#33 – Dick Bernard: Susan Boyle goes back to her village

A reader comment follows this post.
Saturday night, May 30, 2009, Susan Boyle’s dream ended…or did it just begin?
In blogpost #8, published April 16,2009, I wrote about the astonishing clip I saw of this lady singing on Britain’s Got Talent competition in mid-April.  “The rest of the story” of that happening is accessible there.  Here’s the performance that led to the post:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY
The particular clip I reference has now been viewed over 65,000,000 times, the fifth most popular YouTube video ever.  There are people, like myself, who have watched it on numerous occasions.  I continue to watch it.
Now the dream has ended for Susan Boyle, or so goes the story.  Saturday night she came in second in the finals of the competition in England.  There will be a narrative that the clock has struck midnight on Cinderella, and she will fade into obscurity.  In our western society, which is trained from birth to revere winners and competition, Susan, while certainly not a loser, will now become an also ran, replaced by the inevitable next surprise sensation who will, for a time, capture the publics imagination.
Personally, I think that Susan really won by losing on Saturday night.  She really had nothing more to prove, and like most of us she was not accustomed to the life of celebrity into which she was thrust.
She had always wanted to perform on a big stage in front of a large audience, and she did, and she performed superbly.
For me, she will always be a winner, and I will go back to that clip of her on that English stage often, any time I need to be encouraged to keep on.
Back home she can (and I hope she will) attempt to resume a semblance of her former life, which was perhaps (as for most of us) not “exciting”, but manageable.  I hope she finds the job that she was looking for, something she likes, where she can come home to her cottage each evening.  I don’t wish for her a life on the road, as a performer.
It is said that we all deserve our fifteen minutes of fame.
Susan got far more than that, and likely far more than she expected.
Last evening, in a post-mortem of her loss in the finals, CBS evening news played a clip of the end of Susan’s dream.  They showed a young man holding a note written to him by Susan Boyle sometime in these last few weeks.  He had apparently written her, saying he liked her, and her short note said, apparently, that no one had told her they liked her before….
When it comes down to the end, this is where it’s at: we all need someone to like us, hopefully for who we are.  May we all be so blessed.
And may her Scottish village, and all villages, learn from her experience in the spotlight.  We are all parts of our own villages, but all of our villages are tied together in today’s world.  We are no longer and will never again be islands in isolation or independent from other communities.
Congratulations, Susan.
And a final note before I sign off on this “thread”: I found myself respecting Simon Cowall, and his fellow judges Piers and Amanda, as time went on.   No doubt Simon and the others are very astute business people and celebrities, but their warmth and humanity showed through in substantial bits and pieces I came across in following days and weeks.  Had I stuck with my initial sense of them, closing my book on their character after watching them judge Susan harshly when she came on stage that first evening, I would have missed another much more positive side of each of them.

1 reply
  1. Bob Barkley
    Bob Barkley says:

    I too admire all that Susan Boyle represents. But I am struck more and more by the powerful impact of music and what it does to and for the soul.
    I believe that it should be much more apparent in the world of education. As I watch my 11 1/2 month old granddaughter respond to music of all sorts, I realize that it has a natural influence on us.
    The beauty of Susan Boyle’s story is only enhanced by the presence of music in it.

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