When Susan Boyle, an unassuming single recluse from a small Scottish village, decided to audition for “Britain’s got Talent” last week, she did not expect to become an overnight sensation. For the handful who have yet to hear about her, I’ve included the audition clip. (if you’ve seen it, please scroll to the rest of the article – with a special bonus recording at the end)
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In less than a week, “Susan Boyle” is fast becoming a global house-hold name. At least anywhere there is an Internet connection. As of this morning YouTube videos alone of Boyle’s audition are topping a whopping 40 million hits – all combined, video clip distribution world-wide could easily reach into hundreds of million. Her Facebook Fan Page tops 323K fans and growing. This audition is reminiscent of last year’s Paul Potts sensation. Proving yet again, that the U.K. has many “diamonds in the rough” for the world to discover.
An Unassuming Life
You have to feel a bit sorry for Susan. She has lived a quiet, private life filled with personal trials. At 47, she has never married, “nor kissed”. She spent many long years caring for her ailing elderly parents, and being mercilessly teased by insensitive locals. She has lived in the same home, and slept in the same bedroom she was raised. Since her parents death, her only companion is her cat “Pebbles”.
Brave New World
At some point, this little lady chose to take a giant leap of faith out of her protective shell and into the big wide world. Furthermore, she ‘super-sized’ her leap. She actually decided to take a chance on singing for a large audience on live Television in front of three intimidating judges. That risk alone would have qualified as an amazing accomplishment worth celebrating! What followed, of course, makes the story even sweeter.
Susan has now been thrust into the bright glare of an all-out media frenzy! This week, I have viewed several of her subsequent interviews, including: CBS Early Show, and the BBC. Yesterday, she became the headline story on CNN.com. I sense she must be tiring of the same questions – and yet she continues to handle them with grace. Luckily, Susan also has been blessed with a sense of humor. It seems that if she can hold onto her true identity through all of the inevitible coaching , prepping, “make-overs”, and “re-inventing” to come, Boyle has a bright future ahead with limitless possibilities.
What makes Susan so appealing?
Yes, she has a beautiful voice. But there are many lovely singers in the world – some with far more experience & training, not to mention camera appeal, who never get “a break”. Thus, Susan must have something extra to offer. Here is my assessment:
Susan Boyle has become the heroine of the commoner.
Her life story of utter simplicity and basic mudane-ness resonates with all of us. She is ordinary. She could be you, or me. God has blessed her with an amazing talent which she was daring enough to share. Don’t we all have hidden talents we dream of sharing, but lack the courage, or keep procrastinating?
Perhaps Boyle will be the catalyst which so many have been waiting for.
The Lord appears to have a very exciting plan for Susan Boyle. I wish her a marvelous journey, and will certainly be rooting for her.
BONUS: Provided by the Daily Record. In 1999 Susan Boyle recorded a song for a charity CD. This was her first recording. Only 1,000 copies were made:
Interesting you should mention this – my wife just showed it to me last night. I think, and I hope, that such instances as this are waking up the world to see that there is more talent than what Broadway and Hollywood have to offer. Susan was an ordinary person with an ordinary life, and though she has had talent for decades, no one outside of her little area ever knew of that. That has changed.
I think the music, entertainment, and writing industries are experiencing a change like no other in history. The commoner can become great. Or more correctly, the great can finally share what God gave them to share.
Chas – thanks for all your great comments today. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. What is fascinating with these new hit “talent search” shows is that average people with above average talent are being given opportunities to be “discovered”. In turn, the average public is becoming more musically savvy. They are learning to listen, and to appreciate different styles and interpretations. Of course, these shows are produced by Hollywood, and thus still center on what “sells”, and what is “sensational”. However, I am hopeful that overall we are becoming a society which appreciates and supports the Arts.
For me, the lesson was much deeper than the beauty of her voice. If you noticed the audience and the judges expressions when she took the stage you might have observed a bit of cynicism. Simply because of her appearance she was quickly judged. What a great visual lesson on how important it is to look on the heart instead. When that beauty that was inside of her was shared with the world, those who may have been too quick to judge were compelled to stand upon their feet in admiration.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
I feel blessed to have seen her heart.
Doghouse – Amen
Thanks for the added insight into Susan. You can Become a Fan on Facebook. It’s fun to read all the comments there too!
Susan your voice is special, You truly have been blessed. We mere mortals listen in awe. Just wonderful. You have been very patient and this is your reward. God Bless
I think the best thing about the Susan Boyle story is just to see people starting to treat a daughter of God like a daughter of God. So many people have treated her poorly simply because she’s different. I saw on CNN that one of the local children said that “Simple Susan is a witch.” How lonely she must be, surrounded by the indifferent and merciless, without her loving parents, and separated from her siblings. But now she’s surrounded by those who adore her, not only because she has a beautiful voice, but because her story is encouraging and uplifting to all of us. I hope that she is never lonely again, and I hope that we can all learn to reach out a hand of love and fellowship to those who are different, whether or not they have great voices.
I remember seeing Rosemary Clooney in concert a few years before she passed away. There she was, greatly overweight, in her sixties and dressed in a shapeless mu-mu, but never did I hear anyone, except maybe Sinatra, with the ability to find and evoke the emotional center of a song so unerringly and movingly.
As I can attest from that performance, a song performed by someone of such talent is a transcendant, sublime experience. When that happens, the physical appearance of the singer means absolutely nothing.
From what little I’ve heard, it struck me that Boyle may have that same talent. I certainly hope so. In any event, I hope she receives the kind of sensitive coaching that allows that natural ability to flourish. I fear that she’ll be exploited and discarded when she no longer interests the fickle public.
Like each and every heroine on a fairy tale, Susan is yet to reveal her secret magic weapon, the only weapon she can rely on, her magical golden voice. The heroine opens her mouth and out came a magical voice so true that bring those scornful eyes into tears and humbled all the cynical who heard. It was clearly a triumph for an underdog who makes it against all odds. In her triumphs many individual dreams are getting realized and several will likely be much more willing to follow her lead.