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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Susan Boyle, Girl Singer

Wonder who'll play Susan Boyle in the movie?

She does have an excellent voice. Couldn't hear it all that well in the video, what with the screaming and such from the crowd, though.

You know what I've noticed, in the many times I've watched the video? (The seven-something-minute version is the best to get the full effect.) I keep going back and correcting myself each second.

I admit, the first time I got pointed to the video, I just watched the first part. And I thought, "This is just another time the folks of the Interweb have found an ordinary person to ridicule." So I stopped, and didn't watch the rest.

Tonight, I went back and actually watched her and heard her sing. I was expecting to watch a trainwreck. Then there was that split second when I thought, "Gee, she's really pretty good." "But she's not really that good." "No, wait, she is that good." Repeat the last two sentences for the duration for her performance.

There's the moment when Simon Cowell raises his eyebrows, quite deliberately, I think. But look at his eyes just before his eyebrows go up. That was when I knew this was the real deal for him. And other folks have pointed out his silly grin later on. Fine, that was there. But if you look at his eyes, you can sort of see the gears turning in his money-grubbing lil heart, god love the bastard. She'll get a decent chance at things, I'm thinking.

These sorts of shows are more like winning the lottery than earning a career. Nothing wrong with winning the lottery; I'd like to try that myself, sometime. ;-)

She was a hit because of flawless choice of music, and a rather ordinary appearance that belied her talent, and a pretty decent voice, as far as I could tell. People applauded and cried (me included) for the story as much as the singing, and out of surprise certainly, but also out of identification. Every time I watch the video, I realize she is a significant chunk better than I think she is when not watching. Singing is not just about voice talent, it's also about having the courage to exercise that talent at the right moments, even when a million people are staring and you're scared to death.

Any of us who can sing a bit (me included) would like to believe in our secret hearts that we could do the same, given a chance. But most of us (me included) would never take the risk, at least not at that nationwide, and now worldwide, scale. She did, and she succeeded. Good for her! And now the rest of us aging karaoke-celebrities have no excuses anymore. ;-)

She's really pretty good. Is she That Good? One hopes so, with real training which (as far as I know) she's never received. Luckily, the show is Britain's Got Talent, not Britain's Got Training. She's got enough singing talent to get in the door, and she's got enough raw stage-presence-type talent to get her the training she needs, and an opportunity to go the rest of the way.

Now that she's got this chance, I wonder how she'd have done as an indie artist doing Creative Commons recordings. I suppose we'll never know. But good for her, getting this chance. I hope we continue to hear about the ongoing Saga of Susan Boyle, Girl Singer.

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