Out: Susan Boyle. In: Shaheen Jafargholi!

posted at 2:41 pm on April 20, 2009 by Allahpundit

Amazing, but suspicious: He’s doing perfectly well with the first song when Cowell inexplicably stops him and switches to a new track which, coincidentally, is much better suited to letting him show the audience what he’s got. Nothing wrong with showmanship, but it does lend credence to the accusation that Susan Boyle’s “surprise” performance was much less of a surprise to the judges than it seemed.

This clip’s already doing brisk business at YouTube, although given that Boyle’s now officially the biggest phenomenon in Internet video history, it’s got a ways to go to catch up. Stroking his chin, Spengler looks upon Boylemania and sees … the decline of western civilization:

There is an undercurrent of self-worship in the aptly-named American Idol and its British knockoff, which lifted Boyle to stardom. As I wrote some years ago (American Idolatry Asia Times Online, August 29, 2006), at some time during the 20th century, the people of the West elected to identify with what is like them, rather than emulate what is above them.

Churlish resentment of high culture comes from the slacker’s desire for reward with neither merit nor effort: the sort of artistic skill that requires years of discipline and sacrifice is a reproach to the indolence of the popular audience of the West. Better voices than Boyle’s can be found in a thousand choirs and amateur theatricals, but the crowd has embraced this late-hatching Scottish songbird as a symbol of its own aspirations…

The day is gone when a smile and a shoeshine will get you a shot at the American dream, but a smile and a song still will get you a chance at instant stardom. That is the message of hope that Susan Boyle bears to the beleaguered audience of the Anglo-Saxon world. In fact, her own little corner of Britain is living proof that hope may be entirely in vain. Whole parts of the industrial world never will come back. Nothing can resuscitate the north of Britain from industrial ruin, and portions of the United States appear likely to follow.

Turns out little Shaheen’s number is a dirge, I guess. Exit question: Anyone not think Cowell’s deliberately setting up a Boyle vs. Jafargholi finale blowout? 100 million YouTube views or bust!


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Turns out little Shaheen’s number is a dirge, I guess. Exit question: Anyone not think Cowell’s deliberately setting up a Boyle vs. Jafargholi finale blowout? 100 million YouTube views or bust!

Given that Cowell is a brilliant salesman, sure why not. I’ll admit I’ve been had by Boyle if these allegations are true, but we probably never know.

On to Spengler. Unless China can fix it’s population implosion, they will be in the same boat as Europe. So I’m not losing to much sleep over the decline of America..yet.

Lance Murdock on April 20, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Post title could also have read “Out: Vince McMahon. In: Simon Cowell!”

Pianobuff on April 20, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Before I respond, I want to know:

What does he think about gay marriage in California?

Cause if he doesn’t……

(thanks to perez hilton for treating me “dumb b****!” tolerance)

battleoflepanto1571 on April 20, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Churlish resentment of high culture comes from the slacker’s desire for reward with neither merit nor effort: the sort of artistic skill that requires years of discipline and sacrifice is a reproach to the indolence of the popular audience of the West.

Blame liberal education. When we give everyone awards for participation and deemphasize winning we train ourselves that effort is counterproductive… nay… HARMFUL to the social well being of other people.

Instant/random stardom is the only politically acceptable solution.

(Also see the video game “Braid” where the creator asked that nobody use hint books or walkthroughs to solve the game because the challenge of the game was solving the clever puzzles through discovery and if you just did them with the help of the walkthrough to get through to the end, you destroyed the point of the game. Got him into a lot of trouble.)

Skywise on April 20, 2009 at 2:50 PM

After watching the Susan Boyle clip and now this one, I’ve noticed that the British version seems more “produced” (for lack of a better term) than the American version. Even the film quality seems to be more of what would be used in a documentary film than Reality TV.

As far as young Shaheen is concerned, my problem with him is the same problem I have with most pop singers. His vocal acrobatics are like nails to a chalkboard. When did it become fashionable to dance around a note instead of just singing it?

eaglescout1998 on April 20, 2009 at 2:53 PM

I saw an interview with Boyle and when asked about her appearance on the show they said ‘did they find you or did you find them”? And she said, “they found me”. So I think that’s pretty clear. Whether it was the show audition staff and Simon and the judges didn’t know, was not clear.

I think she’s still got a great voice and I think it’s a great story.

Texas Gal on April 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Susan Boyle, FTW!

bluelightbrigade on April 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Churlish resentment of high culture comes from the slacker’s desire for reward with neither merit nor effort: the sort of artistic skill that requires years of discipline and sacrifice is a reproach to the indolence of the popular audience of the West. Better voices than Boyle’s can be found in a thousand choirs and amateur theatricals, but the crowd has embraced this late-hatching Scottish songbird as a symbol of its own aspirations…

Stoned out of his mind. Perfect Pitch is a rarity and Boyle has been working on her craft since she was 12. It is nearly impossible to break into any part of the entertainment business in any significant way. As a result we get the same stale performers over and over. Talent shows have always been about discovering the undiscovered talent. It’s a great opportunity for some but only if they’ve put in the hard work leading up to that moment where they can shine.

What ellitist crap this Spengler is. Success breeds contempt in the rarified air of those who control the product. We saw the same pile on of Palin. Women who have not been vetted by the “right” people and paid their dues to the cabal, are not to be tolerated.

BrideOfRove on April 20, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Allah, there’s some red meat for ya over at CNN. Seems your hottie Meg thinks Carl Rove is stalking her and is creeeeeeepy!

Knucklehead on April 20, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Perez Hilton being the judge of a beauty contest is the beginning of the decline of western civilization…

Decadence, decadence, everywhere… soon it will be pestilence…

ninjapirate on April 20, 2009 at 3:00 PM

This kind of goes to a conversation I had with my wife the other day about current “pop-culture” stuff.

All of it is crap: the music, movies, television, plays, all garbage.

Before I get deluged with hate, let me elucidate:

I watch TV just like the next guy. I listen to the radio, watch music videos (mostly on VH1 Classic), movies, I enjoy a lot of what current pop-culture has to offer. I don’t watch any reality TV; I gave up on American Idol, I only watched one season of it then got bored with the same thing over and over.

My point is, where are all the Mozarts? Where are our great composers, artists (real art, not that artsy-fartsy garbage), where are our poets, etc.

I’m not saying these folks can’t sing, but so what? this time next year, what will they have given to the culture, to posterity?

This is I think a question not enough people in the “entertainment” industry, but particularly the public, need to ask.

I’m not trying to be elitist by any stretch, just asking the question…

catmman on April 20, 2009 at 3:01 PM

What ellitist crap this Spengler is. Success breeds contempt in the rarified air of those who control the product. We saw the same pile on of Palin. Women who have not been vetted by the “right” people and paid their dues to the cabal, are not to be tolerated.

Spengler liked Palin(at first) and said that people like her are why America works… and he doesn’t hate Boyle either…

ninjapirate on April 20, 2009 at 3:01 PM

He’s doing perfectly well with the first song when Cowell inexplicably stops him…


Chacun à son goût
, but I thought it was perfectly horrible. But yeah, it’s probably a set up, although I don’t think the kid is a very good singer. Performer, yes. Singer, not so much. As for the goose bumps, I got zero (unless cringing a bit counts).

Buy Danish on April 20, 2009 at 3:01 PM

This kid bleats.

The woman actually sings.

He can enter himself against some ship and do well.

maladapted on April 20, 2009 at 3:02 PM

China will most likely become the next Japan but with a strong military too. The real question will be whether China can face the same demographic challenges as Japan, but overcome them to stay strong and vibrant. Also, the huge male to female ratio gap will be coming due in the next 10 or so years. Can China can stay stable and vibrant with a restless male population. Unless all those Chinese males are like AP, I doubt it. Even if there are millions of rich Chinese males by then, there won’t be any Russian women left to buy.

Lance Murdock on April 20, 2009 at 3:02 PM

When did it become fashionable to dance around a note instead of just singing it?

eaglescout1998 on April 20, 2009 at 2:53 PM
Thank you! Well said!

catmman on April 20, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Wait until puberty. What is the song the Brady Bunch sings when Peter goes through his “changes?”

sammypants on April 20, 2009 at 3:02 PM

somewhere a very upset POtuS is consulting with his leotard wearing side-kick on how to capitalize on this phenomenon and reclaim the title as the most supreme celebrity evah

gatorboy on April 20, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Susan Boyle isn’t as impressive as most people would like to think. I’ve heard many 16 year olds with a voice like that even without training. Fact is, you never hear from people who can really sing anymore and there is no music that is as stirring as what she sung. It is very disturbing that people could compare her to Julia Andrews who was known for her four octave range and could sing most anything.
Shaheen is quite good, but how many children his age can do the same thing. It’s all a processed, spit it out kind of sound.
Honestly, the last thing I was impressed with on TV musically was the Willie Nelson and Ray Price duet. That took my breath away.

Ingenue on April 20, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Shaheen is pretty good, though he wouldn’t last a second against this girl.

Christien on April 20, 2009 at 3:05 PM

What’s with all the drama on the faces and body language? It’s like a bad Lifetime movie. Definitely feels like a setup. Maybe Susan’s video was too, who knows or cares? She had a natural joy, raw talent, and an innocence that even this little one can’t match. He may have range, but he doesn’t have “it” — at least in this video.

Susan has heart, and she captured my whole family’s!

eucher on April 20, 2009 at 3:06 PM

His voice is great, but what happens when he reaches puberty?

BJ on April 20, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Ingenue on April 20, 2009 at 3:05 PM

who peed in your cheerios? /sarc

+1 very true comment – talent surrounds us, but we’ve been conditioned to believe that singing talent must come from a pretty face, etc…

gatorboy on April 20, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Cowell is a genius, honestly. Look how big he is making these people. They owe it all to him.

deidre on April 20, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Simon Cowell is a marketing genius. As if his shows didn’t get high enough ratings as it is, a battle between these two extraordinary singers may set even more new records. He may as well enjoy, because he hasn’t got anyone who even comes close in this year’s American Idol contestants.

scalleywag on April 20, 2009 at 3:10 PM

I’M SICK OF YOUR CYNICISM, ALLAH. Can’t you just let one thing go without assuming its a set up?

Have you ever watched this show before? How do you know he doesn’t stop people all the time?

jimmy the notable on April 20, 2009 at 3:13 PM

On that note this kid is good, but the sensation generated by Boyle will not be the same. The reason why, Boyle had great story behind her. Middle-age hermit makes big. On the polar opposite we have a talented kid who has his whole life ahead of him. This won’t touch people in the same way.

Spengler believes in a rigid Prussian outlook for success. That could be the biggest downfall for the Chinese, empathy.

Lance Murdock on April 20, 2009 at 3:14 PM

somewhere a very upset POtuS is consulting with his leotard wearing side-kick on how to capitalize on this phenomenon and reclaim the title as the most supreme celebrity evah

gatorboy on April 20, 2009 at 3:04 PM

You know Susan Boyle was only 8 years old when William Ayers committed acts of terrorism, hmmmm……

msmveritas on April 20, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Nothing wrong with showmanship, but it does lend credence to the accusation that Susan Boyle’s “surprise” performance was much less of a surprise to the judges than it seemed.

Since the most sublime acts are often the least understood, there were people in the town who said it was all affectation. But this was drawing-room comment. The common people, who do not look for shabbiness where none exists, were deeply moved.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:15 PM

I preferred the guy playing “Somewhere” on the sax, but that’s just me…

Roc on April 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM

But all of the accusations against Cowell conveniently miss the fact, he has been one of the best talent scouts in the world since long before American Idol. — He knows this business probably better than anyone.

He can tell in 3 notes if someone has a shot. That he vetoed the kid’s first choice means something only because the kid nailed the second choice. Had that been lame too, nobody would have noticed.

Diogenes of Sinope on April 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM

This whole SHaheen and Boyle thing now seems pretty much like a setup… Simon Cowell will never admit that openly. But they do look very talented and have given us something to talk abt,

nagee76 on April 20, 2009 at 3:17 PM

This whole Shaheen and Boyle thing now seems pretty much like a setup

It seems to me that people confuse editing with staging. A compelling story can be told in an edit.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:19 PM

He’s doing perfectly well with the first song when Cowell inexplicably stops him and switches to a new track which, coincidentally, is much better suited to letting him show the audience what he’s got.

Certainly suspicious, but, from what I understand, Simon does often get contracts with the winners but specifically can’t get one with children.

So I’m far more suspicious of Boyle than I am this kid. Plus, I think it’s entirely possible that he had a sense of the kid’s range and knew it needed to be showcased. I figure he’s been doing this long enough for at least that.

Also, American Idol is the knock off, not Britain’s Got Talent. When the British steal our shows, they actually just show our version, rather than making their own.

Esthier on April 20, 2009 at 3:19 PM

“Knockoff”? Does this guy think Oasis was a knockoff of the Monkees, too? American Idol was a knockoff of Britain‘s Pop Idol, and Got Talent is pretty much just an extension of that. Anyway, his cynicism is silly, but the idea is appropriate; such stories were beloved in the Depression (Seabiscuit, anyone?) and they are in these tough times too. You can acknowledge that without being a jerk about it.

The kid doing the first song was a little creepy; Simon’s dismissal was not inexplicable. I’ll buy that the kid loved the song best but had a more crowd-pleasing backup. Perhaps he picked the first and his mom, knowing it might not sell, picked the second. Real feel-good moments happen everywhere in life, some caught on tape, so don’t automatically dismiss every one, even one edited-to-death, as “staged.”

calbear on April 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Who cares if it was a surprise or not. I wouldn’t put it past Cowell to come up with some marketing trickery, but really, this is how he got where he is today…finding talent and signing them to record. I don’t care about the hows and whys of it, I enjoyed her singing and I hope she has a marvelous career ahead of her. The kid? Good, but not extraordinarily good like she is. If that was trickery as well, I’d consider that he saved the boy from making a mess of that song and instead having him perform one that he’d do better at, so I see nothing wrong with that. Other contestants may cry foul though.

scalleywag on April 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

This whole SHaheen and Boyle thing now seems pretty much like a setup… Simon Cowell will never admit that openly. But they do look very talented and have given us something to talk abt,

Dude, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled, if you will.

Allahpundit on April 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

The Gong Show on steroids.

Whoopety doo.

hillbillyjim on April 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Dude, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled, if you will.

wtc7

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:25 PM

This fairytale stuff is true. It’s always true. Shame on anyone that doesn’t believe it. Shame.

BuckNutty on April 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM

This fairytale stuff is true. It’s always true. Shame on anyone that doesn’t believe it. Shame.

Heh. That’s awesome. Boyle, for example, didn’t have a mother. She isn’t 47/48, she’s in fact a 24 y/o Julian graduate who goes into the makeup trailer for 3 hours away.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Dude, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled, if you will.

Allahpundit on April 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Dude, you watch Beck.
One born every minnit.

strangelet on April 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM

away = a day. Curse multitasking!

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Hoodwinks and bamboozles go hand in hand with the entertainment industry, I’d say. What do you think about the Survival show…do those contestants really survive on nothing but the fish they catch and a pot of beans every day or is there a little food fairy that brings them krispie treats in the middle of the night?

scalleywag on April 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM

I didn’t think the ‘silly season’ started until August. What is it with these stories? topical… okay maybe, but still miles short of serious or thoughtful.

lexhamfox on April 20, 2009 at 3:32 PM

I must say that I have found David Goldman’s range of thought to be astonishing. Those who bash Spengler might consider this one, for instance.

Calling him an elitist and “stoned out of his mind” is at best a puerile response to the latest Associate Editor of First Things, imo.

warbaby on April 20, 2009 at 3:34 PM

You can only talk politics and the economy till you’re blue in the face and then you need a good hoodwinkle to discuss.

scalleywag on April 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Dude, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled, if you will.

Allahpundit on April 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Not really. Clever marketing isn’t the same thing as falling for the same old okie doke. If Susan Boyle was lip-synching, then yeah, it would be a bamboozling.

Buy Danish on April 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:29 PM

stop humping my leg it’s getting creepy

BuckNutty on April 20, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Allah, there’s some red meat for ya over at CNN. Seems your hottie Meg thinks Carl Rove is stalking her and is creeeeeeepy!

Knucklehead on April 20, 2009 at 3:00

Well – it is National Bore Hunt Week – Olbermann should be looking out as well.

(Note the spelling – not talking about the lady’s weight – just her politics)

kybowexar on April 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM

His voice is great, but what happens when he reaches puberty?

BJ on April 20, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Ha, you beat me to it. Susan Boyle for the win!

And Allah got another one right…setup. It is in the end Simon Cowell’s business interests at stake. Oh the humanity!

Vigilante on April 20, 2009 at 3:41 PM

If Susan Boyle was lip-synching, then yeah, it would be a bamboozling.

That would be an outrage, imo, as well.

scalleywag on April 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM

I certainly agree with the idea that there is more going on then we see, and I think cynicism fills in the rest that it must be orchestrated. Watching a live show of this nature, would be tedious, imo; I much prefer edited to fit timeslots. I read the other day where people were pointing out that the clips showed reactions too well, as if somehow the show could only be filmed with one camera!

Having said that, it does make it susceptible to imagination because of shows like Survivor. This show is not of the same ilk, though, it is talent driven. Everything that people are speculating is irrelevant without the talent.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Allah, you are an atheist.
FULL STOP.
Nothing more to be said.

lobosan5 on April 20, 2009 at 3:42 PM

stop humping my leg it’s getting creepy

BuckNutty on April 20, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Pardon?

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Oh come on, why does everything have to be part of some freaking conspiracy?

Terrye on April 20, 2009 at 3:43 PM

It does seem odd that Simon knew about the other song. When Ms. Boyle came out and started singing the impression was that this was the first time the judges were hearing her sing. So why did Simon know about this kid’s second song?

Rose on April 20, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Oh come on, why does everything have to be part of some freaking conspiracy?

Terrye on April 20, 2009 at 3:43 PM

I blame the Joooooos!

hillbillyjim on April 20, 2009 at 3:45 PM

O, & Allah is doing the same thing here
that Simon is doing on the British Idol whatever…..
drumming up viewers through smart marketing ploys.

lobosan5 on April 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Oh come on, why does everything have to be part of some freaking conspiracy?

Because the reaction to her is visceral. People fall in two camps here: she has a spectacular voice and she is only average. If you feel she is only average, then you must conclude that everyone who feels she has a spectacular voice has been blinded by stagecraft of the evidence right in front of your eyes. The next step is simply to manufacture story lines that would fit into a conception that public cannot see her averageness.

I’ve seen Cowell cut people off before, so I wasn’t surprised since his first song was rather underwhelming.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Anyone who could watch that Susan Boyle video and not perceive that Cowell knew in advance and was going for a Paul Potts redux is naive indeed. Look at all the leading questions: “How old are you? What’s the dream?” “Who would you like to be as famous as?” etc. Bottom line is, I really don’t give a hoot. She still knocked it out of the park, unless she had someone dubbing her offstage and in her house during the CBS interview and for the Cry Me a River spot on the CD ten years ago–and it still had nothing to do with her looks or what side of the demographic produced her.

Spengler is just another pompous elitist who thinks that only the Pretty People or the Right People should be heard, and all that unwashed, post-industrial trailer trash who offend his sensibilities ought to just shut their worthless gobs. The opera singers with whom he brags about hobnobbing undoubtedly have more polished voices. However, I have only heard 2 or 3 singers in my nearly 6 decades who possessed not only the profound emotion of Susan Boyle’s voice, but the innate ability to communicate same.

Veritas on April 20, 2009 at 3:49 PM

That would be an outrage, imo, as well.

Absolutely, but we can be certain that has not and will not happen.

Everything that people are speculating is irrelevant without the talent.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Exactly.

Buy Danish on April 20, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Well if Simon had switched the kid’s song on American Idol, I think the other judges (especially Paula) would have called him on it and said that gave the kid an unfair advantage. On Idol, he would have waited until the kid was finished and then told him he’d made a horrible song choice. Maybe the rules are different over there? I don’t know.

scalleywag on April 20, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Pianobuff I think you hit the nail dead on the head

Post title could also have read “Out: Vince McMahon. In: Simon Cowell!”

…and you know what? Nothing wrong with picking up the baton and running with it. Especially if you are the leader of the pack.

don_blanco on April 20, 2009 at 3:52 PM

The kids ok, but Susan Boyle is phenomenal.

And what it Simon knew about it ahead of time or not.

Does that say anything about her talent? And it doesn’t say much about her story either, other than that Simon may be more shrewd than we thought.

notagool on April 20, 2009 at 3:53 PM

100 million YouTube views or bust!
posted at 2:41 pm on April 20, 2009 by Allahpundit

Yeah. Just imagine the numbers when he decides to call it quits with a USA v the world finale.

RMR on April 20, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Veritas on April 20, 2009 at 3:49 PM

I don’t disagree that Spengler seemed to miss the point here, and I certainly agree with you about Susan Boyle’s stunning connection with the music. I say this, btw, in light of my 6.5 decades of experience, 6 of which have been spent singing in public. She’s just a beauty, no two ways about it.

It would be useful, however, to read just one example of the depth of his thinking (as evidenced in the earlier link I posted) before dismissing him as a “pompous elitist.” I can’t find any fault with his assessment that Western culture is committing slow (actually shockingly abrupt,in view of the last 40 years) suicide in the name of egalitarianism.

warbaby on April 20, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Like I posted in the headlines…Cowell is the P.T. Barnum of modern TV.
Fill in the blank:
A ___________ is born every minute.

right2bright on April 20, 2009 at 4:02 PM

The idiot can’t even get his shows right.
AGT is a knockoff of BGT. AI is a knockoff of PS.

There is an undercurrent of self-worship in the aptly-named American Idol and its British knockoff

corona on April 20, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Personally I got more enjoyment out of the Susan Boyle clip…not because of the judges (especially Simon’s) reaction but the crowd. When the clip started you could see the crowd dismissing her as a crackpot and expecting little from her. Then bang she started singing and hit them right between the eyes. You can fake the judges reactions but not the crowds. That said I have the same problems with this child as I did with the little girl from America’s Got Talent last season. I think children this young should just be allowed to be children. Don’t get me wrong I see nothing wrong with singing lessons but let the child sing for pleasure not in contests. While I dislike AI’s upper age limit I do think their 16 year old minimum is logical. Western societies have forgotten to let children have a childhood. And we are paying a price for it.

JKotthoff on April 20, 2009 at 4:16 PM

I agree that Susan Boyle is the better talent. The kid is only impressive because of his age. If you take out that factor he sounds like any other popular singer. But I do find it odd that Simon knew about the second song and had them change to it.

Rose on April 20, 2009 at 4:23 PM

When did it become fashionable to dance around a note instead of just singing it?

eaglescout1998 on April 20, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Agreed. I was always taught by my professional singing teachers that too much vibrato meant the person was either weak in voice or didn’t have good pitch. I have always sung mostly straight because I have really good pitch and a strong voice. A good singer doesn’t need to flutter around notes like a butterfly. Anyone can do that… it doesn’t mean you’re any good.

Christina D on April 20, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Spengler’s article is quite churlish, isn’t it? Susan Boyle took weekly voice lessons for several years, performed in church and charity venues, and seems to have worked as hard as anyone not being paid for her work can do. She is hardly strutting in off the street without having put any effort into music, and her effort paid off. What’s wrong with that?

evergreen on April 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Exit question: Anyone not think Cowell’s deliberately setting up a Boyle vs. Jafargholi finale blowout?

Shenanigans, thy name is Cowell.

Rae on April 20, 2009 at 4:36 PM

When did it become fashionable to dance around a note instead of just singing it?

When people who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket started getting paid to sing scream and jump around in tight clothing while someone plays music.

The Monster on April 20, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Hey, whoever at HA has Meghan McCain on speed dial, ask her what we should think please. I don’t know what to think without her input……..

JeffinOrlando on April 20, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Oddly, even though Simon is a pain in the ass, he is obvious brilliant. I enjoyed Susan Boyle. The kid’s voice will change, so who cares. What struck me during the Boyle performance is that I had never seen Simon smile like that before–I don’t catch idol often or care too. But his smile really made him look attractive. I would tap that..(I’m a chick btw.) So now Simon himself has a new, um, fan.

Haunches on April 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM

When did it become fashionable to dance around a note instead of just singing it?

eaglescout1998 on April 20, 2009 at 2:53 PM

When Whitney Houston sang the Anthem at a Super Bowl, I think.

Her performance was outstanding, but I think it led directly to two things:

a) wide latitude in “interpreting” the Anthem’s music, and

b) widespread overuse of trills in popular song

SlimyBill on April 20, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Are you kidding me?

Lame.

Not even close to the quality of Susan.

This little snot nosed dimple cheeked bump on the arse of british humanity is just a shrieker.

No thanks…no precocious overly cute brats…we had star search for that and that was more than enough for ever.

Send this brat back to school…and beat him severely first to ensure he doesn’t step out of line…infact beat him twice.

BillaryMcBush on April 20, 2009 at 5:00 PM

SlimyBill on April 20, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Of all the trilly stuff, this is the only thing that bothers me. I can just not listen to singers I don’t like, but I wish people could sing the anthem a little more “basically”. Give the audience a chance to feel it. But, that probably just makes me sound like a grumpy old man.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 5:09 PM

As a Brit who has avidly watched all the BGT shows I have to tell you that the audition round (where Susan Boyle sang her song) was recorded several months ago. Before the audition round there are local preliminaries where people go before a judge (just a minion, not Cowell or co) who filters out most entries. What is left are the best and the worst (so we can mock them)…all TV is contrivance so there is a lot of cutting and editing but I assure you that what you see on the youtube clip is what we saw on TV. The singers usually sing to a tape. We are still looking at the auditions here but in a week or so we come to the semi finals where the public gets to vote. We shall then see Susan Boyle as she is now and there will have been some rehearsal and some coaching.
However the core of the show, we think is genuine – too much at stake for it to be a set up because, of course, bookmakers will be laying odds on the public vote.
Cowell is a hard nosed business man but he does know the music/entertainment industry. I think he would be fair with Susan B because she is vulnerable to exploitation…just imagine the men who will suddenly want to marry her!
Cowell has always said that what disappoints him about BGT is that no good comedians have appeared yet – not certain if that is true about AGT.
I think what irritates Allah and some others is that Cowell has reversed the usual direction of TV and brought a British brand/concept to the USA – it used to be the other direction. Youtube has also provided an avenue for closer exchange. Remember Paul Potts in BGT two years ago was really the first international TV phenonemen…

callingallcomets on April 20, 2009 at 5:17 PM

BTW the boy attends stage school and has appeared in small scale musical productions, just as susan has sung in local choirs – “Little Voice” is mostly myth….

callingallcomets on April 20, 2009 at 5:20 PM

I was always taught by my professional singing teachers that too much vibrato meant the person was either weak in voice or didn’t have good pitch.

Vibrato doesn’t bother me too much. But it depends on the singer. Most of the time, I only hear it when the singer is trying to hold a note. With some singers, the vibrato is very subtle and others, like Johnny Mathis, it is very noticeable (“Look at me-e-e-e-e-e I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree-e-e-e-e”)

I think “melisma” is the proper term for what I object to. And to be honest, I don’t object to it when it when it is used sparingly. Unfortunately, pop singers (think Christina Aguilera) almost always abuse and overuse the technique in songs. At worst, they can fracture a word into a soulless slur of syllables. Plus you have no idea what word they’re singing.

eaglescout1998 on April 20, 2009 at 5:27 PM

eaglescout1998 on April 20, 2009 at 5:27 PM

I agree, “melisma” is the exact term, and its overuse is generally a sign of the inability to deliver a straight note.

Producing long and connected tone (the proper expression of the word “legato”) in a manner that makes it seem easy is the result of refined vocal technique, the absence of which produces uncontrolled vibrato. There are certainly humans for which this is natural, but it’s been a lifelong study for me.

warbaby on April 20, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Once he hits puberty, then it’s all over.

Emily M. on April 20, 2009 at 6:11 PM

I’M SICK OF YOUR CYNICISM, ALLAH. Can’t you just let one thing go without assuming its a set up?

Have you ever watched this show before? How do you know he doesn’t stop people all the time?

jimmy the notable on April 20, 2009 at 3:13 PM

I’m sick of the cynicism in general. We aren’t allowed to have a single moment of awe anymore, and anyone who does anything extraordinary must immediately be taken down in whatever way that works. The truth does not necessarily have to be involved,and most of the time it isn’t – if a lie works then it’s just repeated over and over again until eventually it’s perceived to be the truth.

Since the election I have made a point of at least clicking on several Conservative-oriented blogs every day so that they don’t flounder in these Dem-controlled times. No more. This attitude does not represent me or my beliefs; if I wanted to be in the party of conspiracy theories and victimhood I’d still be a Democrat.

accidental tourist on April 20, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Allah, there’s some red meat for ya over at CNN. Seems your hottie Meg thinks Carl Rove is stalking her and is creeeeeeepy!

Knucklehead on April 20, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Meagan must be confused any good Liberal knows that’s Ken Star

heshtesh on April 20, 2009 at 6:50 PM

I can just not listen to singers I don’t like, but I wish people could sing the anthem a little more “basically”. Give the audience a chance to feel it. But, that probably just makes me sound like a grumpy old man.

This should make you a little less grumpy.

The Monster on April 20, 2009 at 7:40 PM

The Monster on April 20, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Lovely, thanks for the link.

Spirit of 1776 on April 20, 2009 at 7:44 PM

90% clapping? Or SKILLFUL editing??

V-rod on April 20, 2009 at 7:51 PM

The kid’s very talented, but this Whitney Huston warble-mania on the notes is tried and tedious.

Boyle’s got soul.

I hope she gets a CD out, and begins a long career.

The kid will be fine in Tesco commercials yodeling for designer sneakers.

And, if the fame doesn’t turn him into a Michael Jackson freak, maybe he’ll have a real career out of this notoriety, too.

profitsbeard on April 20, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Given that Cowell is a brilliant salesman, sure why not.

Brilliant salesmen are often dishonest, & given that Simon is a nasty, arrogant jerk, it’s not hard to imagine him as a deceiver.

jgapinoy on April 20, 2009 at 8:19 PM

No need to speculate on if it’s “suspicious.” Of coure it is. There’s nothing “real” about “reality TV.” Zilch. Of course this was planned.

AYNBLAND on April 20, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Susan Boyle’s voice has a clear bell-like quality with which the “vocal acrobatics” of the young man cannot compete…is it true that she suffered a small amount of brain damage at birth? I’ve always felt that you have to pay for talent with some other facet of your life…Susan Boyle has certainly paid her dues.

jakev on April 21, 2009 at 5:08 PM