I Can't Get Enough of That Susan Boyle Woman
Many moons ago, I blogged about not being able to stop watching that clip on Dancing with the Stars where Marie Osmond fainted (the post was titled "I Can't Get Enough of Marie Osmond Fainting.") People called me out, saying I was a "sick pervert" and that I represented everything that was wrong with our world.
So would it make y'all feel any better if I told you that I keep watching that clip of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent? Like, three-or-four-times-in-a-row-every-single-day since-I-first-heard-about-it kind of watching? Oh, and I cry each time. Does this redeem me? Please say yes.
With everyone from Salon to Huffington Post writing long articles about the event and trying to figure out what it all means, let me sum it up for you in a sentence or two.
We're a totally sexist, ageist world that simultaneously loves a good
underdog story, so all the better if the underdog is an older woman.
Plus, we're in the middle of a fucking recession the likes of which
have not been seen in decades. Susan Boyle might as well be Betty Boop,
trying to cheer us up out of the doldrums with her little hip shake and
So that's why it's so popular. Case closed. But even though I have deconstructed The Susan Boyle Clip like any good liberal-arts major would after a couple of gin and tonics, I can't stop watching it over and over. The way she talks about her cat, Pebbles. The way she says -- so earnestly -- that she is going to "make that audience rock." The way she shuffles off at the end, modestly unaware of what she's just done. The lady's got talent, but she's also got spunk and heart.
Of course the back story -- the dying mother, the lost years of what could have been, the song itself (could there be a more perfect choice than "I Dreamed a Dream"? Nope.) -- all of it connects to create an easily digestible nugget of bittersweet joy that is so perfect and so needed for these times. So I'm gonna keep on watching.
Thank you, Susan Boyle. You are much better than Marie Osmond fainting. Much better.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.