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Susan Boyle lends 'America's Got Talent' a little class

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Shameless in its feel-good prodding, America’s Got Talent broke out a montage of patriotic visuals laid over a series of contestants. As dancers wiggled and singers reached for high notes, the American flag, Mt. Rushmore, and the Lincoln Memorial wafted across the screen as well. We got the idea: you’re doing your civic duty watching this show instead of that heathen So You Think You Can Dance.

The show’s final segment Wednesday night — doubtless taped for the Today show but inserted into prime-time to help AGT‘s already-strong ratings — was Meredith Vieira’s interview with Boyle. The singer remains a bit nonplussed by her success. So in addition to replaying some of the quotes we’d heard during the Today show (that instant fame was “like a demolition ball, the impact”), the producers gave her a couple of surprises. One was a taped message by one of her idols and, she said, “main influences,” Donny Osmond. He offered to remake his early-career hit “Puppy Love” as a duet with Boyle. And Boyle’s British singing idol, Elaine Paige, came onto the set to a startled Boyle, who said she was “gobsmacked” to meet the star.

We saw a snippet of film of Boyle in a recording studio. Vieira said she’d heard rumors that the album, due for release in the fall, wouldn’t be “all show tunes,” Boyle was mum about any further details. Yes, the segment was slight. But it was also charming, and a nice, calm coda to AGT‘s hyped-up hoopla.

Did you watch?

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