Surprise singing sensation Susan Boyle made a new television appearance yesterday, showcasing once again her soaring voice – but refusing to compromise on the frumpy look that made her an Internet superstar.
The shy church volunteer gave a rousing, but occasionally nervous, performance on the American Idol-style show Britain’s Got Talent, with a version of the song “Memory” from the musical Cats.
Members of the public voting by telephone picked her as the best of eight performers who appeared yesterday, meaning she will sing in the contest’s final next Saturday.
Wearing a shimmering purple dress and with her hair coiffed and eyebrows plucked, Boyle looked far more primped and preened than she did during her first appearance on the show last month, when her dowdy looks and quirky manner provoked titters from the audience, who assumed she couldn’t sing.
Boyle overcame early jitters to deliver a powerful vocal.
“What pressure?” she said when asked afterwards if she was nervous. “It was really good tonight, I really enjoyed it … I’m very happy to be here and thank you all for your support.”
Boyle left the judges open-mouthed last month with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, which almost immediately became an Internet sensation, watched more than 60 million times on YouTube.
Producers said the 47-year-old’s appearance yesterday was being posted on the Internet almost immediately.
After last month’s performance, the sometimes awkward looking Scot won praise from celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore, and even won a mention in her favourite cartoon The Simpsons.
Television crews from around the world have camped outside her home and newspapers have dedicated countless pages to her. A fan site dedicated to Boyle is titled “Never judge a book by its cover.”