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Singer Shatters Expectations With Her Talent And Confidence
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 21, 2009

BLACKBURN, SCOTLAND--We've all seen that "look" before.

You know, the look people have when they're sure they will have to endure something awful to get to the good stuff.

When Susan Boyle stepped onto the stage at "Britain's Got Talent" on Easter Sunday, members of the live studio audience were seen rolling their eyes, frowning and giving each other that look. On the YouTube video of the show, one can hear the crowd's snickers when Susan tells the show's judges that her dream is to be a professional singer.

The three judges of the British version of "American Idol" seemed ready to toss out the "frumpy" 47-year-old contestant with no more than a polite, yet condescending, "Thank you for your time, Miss".

Then Susan started singing.

And everything changed.

Especially the looks on the faces of the panel of judges.

Piers Morgan sat up straighter, beamed and clapped. Amanda Holden's jaw dropped. Even Simon Cowell -- known for his brutally cutting remarks -- raised his eyebrows, cradled his chin in his hands, and smiled softly.

Several times as Susan sang "I Dreamed A Dream" from the musical Les Miserables, the audience rose to their feet in applause.

Three minutes later, after the song was over, Morgan told Susan: “Without a doubt, that is the biggest surprise I have had in my three years of this show."

He gave her "the biggest ‘yes’ I have ever given to anybody.”

Holden said, "I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you . . . I just want you to know it was a complete privilege to listen to you."

Crowell grinned as he told Susan her voice was "extraordinary".

The night was extraordinary, especially when you consider that -- except for singing in her small church choir -- this was Susan's first time on stage.

Since that night, British news accounts have reported that Susan has had a difficult life. Her brain was damaged from a lack of oxygen when she was born. She has a "learning disability", which is the term used in the United Kingdom and many other countries for what is called an "intellectual" or "developmental" disability in the United States. As a child, she was teased and bullied because she was different.

Now, she is considered the favorite to win the TV competition for this season.

And, she is being approached by a number of singers, including her own idol, Elaine Paige, to record professionally.

“Most mornings I wake up with a smile," Susan told ABC TV's Diane Sawyer last week. "I can’t believe it has happened."

Related:Susan Boyle -- Britain's Got Talent 2009 (YouTube)
Susan Boyle's 'discovery' at age 47 is reminder we should pursue our dreams (Kalamazoo Gazette)
As Susan Boyle lives her dream, what have we learned? (Chicago Tribune)
Susan Boyle's first ever song release revealed (The Daily Record)
Idol hopeful from Britain has learning disabilities (The Examiner)
Susan Boyle's world suddenly gets a lot bigger (Journal News)

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