Monday, April 20, 2009

Cynicism meets Susan Boyle

I've just listened to Susan Boyle on YouTube and I have to say, I am utterly ashamed of myself.

Let me explain.

I log on to my Yahoo and there is a picture of her and a snippet of news about her surprise performance on "Britain's Got Talent" show. Now, I'm not one to check out the hottest gossip or the most popular searches on YouTube, so I had no idea of what I was in store for. However, what sparked me to click on this article I have to say, was her level of beauty.

Or, lack thereof.

I wanted to see what all the commotion was about. I was curious to see why America was making such a big deal over this rather unattractive middle-aged woman. I assumed that since it was a talent show, that she must have bombed miserably and the media was turning her into a national laughing stock.

William Hung comes to mind.

I am ashamed to say that my voyeuristic tendencies got the best of me.

I click on the link and what I get is a pre-recorded song of "Cry me a River" from ten years ago. That didn't satisfy me. I wanted to see the actual clip of what the hub-bub was all about.

So I type in "Susan Boyle" on YouTube and up pops this link :

I watch.

I hope you do too. It will change your perspective. It will bring you to tears. Hopefully it will make you ashamed of yourself as well.

She comes out, looking kinda dorky, a bit clumsy, but at the same time; confidant. Strong.
The audience laughs. She is undisturbed by the laughter. I can tell she believes in herself.

She gives her name and her age. Does a silly little dance. The audience laughs and rolls their eyes. Simon Cowell, turns to the other judges and makes a bit of a gagging face.

She says that she wants to be like a famous singer of whom I'm not familiar with. The judges and audience snicker. I snicker.

She is still undeterred. Calm even.

She then tells the judges what she will be singing. Everyone including me is waiting for her to fail.

How cynical.

What happens next is what I feel is a miracle. A higher power slapping us all in the face with the old saying "Don't EVER judge a book by its cover."

They cue the music. It's a beautiful song from Les Miserables.

She begins.

My jaw drops.

It is the most beautiful voice that I have ever heard. And certainly never in a million years would have expected it.

Nobody does.

She hits every note effortlessly. Perfect pitch, even tempo.


I am blown away. I begin to well up, amazed at what I am seeing and hearing.
The expressions on everyones faces are just like mine. Incredibly shocked and in total disbelief.

There is a influx in my emotions. I am ashamed of myself and proud of her at the same time.

I can't remember when I've had an experience that has given me such an emotional reaction.

Then I find myself being proud of her as if she is someone I am friends with. I am screaming inside, "GOOD FOR YOU! YOU SHOW THEM!" "How dare they judge you!"

But then I think, I am one of those who judged and scoffed as the audience did when she walked on stage. I am ashamed of myself for judging her on her looks alone. I thought I was above that.

She showed me. She showed the entire world, damn it.

I can't hold back the tears. She is magnificent. I watch as the video shows the faces of the judges, the audience. Every single one of them in complete awe and on their feet.

She continues to sing, unaffected by everyones reaction. It's like she doesn't see anyone. she is enthralled with her own performance.

She is whole. Satisfied. At home.

She finishes, thanks them and immediately starts to walk off stage as if they were going to kick her off anyway.

She is modest. She thanks the judges and is even shocked by their comments on her performance.


With one act of just going out and trying, with no sense of insecurity or self-doubt, going after what she wants with total disregard to what anyone has to say about her.

How lucky is she? Very.

She is lucky because she went after what she wanted regardless her age, looks, body shape, or style. She disregards anyone who snickers or gags at her or her dream. She stands strong in her beliefs.

How many of us have the strength to do that? Not many. We are cynical. We tell ourselves we are too old, or too fat or thin, too ugly, or not intelligent enough. We listen to the nay-sayers and the people who snicker at us. We believe them. We cower in fear. Believing that they are right, and we are wrong, we stop trying to persue our dreams for surely they must know better, right?


Susan Boyle defied all of that. She stood before us tall and strong and proved all of us wrong.

It's amazing how much of an impact one person can make on a nation. Good or Bad.

This time, it's good.

Real good.

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