Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why It's Stupid to Pre-Judge Talent on Appearance

Click the link. Trust me.

This video (this copy alone) has gotten over 10 million hits worldwide since being posted about 4 days ago. Sorry I can't embed it - YouTube would crash.

Susan Boyle put on her sunday best and auditioned for Britain's Got Talent. No wardrobe consultants. No makeup artists. No $500 hair styling with extensions and avant garde dye job. No lying about her age - she makes no bones about being 47. No pretentious, self-important bragging or mugging for the cameras.

Watch her as she comes out on stage. The judges are bracing themselves to tolerate a performance that was amateurish at best, a sad joke at worst. Piers is gritting his teeth. Simon is mentally sifting through his insult archive looking for just the right words to fling. Watch the audience as she answers the judges' questions - especially the chickieboos wrinkling their noses, shaking their heads, and rolling their eyes. Surely she's going to bomb. She's fooling herself. After all, she doesn't LOOK talented.


Just click the link and play...... "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.

This kind of alto belongs on stage at Avery Fisher Hall. To hell with the talent shows, get this woman an audition at the Met! At least that's what Simon would have thought had he not been forgetting to close his mouth and barely realizing that he peed himself. Piers was close to crying. Whether it was the song that was performed so beautifully, or because he had more egg on his face than after a food fight on Animal House, you can't really tell. The audience - including the eye-rolling chickieboos - was on their feet. And I'll bet no one was telling THEM to sit down because they couldn't see!

Notice the judges' comments at the end too. They talk about how suprised they were at her performance and how their approval is the most enthusiastic they've ever given.

But the one thing they don't do is apologize for their pre-judgement.

Three little words: "I was wrong." But they're the hardest ones to say. Probably because anyone who thinks they should say them is afraid of not being forgiven; of being too vulnerable.

Look, I like a visually appealing performance too - butt grinding, crotch grabbing, the costumes, and everything else you process before the music. But without the music and the sheer talent behind it, all the window dressing is so much landfill.

What else are we missing because we can't see - or refuse to look - behind the appearance?


  1. Excellent point YBA. I watched that performance yesterday morning. I literally had chills. I think our society is so hung up on appearance that we can't get past what's inside. Simon has been WRONG so many times (Jennifer Hudson comes to mind) and will NEVER admit it or say it outright. The woman was gracious and has more class than all those judges put together. I can't remember the last time I've heard a voice as pure as hers. I can't wait to hear more from her and watch as Simon "Cowells"!

  2. I can - Charlotte Church. Soprano vs alto, though. ;-)

  3. Yes. Charlotte Church. But I prefer the alto much more. And the clarity and control in this woman's voice seemed to be so much stronger and powerful.

  4. I agree a point very well made. We are just too quick to judge on appearance alone. Susan Boyle drove that point well and truly home to everyone who watched!!
    Someone made a comment on the MMN about it saying there was another performer who has been slammed about his appearance over the years and particularly when he started out and boy has he proved them all wrong too!!

  5. She sounded wonderful didn't she? Society's so quick to think beautiful is right, but I have known some pretty people that did not look all that great because their attitude sucked BIG TIME.