Saturday, 18 April 2009

Should appearance matter?

Susan BoyleSusan Boyle

Appearances can be deceiving? Don't judge a book by its cover? Susan Boyle, a Scottish unemployed amateur singer became an overnight internet sensation when she auditioned for Britain's Got Talent. The audition was aired on 11 April and this YouTube video of her audition has been viewed over 25 million times in a week, showing her remarkable popularity online.

The crowd didn't give her a chance when they first laid eyes on her due to her supposed unattractive appearance but when she started singing, it became clear that she had a beautiful voice and she won the crowd over almost instantly. Good for you Susan!

However, what does this say about society? Is she popular because she has a great voice or is she popular because she's perceived as being unattractive with a great voice? It obviously is not supposed to matter but yet it does. Sadly so.

I for one hate shows like Pop Idol where the focus is clearly on image and marketability of the singer and talent seems to be a secondary matter. Britain's Got Talent however, is for everyone, all shapes and sizes, which of course makes it appealing to me yet the crowd still seem to decide beforehand whether a performer will be successful or not, based on appearance.

As for Susan, she has been interviewed by several talk show hosts since her audition and have fielded some idiotic questions like "So you're unattractive but you can sing? What do you make of that?" How is she supposed to respond to that?

Good luck to you Susan Boyle.

Here's a video of her audition "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Misérables:

Link to video

Susan Boyle sings "Cry Me a River":
(Incidentally, my favourite)

Link to video

Paul Potts

Paul PottsIn June 2007, Paul Potts, a shy unassuming cellphone salesman auditioned for the same show where he sang Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma". He won the crowd over in seconds with his great voice.

Paul Potts' audition video:

Link to video

YouTube sometimes disable the embedded feature on very popular videos. This prevents bloggers from putting the videos directly in the blog post. Over time these embedded videos may become unviewable; if that happens, just click on the link to view the video.

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