Billing it as “Susan Sings For America,” CBS’ Early Show interviewed Scottish instant-singing-sensation Susan Boyle this morning. The 47 year-old sang an a capella version of “I Dreamed a Dream” via satellite from her hometown of Blackburn, Scotland. It was, of course, lovely.
Dressed in a simple white dress, Boyle was as charming as she seemed on Britain’s Got Talent. “The ones who were mean to me, are now nice to me,” she said referring to skeptics who didn’t think a person not as glamorously packaged as your average pop star could wow audiences with pure ability and emotion.
In an interesting touch, the Early Show had Patti LuPone, who originated the performance of “Dream” in Les Miserables, on the phone to offer both emotional and technical praise to Boyle. LuPone talking about how “difficult” the song is to sing, “especially at the end,” referring to its rafter-shaking climax. LuPone congratulated Boyle on her “pluck.” Asked by co-host Harry Smith what LuPone’s compliments meant to her, Boyle said simply, “That’ll do.”
It is exactly that simplicity and directness that has helped to melt away any cynicism and irony that usually attaches to an instant pop phenomenon. Smith and co-host Maggie Rodriguez had to ask inevitable questions such as “Do you understand” that instant fame, and “Where did the courage come from?”
Boyle said her determination to enter the British TV competition, and her performance, was “a tribute to my mother,” with whom Boyle lived until she died recently.
Once again, there was talk — among the hosts, and by LuPone — of crying at witnessing Boyle’s unadorned, powerful talent. And once again, everyone seemed to be speaking from the heart. Most of all Susan Boyle herself.
Did you watch? What did you think of Boyle’s Early Show appearance?