Thursday, April 16, 2009

A random bit of inspiration from Britain's Got Talent

This is a clip from the April 11 Britain's Got Talent, their version of American Idol. Maybe you've seen it by now, it got a gazillion hits on YouTube. I usually consider show tunes about as enjoyable as doing my taxes, but I just watched it five times in a row. It's clear from the snickers and the eye rolls that people thought Susan Boyle, a 47-year-old volunteer church worker from Scotland, was a joke. All because of the way she looked. Then she blew them away. By now, the woman probably has a music contract and a book deal.

The whole thing got me thinking about how people sometimes make instant assumptions about Max, especially when he drools, holds his hands funny or looks... different. But when you get past that, the kid amazes you.

I hope he never stops amazing the world. BTW, he was mesmerized by this video. If he ever felt like belting out show tunes, I'd be OK with that.


  1. Kinda sad how it was just so 'shocking' to everyone how well Susan did. What ever happened to don't judge a book by it's cover? Why are people so quick to think less of people if they are different? Makes so sense, no sense at all.

  2. I always loved that song, "I Dreamed a Dream." It's not all that easy to sing, either, because you need a lot of range and a stong, clear voice, but doesn't Susan Boyle knock it out of the park? She's the female counterpart to Paul Potts who blew them away singing "Nessun Dorma."

    You know what I've noticed? The "trends"--be they fashion or just the way we live our silly old lives--often come from across that pond. Maybe the "trend" of being less critical of people, of being less superficial, of recognizing that everyone has something to offer, will drift across the water to our country, which, for all it's greatness, can sometimes be a little bit mean to people--especially the least of us--at times. I sure hope so, anyway.

  3. Hum, after many years of raising children with special needs, that could explain why I don't watch shows that's main purpose is to vote someone out or pick them apart. I did watch that video several times. Loved her voice and the look of shock on their smug faces.

  4. I just saw this in news (!) and although I didn't see the video yet, the whole thing made me feel funny. Keri put it nicely, above.

    That, or we have grown so accustomed to bronzed, boiled and moulded _products_ who happen to sing that when we see a _normal_ person do something extraordinary in public, we are astonished.

  5. Ellen...back again!!! I was listening to the radio and this book was recommended. I read this article about it and I am going down to the library this weekend to put my name on the list for it. It's called "A Different Life" and it is by the son of Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, named Quinn Bradlee who has a genetic disorder and is learning disabled. It looks like a good read, and you can guess why I'm interested in the topic. I thought maybe, if you're the type who likes to read on vacation, that you could pick this up and enjoy it poolside on your cruise!! Here's an excerpt from the article:

    He has written a refreshingly honest memoir, A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures (Public Affairs, $24.95), in which he talks about everything from his overprotective and hard-charging mother - "she can be a little high-strung at times" - to feeling as if he's always fighting an uphill battle.

    Bradlee's voice, both poignant and humorous, rings true, that of a young man struggling to figure out who he is and where he fits in.

    Socially awkward, he talks about how cruel kids can be and how girls rarely pay any attention to him. (He dictated his story to co-author Jeff Himmelman, who massaged Tim Russert's Big Russ and Me into book form.)

  6. Wow, she completely blew me away! I love it when people are not what you expect. It is those wonderful surprises in life that just make it worthwhile. Regan often surprises people who first meet her. I think they see her coming in her walker and just make assumptions. Yo should see the looks of surprise as they get to know her. I can't wait to share this clip

  7. She was absolutely wonderful. Why is it that the audience here seems to be convinced that anyone over the age of 25 can't sing? I mean, what do they think happens after 25? Do people's singing voices mysteriously disappear? Is that voice directly influenced by how well you wear clothes and makeup? Of course not.

    This woman reminded me of several we had in our church choir when I was growing up. Extraordinary voices, some of them had. I guess the difference is that they wouldn't have been caught dead on a TV show like this one. They probably would have marched down into the audience and grabbed the eye-rollers by the ears. Lord only knows what they would have thought of Simon.


  8. I heard this talked about on the radio and then watched it several times. It's a beautiful performance.

    I totally agree with Keri that it's sad that the great performance was such a 'shock'.

    I hope Susan can be the pin-up girl for a new generation who won't be so quick to mock or judge someone based on their appearance, age etc etc.

  9. Beautiful. Gave me chills actually. Like the climax of a great movie where the hero has overcome all obstacles and all is again right with the world. Thanks for posting the video.

  10. I'm with you on musicals. NORMALLY, but I could listen to that over and over again. Like Keri said its too bad that people judge a book by the cover, but yea for her for doing what she always wanted to do. Its too bad no one gave her a chance earlier in her life BECAUSE they judged. I don't know why but I got goosebumps after the first two notes and I was teary half way through!!
    She was incredible!

  11. Hey Ellen, I keep coming back to this topic--it really speaks to me, apparently.

    Guess what I just found out? Susan Boyle is developmentally delayed and has learning disabilities. She didn't get enough oxygen at birth, and she was bullied terribly as a child at school, and even later as an adult.

    It makes her performance all the more inspiring, to my mind.

  12. Felicia, I am similarly obsessed, and read the same article about her! Thx for posting it. I was also struck by the fact that she had learning disabilities. Makes her story all the more amazing. There's another song she recorded for a charity event in 1999 that's posted on YouTube, Cry Me A River. Here's the link!

  13. Ellen, I have heard that she is going to sing WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND for her semifinal performance (not taking the easy way out, is she?). She's such an inspiration--it really does give me hope that any kid can do anything when I watch her persevere!

    I heard that charity record--stunningly good, wasn't it? It's a miracle no one figured out how good she was way back then--I guess they only made a thousand of them, so the distribution was quite limited.

    I can't wait for the "next installment" of her story--I'm hoping she's the one that wins the prize and gets to perform for the Queen!

  14. Wow, that is a wonderful reminder not to judge by appearances. I will definitely be sharing this one


Thanks for sharing!

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