Log in

No account? Create an account


Britain's Got Standards

Not really AI news, but related: I finally got a chance to catch up with Susan Boyle, the dowdy middle-aged churchwoman who blew the living shit out of the competition on Britain's Got Talent. The woman's got pipes straight from Heaven, no doubt about it, the kind of voice that can make you tear up just by hearing it. But a big part of the pleasure in watching her was seeing how the audience and the judges -- who were obviously laughing at her, rolling their eyes and sneering at her goofy demeanor and frumpy appearance -- instantly galvanized from negative to positive the first few notes of her performance. The judges, including the ever-unflappable Simon Cowell, were absolutely dumbstruck and the audience went from openly sniggering at her to cheering her like she was the second coming in the space of a minute.

I think the press is highly overselling the idea that she represents some kind of sea change where the general public is suddenly going to stop being shallow and obsessed with looks, but it's definitely good to see, every once in a while, someone who's genuinely rewarded for their abilities despite their appearance or circumstance. Boyle gave the performance of a lifetime, cramming an ocean of sadness into an already sad song and then delivering it with unfettered joy -- it's truly one of the great pop moments I've ever witnessed, and knowing that mainstream audiences can still respond to that in massive numbers is a good sign.


Apr. 20th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
No, not at all -- he's frequently mentioned in the press about her. I think the major differences are that (a) she's a pop singer, which means she's operating in a much more looks/youth-oriented sphere than someone who sings opera and (b) she's a woman, and they're allowed to be unattractive far less often than are men.
Apr. 20th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Weird...that was me. I dunno why it signed me out.
Apr. 20th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Also, if you watch Potts' first time on the show, there's no derisive wolf whistle, no eye-rolling, none of the "not cute" shaming that Boyle got. Also, I am the only person on the planet who doesn't think she is particularly "fat." I mean next to Paris Hilton, yeah, but ... no.
Apr. 20th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
I suppose, I just remember that in the Potts audition, he was STILL getting shine from that clover-faced lady judge. "You're just an ugly little duckling, aren't you?" kind of derision that persisted past his blowing their pants off ...


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

Latest Month

December 2016

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow