybe someone is trying to tell us something?”

We see a bit of ourselves in her don’t we. Unpretty, unglamorous, unloved, unappreciated, yet capable of moving continents if given a chance. We crave to prove our judgemental cynics wrong, that the world doesn’t just belong to those who had the right image, the right looks, the right clothes, the right age. Ms. Boyle did exactly that. She gave us ordinary people hope.

And that’s why I think people reacted to her the way they did.

So how did she move you?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2009 11:40 pm

    She absolutely did. It was a rude awakening call for those who judged her before she even sang a word but based solely on her appearance, age and demeanour. I was one of them as I did not know what the fuss was all about, I watched it with no expectations and ended it with a lump in my throat and ashamed of myself.

    Yes, it seems that the world’s unappreciated masses finally found an icon. Not only did they feel good about her performance, they finally felt good about themselves.

  2. April 16, 2009 11:58 pm

    Yeah I saw this on another blog. She is amazing!! I would buy tickets just to watch her sing.

    Yeah, she’s already getting offers to perform in a few countries.

  3. April 17, 2009 11:13 am

    Actually, I like to watch Britain’s Got Talent more than any typical Idol show. Because it’s more meaningful when people from different side of the country (UK), from different background, come together and perform anything which they are good at. We see that in Paul Potts, a humble mobile phone salesman, and Connie Talbot, the cute girl. Then now we have an unemployed, extremely ordinary and yet hopeful lady Miss Boyle.

    And yeah, our depressing world is in need of something as hopeful as this…something to tell us all that there’s still a hope for everyone, even the ordinary one (i wouldn’t call her ordinary with that voice of hers!).

    Yeah. She reminds me of the old ladies who go about selling tidbits table to table at the food court. People ignore them or shoo them away, not realizing that many of them are superhuman. I define superhuman as being able to bring up 4 kids singlehandedly, and then go looking for scraps to survive when they abandon you.

  4. April 17, 2009 10:46 pm

    If I was at the show, I would also gave her a standing ovation. She really deserves it.

    Yeah. Won’t it be be nice if someone recognized our hidden talents too. 🙂

  5. LC Teh permalink
    April 18, 2009 1:32 pm

    I only glanced at the TV once in a blue moon, so I didn’t know. But when they put her on Youtube I thought this must be special, even though I thought at first she purposely dressed herself up as plain as possible. I mean, you can pay some professional to dress you up if you really wanted to shine. But she looked to me like someone straight from the kitchen who just hurriedly dressed in her usual and rushed to that audition and gave it one of her enthusiastic best, like what she’d normally do in her own living room in the company of her kids. Which is why she couldn’t give two hoots how everybody reacted (esp the Cowell guy). She just acted like she didn’t give a damn whichever way it went and was just out there to please herself. One up for the plain Janes of the world.

    Her image on stage was engineered for maximum impact. I read somewhere that the Cowell guy already knew of her talent beforehand. Even the Youtube video may have been doctored by the producers. Still, she is a lovely find.

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