Thursday, April 16, 2009

Susan Boyle - From Anonymity To Stardom In The Blink Of An Eye

Just who is Susan Boyle? That's a question on the minds of many just days after she rose like a phoenix on Britain's Got Talent. A more unlikely star in the making would be hard to find. A middle aged woman, with no great style or distintive look, yet dressed in her Sunday best, she walked onto the stage and ultimately into the hearts of millions on that fateful Saturday April 11, 2009.

It was painful to watch the early moments of her interview with Simon Cowell as snickers and rolled eyes greeted her, from the judges and audience alike. I cringed as she stood bravely, facing the disbelief etched in the faces of the as yet uninitiated. The last time I felt this intensity of emotion was when Paul Potts metaphorically slipped out of his cell phone salesman persona and into the regalia of the anointed on his fateful night just two short years ago. I wanted her to be good. I wanted us all to be bigger than we are and not judge by appearances alone. Then the music began to swell.

As the richness of sound filled the suddenly quiet auditorium, the mellifluous tones emanating from this unlikely source at once turned a jeering crowd into wildly applauding fans and insured Susan Boyle's rise to exalted heights. There were tears in my eyes as she masterfully performed "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables. It was a defining moment, both for her and for me, though I'm not alone in this. Standing before us was "Rocky." We wanted to cheer her on. This was one of us, just an ordinary person getting a chance to live her dream . . . a one in a million chance.

But who is this person? Bits and pieces of her life begin to emerge as we search for background. She's an almost 48 year old woman from West Lothian, Scotland, who to date has lived a totally unspectacular, if sometimes painful life. She is unmarried, cared for her mother until her death and lives with a cat named Pebbles. We see the makings of a Cinderella story. There's no doubt we want more. Her YouTube video has been watched over an unbelievable 11 million times in a few short days. She's being interviewed on both sides of the Atlantic, giving an a capella rendition of I Dreamed A Dream on CBS early this morning. Without benefit of musical accompaniment one could appreciate it was no fluke, her rising to sudden fame.

I for one eagerly await her next performance as this very talented lady emerges from her chrysalis into the bright star she is destined to become.

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