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Entertainment behind the scenes

Susan Boyle – Let the blame game commence

June 1, 2009

boyleSusan Boyle has been admitted to a private clinic in London after suffering from exhaustion, and, according to the Sun tabloid, an “emotional breakdown”. After capturing people’s imagination the world over in April¬†with her singing performance on “Britain’s Got Talent”, the 48-year-old Scot’s travails are headline news once again, at least in her home country. Predictably, the blame game has already begun, and following is a list of the main culprits in the whole saga, if press reports, commentators and pundits are to be believed:

1. The press: Some sections of the media, which had a big part in Boyle’s meteoric rise to fame, have apparently relished the chance to knock her off her perch. Those blaming the press point to reports late last week of Boyle throwing tantrums, of her threats to quit the show ahead of Saturday’s final and more generally of her inability to cope with the pressure.

2. The public: Rather like the press, the British public has also been blamed by some for wanting to bring Boyle down a peg or two. They did this in part by failing to vote for her on the night of the final, meaning she failed to win as expected.

3. The show: Should the show’s producers have seen this coming? Family members and others have criticised Britain’s Got Talent, aired on the commercial ITV channel, for not doing enough to support Boyle. According to Piers Morgan, one of the programme’s judges, Boyle had learning difficulties at school, which may have exacerbated the problem.

4. Susan Boyle: Britain’s Got Talent is a hugely successful format and anyone who enters the competition¬†will know that they may be watched by millions of viewers and could become overnight stars. In her defence, however, Boyle’s trajectory has probably been unprecedented in terms of the number of people tuning in to watch her on the Internet and the global reach of that following.


What a shame for poor Susan. She is a brilliant singer and some of the press and radio have torn her to shreds. I hope she is able to find a comfortable solution that brings her happiness. What a great pity it is there is so little charity in this world.

Posted by kate COttingham | Report as abusive

I don’t think that people should have made such a deal about “the way she looks.” To me, she looked like an ordinary middle-aged slightly overweight woman. I thought her eyebrows made her more adorable. How hurtful to be called, “the hairy angel.” She was honest enough to explain that she had “never been kissed,” ….how many people do we know who would admit that on TV? That was Susan, sweet and herself and natural with a beautiful smile and voice. There was a song in her heart to be sung to the world.

Then, on national TV and later in a blog, Piers invites her on a dinner date to “break the kissing duck,” when he already has a gf, in order to claim to be the first one to kiss her. This was unfair to Susan who already had a crush on Piers and was known to have been bullied throughout her life and have slight brain damage. It put her in a public spot over something so personal that she had no further comment.

According to one news website, bullies have thrown eggs at her home to try and cause Susan to become angry. I guess the tabloids are so cruel that they have to do the same to her.

As Susan’s song goes, “The tigers (sharks) come at night, … and they tear your hopes apart….” I think that was their intent. It was a game for them to see how far they could push a person with an amazing beauty to share with the world and try to turn it into something ugly and that would generate more money for their greedy pockets.


Personally I think Susan should have dropped out early. The pressure of instant fame and celebrity is often too much to cope with. Add the expectation to perform well and win can push one over the edge. She reached the top and it was becoming obvious she wasn’t able to cope very well even with professional help. It was the right time to end her involvement in the show to keep her sanity. The press would have criticized her, but the story would have died in a few days.

Susan would have cashed in early and the pressure would have been off or lessened to manageable levels. Many enjoy her singing and story, so she could have a nice career. Hopefully she will recover fully and begin her new career or at least record one or two albums.

BGT certainly knew what talents they had from the auditions before the editing began. They could have easily moved Susan to one of the later audition shows. But the temptation to start off the season/series with a big bang to generate ratings for the show and network is too much to resist and frankly it was a good business decision. No one could have predicted what an international celebrity Susan would become and all the YouTube views of her audition.

Entering reality talent show like BGT is a big gamble if you are really talented. The exposure could be a big break or end up being a surreal existence where one isn’t in control of their lives anymore.

Posted by Lawrence | Report as abusive

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