All these words have been thrown around pretty liberally in reference to Susan Boyle, the unassuming 47-year-old Scottish woman who bowled over Simon Cowell with her rendition of a Les Miz song on Britain’s Got Talent. Her clip went viral, and next thing you know, she’s got 11 million hits on YouTube and an endorsement from Patti LuPone herself on The Early Show (see clip above, and check out Ken Tucker’s take here).
Not to be a grump, but am I the only one who finds this a little over-the-top and, frankly, a little condescending? Plenty of big-voiced PYTs sing their hearts out every week on American Idol (not to mention onstage in Broadway shows) without getting this kind of reaction. But Susan, because of her looks, because of the fact that people were snickering at her before she opened her mouth, becomes a sensation simply by being able to carry a tune. She has a decent voice, sure. But let’s not get carried away. She’s no LuPone, and her talent is only really shocking if you’ve already counted her out as a squawker on account of her granny hairdo and pre-fame Julia Roberts eyebrows. Once the element of surprise is gone, we’re all going to be stuck with the fact that she’s a capable, but by no means extraordinary singer. And is that really worth all the fuss?
What’s your take, PopWatchers: Is Susan really a major talent, or are we all getting a little carried away?
More Susan Boyle:
Ken Tucker on Susan Boyle on CBS ‘Early Show’ appearance
Susan Boyle: Why we watch…and weep
Susan Boyle’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ audition gives Simon his second spontaneous ‘O’ of the week