May 30 2009 5:38 PM EDT
Susan Boyle Loses 'Britain's Got Talent,' But Soars With Final Performance
Singer returns to 'I Dreamed a Dream,' but comes in second to dance troupe Diversity.
By Jem Aswad
The world was fixated on the final "Britain's Got Talent" Saturday (May 30), mainly to see how the unlikely overnight sensation Susan Boyle, who has been battered by the media in the wake of last week's shaky performance on the show would fare. She did not disappoint her fans, who, judging by the amount of traffic clogging the show's Web site, were flocking to their computers to see her performance — but ultimately came in second, losing out to dance troupe Diversity. The 10-member British troupe will receive 100,000 pounds ($160,000) and will perform at the Royal Variety Performance before the Queen.
After singing performances from contestants Shaheen Jafargholi (who was told by judge Simon Cowell, "You have a great chance of winning this whole thing"), 2 Grand, Hollie Steel and Shaun Smith, Boyle returned to the stage with the song that made her famous, "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Misérables," soaring through the song with a rendition that had the crowd standing on its feet before she was halfway done.
After the performance, the show's hosts acknowledged the pressure Boyle has been under this week, to which she said: "I want to thank the people for all the support they've given me, especially the people at home and people in the audience. Thank you all very much."
Asked if it was worth it, she replied, "Well worth it! Well worth it! To hell with everything!" Asked if she feels at home onstage, she said, "I really feel at home onstage, of course I do, I'm among friends am I not?" she asked, looking straight into the crowd.
Judge Piers Morgan, who commented extensively on Boyle's hardships last week, even citing negative headlines before saying, "I thought, all you have to do to answer all your critics... is sing the song we all fell in love with, sing it better than you did last time, and Susan, I'm not supposed to favor anyone in this competition as a judge, but forget it, that was the greatest performance I've seen in 'Britain's Got Talent' history, you should win this competition, I loved it!" Boyle grimaced slightly and put her hand over her face.
Judge Amanda Holden seconded his praise, adding that "Simon [Cowell] had a tear in his eye, and I've never seen that before."
For his part, Cowell referred to her "weird seven weeks" and said, "You had every right to walk away from this ... and a lot of people said you shouldn't even be in this competition, that you're not equipped to deal with it. For what? For you to sit at home with your cat and say 'I've missed an opportunity'? I completely disagree with that. Win or lose, you had the guts to come back here tonight and face your critics, and you beat them. And that's the most important thing. Whatever happens, and I've got to know the real Susan Boyle, who is not the person I've seen portrayed in the media, you can walk away from this, win or lose, with your head held high. I absolutely adore you."
When Diversity were announced as winners, Boyle put on a brave face, saying, "The best people won," and she wished them "all the best."
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- I grew up in Chautauqua County, NY. I graduated from Edinboro University of Pennyslvania in 1981 with a BFA in Jewelry and Metalworking. I have been married 31 years. I currently run a small business with my husband. We both enjoy the outdoors and animals a great deal and live on a tiny farm in Western, NY.