I've been away—thanks, BurbMom, for holding down the fort—and have tons to share, but first this: I was in such need of recharging last week, hence the short getaway, and returned to good news from the unlikeliest source: The reality show, Britain's Got Talent. Like most reality shows, it's a hotbed of embarrassment and ridicule, where wannabes entertain TV watchers at their own expense. (Think American Idol's audition episodes.) Simon Cowell's even a judge.
So a 47-year-old woman named Susan Boyle who admitted she'd "never been kissed" sang before the judges recently. In the preamble, she was sweet but awkward, and her attempts at flirting seriously bombed. She said she wanted to be like Ellen Page, who belts out a song seemingly effortlessly. Her song choice: Les Miserable's "I Dream a Dream." From the looks of it, Cowell and co. and the audience seemed ready to jeer.
But then she sang. And lo and behold, she nearly brought the house down, rendering one of the judges near to tears. Jacobite1, a poster on the show's Web site, writes: Susan, Thank you for a most memorable evening your song brought our whole house, including the children to a complete silence - absolutely spell binding."
She was, in one word, amazing. Check it out here.
Before the show started airing its current season, Cowell, who also produces it, told the UK Guardian that he hoped "this year's series would have added resonance with a public besieged by bad news." It's possible I'm being manipulated by the marketing machinery, but it's more probable that Cowell is simply right. We're tired of all the gloom-and-doom, and we need cheering up. Also true: Britain's Susan Boyle does have talent, and it's enough to shock us all out of our torpor.
(Photo from Britain's Got Talent.)