Susan Boyle astonished the judges at the auditions for ITV1 show Britain's Got Talent with her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.
Her eccentric ways and less than polished appearance drew sniggers from the audience when she first appeared on the stage, but they were mesmerised from the moment she broke into song and gave her a standing ovation.
Simon Cowell pronounced her voice "extraordinary" and Amanda Holden was reduced to tears by hearing her sing. Fellow judge Piers Morgan said the performance was "without a doubt the biggest surprise I have had in three years of this show".
Miss Boyle, who does charity work for her local church in Bathgate, West Lothian, idolises Elaine Paige. "I'm trying to be a professional singer. I've never been given the chance before," she said. She is already one of the favourites to reach the final of the series, which begins on Saturday evening. She lives alone with her cat, Pebbles, and admits she has "never been married, never been kissed" - although stardom may change all that.
Her story invites comparisons with Paul Potts, the unassuming mobile phone salesman who won the first series of Britain's Got Talent in 2007. He has become the most internationally successful reality show winner in history, scoring a number one album in 15 countries.
Video click here.
Susan Boyle recording of Cry Me A River uncovered
A recording made ten years ago by the unlikely Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle has been uncovered. The sudden singing star’s spokeswoman confirmed that an emotional recording of Cry Me A River which hit YouTube late last night is the 48-year-old Scot.
She reportedly covered the blues ballad for a charity album in 1999, partly funded by the tiny Whitburn Community Council in West Lothian, where she lives. Only 1,000 copies of the CD were pressed.
The shy singer has also been offered $1million from an adult entertainment company to lose her virginity on camera. The company has already set up a website, SusanBoyleXXX.com, where fans can vote for various possible movie titles.
If Boyle were to accept the offer, the firm would fly her out to Los Angeles on -- natch -- Virgin Airlines.
The LA Times reports that there's only one hitch: "The offer only lasts for a week. As company President Mark Kulkis so delicately put it: "We want to get this movie shot and out while Susan has the world's attention. Besides, after 47 years of virginity, I'm sure Susan is also anxious to get something cracking as soon as possible."
During the taping, Boyle also nailed a verse of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Check it out below:
UPDATE: 31 May 2009
Susan Boyle loses out to street dancers in final
Street dancers Diversity were the surprise winners of television contest "Britain’s Got Talent" on Saturday, beating favorite Susan Boyle who became an Internet phenomenon and global celebrity after appearing on the show. Boyle was runner-up, but so overwhelming were the betting odds in her favour that the result was seen as a major surprise.
he troupe, which includes three sets of brothers and comes from southeast England, won 100,000 pounds ($160,000) and the right to take the stage at the Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen.
Of the 10 finalists, Diversity were the bookmakers’ sixth favourite to win going into the show, but their acrobatic performance choreographed by 20-year-old Ashley Banjo was described by judge Simon Cowell as "utter perfection“.
"If I had to give marks on that, that is the only performance tonight I would want to give a 10 to,“ Cowell said after their performance.
48-year-old Susan Boyle, an unemployed church volunteer from Scotland who once joked she had never been kissed and has been described by newspapers as "frumpy“ and a "hairy angel“, was the antithesis of what many considered a celebrity to be.
Yet her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream“ from "Les Miserables“ in April was downloaded on the Internet more than 150 million times and made her a household name.
Film crews camped outside her home in the small town in Scotland where she lives alone with her cat, tabloid reporters followed her every move and she appeared on U.S. chat shows hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Larry King.
The pressure appeared to tell this week, when she threatened to pull out of the show and had an altercation with journalists. In his blog, judge Piers Morgan wrote: "Let me tell you now, there is a downside to fame. People start criticising you, sniping at you, trying to trip you up, belittle you, harass you.
He said Boyle had learning difficulties after being deprived of oxygen at birth, and was nicknamed "Simple Susan“ at school.
"I am calling today for everyone to just give her a break.“
Boyle sang I Dreamed a Dream again on Saturday, and while her rousing performance was warmly received, it was not enough.
"You’ve had a weird seven weeks and you had every right to walk away from this and you could have walked away,“ Cowell said after she sang. "You can walk away from this, win or lose, with your head held high, Susan. I absolutely adore you.“
Boyle, who praised Diversity after the public telephone vote was announced, said earlier in the show that the whole experience had been "well worth it.
"The pressure put on me has been overwhelming. I’ve got to put that aside now. When I step on that stage tonight it’s the accumulation of 40 years of dreaming.“
Despite not winning Britain’s Got Talent, Boyle is widely expected to land a lucrative recording contract as a result of her global fame and impressive voice.
UPDATE: 1 JUN 2009
Susan Boyle rushed to hospital after breakdown
British internet singing star Susan Boyle has been admitted to a private clinic after being beaten into second place in the final of the popular "Britain's Got Talent" television contest, British media reported. A police spokesman confirmed that officers had been called to a London hotel "to doctors attending a woman under the mental health act". But according to the Sun newspaper, she suffered an "emotional breakdown" at her hotel in London on Sunday.
UPDATE: 29 DEC 2009
29 December 2009,
The 48-year-old church volunteer who rocketed to fame with her surprising performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” arrived at Tokyo’s international airport on Tuesday to prepare for a guest appearance on Japan’s premier vocal variety show, which will be aired live on New Year’s Eve by Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.
Boyle smiled broadly as she greeted a mob of photographers at the airport, but declined a request for an impromptu song, saying her fans would have to wait for the NHK show.
She is scheduled to sing her trademark “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables.
The NHK program, now in its 60th year, showcases the most popular singers of the year. Most of its guests are Japanese.
Boyle was runner-up in the British talent show, but her performance became a hit on YouTube and made her one of the biggest international celebrities of the year, with more than 120 million views.