Boylewatch: Lily Allen Is Right About The “Overrated” Susan Boyle

It takes a bigmouth like Lily Allen to step up and deflate the media worship of Susan Boyle:

“I thought her timing was off on Britain’s Got Talent on Sunday – no control, and I don’t think she has an amazing voice. She seems like a lovely lady, but if the show is about talent then that Shaheen kid should win.”

OK so maybe a woman who sings like this…

…shouldn’t be throwing stones at Susan Boyle.

But, you know what?

Lily Allen is right about Susan Boyle. Susan’s audition was charming and pleasantly surprising. She’s not without talent. However, she’s looking like a one-hit wonder. View Susan’s performance of “Memory” below:

It is clear to any honest person with ears: Susan Boyle should have been buzzed off on that first bum note.

People remark about how well she recovered from that bad note. She ended marvelously, they say.

But if Susan Boyle were on Showtime at the Apollo, she wouldn’t have had the chance to recover: you would have immediately heard a siren, and Sandman Simms would have been shuffling her off the stage.

But that would have been equivalent to throwing a match on a pile of money. And we know Simon likes his money.

After all, Susan Boyle helped bring 15.4 million British TV viewers to the semi-final, making it the most-watched episode of the show yet. People love her, and no one wants to be on the wrong side of the zeitgeist.

You see, there’s one standard of talent for the rest of the world, and then there’s the Britain’s Got Talent standard.

Simon Cowell often criticizes American Idol hopefuls for being too “karaoke,” but on Britain’s Got Talent, he embraces the contestants’ most amateurish efforts.

Perhaps I was wrong when I said this show was about uplift. It’s about condescension. Through applauding her modest performance, they have not only condescended to Susan Boyle, but they have condescended to viewers all around the world. Shouldn’t Britain expect better from its “talent”?

In other news:

  • Did Hugh Laurie begin the mass exodus of British actors heading to America? (Guardian)
  • David Tennant will extend his farewell as Doctor Who, appearing in two episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures in September.(Guardian)
  • Jude Law talks about playing Hamlet in the West End, adding that he identifies with the tortured character: “We’ve just been rehearsing the scene when Hamlet meets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and it’s all about defining who you can and can’t trust. That strikes a chord. I’m a lot more cynical now than I was. I used to have optimism and the belief that people would usually do the right thing and that has been somewhat tainted by experience, which I think mirrors Hamlet’s journey. He’s let down by people. “(Telegraph)
  • David Bowie‘s son, Duncan Jones, has directed the summer sci-fi release, MOON, which stars Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, and Skins star Kaya Scoledario.(NME)
  • Danielle Lloyd – model, disgraced beauty queen, and former race-baiting Big Brother contestant – needed “emergency plastic surgery” after a bar brawl with two women. Her boyfriend went to her aid, and, according to The Sun, “was dripping in Danielle’s blood after she was allegedly hurled through a glass table in a vicious 2 am catfight – sparked by two girls dancing on the back of a VIP sofa she was sitting on.” Sounds like what happened to Liberty in the final episode of Footballers Wive$, doesn’t it? (Watch that classic scene here.)
  • Quincy Jones has dropped Amy Winehouse from his tribute album, which is another sign her career may be beyond repair.(Mirror)
  • Morrissey: the new Amy Winehouse?(BBC)
  • Think Lily Allen was bold for taking on Susan Boyle? The Guardian‘s Kieron Tyler savages the legend of Eric Clapton: “Clapton is a serial borrower. He even borrowed Jimi Hendrix‘s hair in 1967, perming his barnet to emulate the recently-arrived guitar hero. Most of his 1970s hits were chugging, Mogadon-paced covers: Bob Marley‘s ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, Dylan‘s ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’. His creativity with Cream, such as ‘Strange Brew’, were collaborations. Left to Clapton, Cream would have played half-hour versions of Robert Johnson‘s ‘Crossroads.’ And the thrilling guitar on ‘Layla’ was played by Duane Allman.”
  • Will Tony Curtis see Joan Collins next Tuesday?(Daily Mail)
  • Katie Price will skip an appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.(BBC)
  • Rapper M.I.A. turned up on Real Time with Bill Maher.(Stereogum)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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