The fan hype is now upon a certain Miss Susan Boyle of Scottish origins who before a week ago, remains an obscure church singer, a regular woman on the road you would not cast a second look at …. until her performance at “British Got Talent” that had Piers Morgan giving the biggest “Yes” he had to her throughout all three years of being in the show and even Simon Cowell, the infamously ruthless critic stared dumbfoundedly at her the moment she sang. That performance, now available on Youtube, has made her an instant celebrity with more than tens of millions of view hits.
Golden question: Why Susan Boyle?
There are hundreds and thousands of people who auditioned and hoped to get lucky in competitions like these. I may have laughed at some of the less-than-perfect auditions which were usually compiled into some sort of a rejects video but I had never doubted the amount of courage and conviction one must have had in order to take part and face the likelihood of becoming a public spectacle. The fact that I am comfortably ensconced in my office throne, watching their videos is a fact that these people already did more than me – they tried to make something out of their lives.
The only thing I cannot withstand is a confrontational after scene when the contender gets rejected. The cursing and all the “You-don’t-know-who-I-can-become” shouting turns ugly and whatever little respect I have for the person evaporates. The reason to why even the plainest people can command attention and respect from others or from me at least is because they have no illusions about themselves and they accept defeat graciously.
I don’t think we are so far past the age of remembering William Hung. Many people would remember him for the laugh-inducing audition in which he did Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs”. He became famous overnight. And although years down the road, many only remembered that he was a “joke” but I distinctly recalled that although I was not a fan, I admired him for a different reason. After brutal rejections given by the American Idols’ judges consisting of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, he replied “Um, I already gave my best, and I have no regrets at all.” No offense to William but even though he did not exactly exhibit talent the way Susan Boyle did but both of them did have one thing in common – they radiated the same positive energy towards the competition they were in.
William Hung wanted to give his best and live without regrets. Susan Boyle was urged by her ailing mother to sing for a bigger audience other than the church and I have no doubt that the reason why Susan gathered her beige skirts and marched up to the stage with her white matronly pumps was mainly due to her mother’s encouragement who knew her for who she was and had faith in who she can become or maybe that was her final act of generosity – to share Susan’s sweet and unassuming self with the rest of the world, to humble us.
I did not really know what to expect when I was watching the Youtube video but I was rooting the underdog. I wanted Simon Cowell to be taken aback, I wanted her to put the eye-rolling and heavily eyeliner-ed girl in the audience in place, I wanted her to render the jeering people speechless and choke in their throats. In short, I wanted her to be amazing.
And she was.
Amanda Holden, one of the “British Got Talent” judges could not better describe my feelings.
I am so thrilled because I know that everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical and I think that’s the biggest wakeup call ever. And I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that.
I read nasty remarks after about how people who applauded her performance are probably less than confident themselves. I just want to say that perhaps he/she is partially right. Susan Boyle lent hope to some who may have been experiencing dejection in turbulent times like these but Susan Boyle is not suffering from a lack of confidence the same way Paul Potts, a previous winner of “British Got Talent” who had been bullied in his younger days leading to self-esteem issue, did. In fact, she refused to change her appearance because she did not think it was a problem as long as she could sing beautifully. What Susan Boyle did do is to give a voice to the discriminated, restore faith in the underestimated, shone a ray of sunlight into those who had been jaded for too long and threw the judgmental people who believed only in the power of exterior beauty and first impressions offtrack.
Her voice resonated and vibrated in the audition hall with her artfully chosen rendition of Les Misérables’ “I Dreamed A Dream”. She exuded Clarity, Honesty and Hope. Today, I teared and found back a younger version of myself with the powers invested in me by a stranger of a woman whose voice traveled across lands and mediums to make me feel alright again as I remembered how my voice no longer rang true and pure as when I was young throughout the years of growing up. My smile dimmed to the hurting remarks made by people who thought themselves better than me and got the better of me. I lost my ambition, a desire to succeed, an ability to cry and optimism to the sharks-infested corporate world and Murphy’s Law.
When did you lose yours?
Download: Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream“.mp3