> Why Susan Boyle?

While I keep it mainly under wraps, folks who are close to me know that you can find me trolling YouTube on weekends to find out a little bit about American Idol. I’m sick that way.

Thanks to my blogger friends, I instead spent more time than I’d like to admit watching the Scottish Susan Boyle unexpectedly bringing the house down on Britain’s Got Talent, a show both infinitely crueler and more humane than AI.

Perhaps it’s the sweeping overly-melodramatic song choice that appears to map to life, the unexpected tone that just flies out over the crowd, or the charm and bathos created by the odd pre-interview and the tension from the moment she walks on stage that she will fail: like so many on the net, I’ve been a bit addicted to this video.

I was stunned for the same reason the talent show judges were stunned, the same reason the audience was stunned, the same reason Internet viewers were stunned, and the same reason bloggers were stunned. None of us expected this magnificent voice to come from a [sorry to use the word] frumpy 47-year-old, soon to be 48, unemployed woman.

Susan Boyle’s choice of song, I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables was brilliant. Her song exemplified her life’s dream of becoming a professional singer. This choice also showed her amazing range of voice. I have watched the video 15 times and each time I pick up on a different nuance. Look carefully at Susan’s face just before she starts to sing and you see a fleeting smile, a smile that says “I have something special to share with you.”

Her rendition of the song is a “grabber,” to say the least. But I think there is more to this story. I think Susan Boyle exemplifies hope — hope for the person who has lost a job, hope for someone who is getting a divorce, hope for caregivers who face daunting tasks, hope for parents with dreams for their children. Susan Boyle said she applied to the talent show in the hope of becoming a professional singer. Though I cannot speak for the show judges, I think they felt the hope of Susan’s song.

As the camera pans the faces of audience members, you see astonishment in their faces and, it seems to me, you also see hope. Thankfully, I found hope again. Because I found hope I cried when I heard Susan Boyle sing.

Bloggers have cried, too, and I think hope is behind these tears. We all have dreams we dreamed. Susan Boyle was living her dream as she sang. Perhaps she sang for all of our unrealized dreams — dreams we have worked for, waited for, and hope will come true. I am grateful to Susan Boyle for sharing her voice, her dream, and herself with the world.


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