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International Sensation - Susan Boyle



If you have yet to see this clip from Britain's Got Talent, (click here,) you may be one of the few remaining world citizens.  Susan Boyle, with over 3 million views (and still climbing) for her BGT debut, has stepped literally overnight from obscurity into fame.  And bravo.  From the thunderous explosion of applause after Susan's first line, to the audible gasp of surprise I emitted during my first viewing, we recognize that we have stumbled across a moment in our human experience that will stay with us for quite some time.  Unexpected, to say the least, Susan's vocal timbre instantly quells the rolling eyes, the smug whispers of audience members caught on tape during Susan's quirky answers to questions during the judges' initial interview.  It's not only the shock of these two very different selves emerging from this one person, but the delight in discovering something astoudingly beautiful in a very unexpected vessel.  In Susan's performance, perhaps even in Susan herself, we experience something so incredibly human - the hope of a happy ending, after years of what we can assume to be disappointing mediocrity.  Part of this illusion is created by her brilliant song choice, I Dreamed a Dream.  In Susan's persona, demeanor, appearance, we easily perceive a potential Fantine.  We enter into a bigger story.  In these three minutes of song, all of Fantine's sufferings, despair, and failings are thrust onto the person of Susan Boyle, and in the same three minutes, Susan's success can somehow, in some small way, redeem a part of Fantine's plight.  Every part of us that has ever known even a taste of the sufferings contained in Hugo's Fantine character, suddenly stand to applaud for Susan's victory, to overcome this tiger in the night, to live the dream, rather than curse ever dreaming something better at all.  This all seems a bit over the top, but that is part of the unique journey Susan offered to us in her audition.  This is the hope of humanity, bottled in a moment of time.  Somehow the success of this unemployed, never-been-kissed, taunted by neighboring children, 47 year-old woman with a cat named Pebbles matters to us all.  Good luck to you, Susan/Fantine, whoever you are. 
-rkc

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