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Susan Boyle: America, what's your problem?

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Bowieboyle_lThe phenomenal popularity of Britain’s Got Talent competitor Susan Boyle, and the furor over the disparity between her angelic voice and her “homely” appearance, has got me thinking, oddly, about David Bowie. I interviewed the Thin White Duke a few years back, asking him such questions as, “Is Mick Jagger a good kisser?” (Answer: “You’d have to ask someone else.”) While Bowie was in highly entertaining form, all I could think during the encounter was, “That damn fool has gotten his teeth fixed!” Bowie, you see, was famous for having a set of “gnashers” that looked like an untended graveyard after a nuclear holocaust. Yet here he was, telling tales with a set of teeth that made me wish I had worn dark glasses.

As someone from the UK myself (and as someone whose own dental work appears to have been conducted by Mike Tyson’s fist) this came as a big disappointment. Britain is a country with a history of producing music stars more talented than toned, or even possessing of the right number of teeth. Look at Elton John, who even in his ’70s heyday didn’t exactly set female hearts a-flutter (of course, that actually worked out okay for him in the end). Or Van Morrison, who briefly toyed with early svelteness before becoming the shape and size of the moon (yes, Van the Man was raised in Northern Ireland, across the water from England, but you’re basically talking about the same diet and dental plan). More recently, the UK has given birth to such female singers as Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lily Allen, all of whom have enjoyed global acclaim but none of whom spend too much time working on their six-packs (unless said six-packs have “beer” written on them).

Okay, so Susan Boyle is not going to be confused with Miley Cyrus or Christina Aguilera anytime soon. But to me, that’s not a source of hilarity (thank you, Jay Leno!) but of national pride. Well, maybe not pride, exactly. But you get my point…

So, what do you think Music Mixers? Are British music stars less conventionally attractive (but maybe a smidge more actually talented) than their American counterparts?

More on Susan Boyle:
Susan Boyle interview: ‘I’m happy the way I am’
Susan Boyle recording of ‘Cry Me a River’ surfaces on YouTube
Piers Morgan on Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle: How attractive does a pop star need to be?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
‘Hannah Montana’ holds six spots on the Billboard Hot 100
Flight of the Conchords get laughs, smash things at Radio City Music Hall
EW’s 50 Most Heartbreaking Songs of All-Time
Coachella ’09 Friday: Paul McCartney Burns Slow

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