Susan Boyle loses Britain’s Got Talent despite being “the biggest star on the planet”

Worldwide favorite Susan Boyle lost Britain’s Got Talent Saturday night, defeated by a dance group called Diversity, who range in age from 12 to 25. They managed to make Simon Cowell smile in their creative and engaging audition, so anyone who can do that is definitely talented. He said he’d “never seen dance … so entertaining.”

Clearly, though, she’s its breakout star, and will have plenty of opportunities as a result. If there’s any indication of her popularity, it’s that most of us outside of the UK haven’t heard of Diversity, and all of the headlines about the finale (including mine) focus on her loss, not their win. In her final performance, she sang the same song that sent her to instant stardom, “I Dreamed a Dream,” although she sounds noticeably different (better? more confident?):

The loss came at the end of a rough week for Susan Boyle, who “was interviewed by police … after she went beserk in the lobby of north London’s Wembley Plaza Hotel at two strangers she claimed were out to ‘wind her up’,” The Sun reported. The previous day, she “had another meltdown in the hotel’s bar after watching judge Piers Morgan tell rival Shaheen Jafargholi he had given the ‘best singing performance so far’,” and reportedly screamed at the TV for them to “fuck off,” although she denies that. She also reportedly wanted to quit the show.

Judge Piers Morgan came to her defense on his blog, writing that “there is a downside to fame. People start criticising you, sniping at you, trying to trip you up, belittle you, harass you,” and saying his “heart absolutely bleeds for the poor woman.” Piers said the reports “made me very, very angry” because “Susan Boyle is a very kind, generous-hearted, lady who has had a pretty tough life,” who “was generally considered by everyone who met her to be a genuinely lovely person. Albeit, one with a lively, feisty character, and a wonderfully eccentric sense of humour.”

He noted that her initial audition has now been viewed on YouTube more than any other video ever, and “[b]ecoming the biggest star on the planet so fast is a scary, unsettling, upsetting thing, as Susan has discovered. Let the increasingly unpleasant bitching and carping stop, right now. Please. She doesn’t deserve it.”

SuBo threatens to quit BGT [The Sun]
In Defence of Susan Boyle [Piers Morgan]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.