Last weekend, Susan Boyle was just another unknown face in the shadows living alone with her cat - Today, she's a worldwide sensation, as a clip of her singing on the TV show Britain's Got Talent exploded onto the Youtube scene. Not only did Susan Boyle's amazing voice manage to win over the usually cranky American Idol judge Simon Cowell - She touched the hearts of millions everywhere. Susan Boyle's singing is truly a sound to behold.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Underdog Susan Boyle Shoots To WorldWide Fame Thanks To TV's Britains Got Talent

Susan Boyle: A Cinderella Story:

It was not an uncommon early morning day for me when I peered into my email inbox last week. But a YouTube video that was sent to me that day was something different and provided an unusual experience; It caused my eyes to tear up, and throw up my arms shouting a cheerful battle cry for the underdog.

Susan Boyle, an ordinary-looking Scottish vocalist impressed not only the judges of the TV show Britain's Got Talent, but tens of millions of YouTube listeners as well. When you watch this 47-year-old who has never being kissed (remember the Drew Barrymore film of the same name? Not quite like that), it arouses an amazing sensation of pride and the feeling that you can indeed do anything you put your mind to. It turns out there was no need to feel sorry for the old lady who looks like she is about to embarrass herself in front of everyone. You thought there would be judging from the crowd who started laughing at her before she even began to sing, and then this Blackburn native opens her lips. The crowd's expectations were wrong - She was an amazing singer all along. It's a magical sound -- "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Miserables -- and stirs inspiration. And suddenly the laughter transforms into rooting for the underdog, the realization that one is witnessing an authentic Cinderella scoop. So why the huge response to something like this? We've heard amazing singers before, but this gut-wrenching rejoinder is different. She's the David among the Goliaths, the Rocky of American Idol - she's the epitome of a great comeback narrative. The experience is truly heartwarming.

This reaction, called the underdog effect, is distinct as people's inclination to cheer on someone who is attempting to accomplish something so demanding that it's not likely that they will succeed against the odds. We can all share in this experience, regardless of what our own lives or background. Why? Because we've all felt small and helpless sometime in our lives. Americans in particular love a good underdog story, as witnessed by the great response last year from Mickey Rourke's heartbreaking comeback to the silver screen. And when he didn't walk away with the Best Actor Academy Award, the cries of outrage were simply deafening.

Some studies state that this emotional stimulation is only superficial, but think about it - it's permanently ingrained into our individual tastes. Many of the admired movies and stories and Youtube videos have this as an universal thread in common with each other. All you have to do is look at a children's fairytale - Most of the pitiable princesses are almost always lacking something. They're deficient in some way, whether it's a mother, a pair of legs, or a flight of stairs to walk down from a tall tower. All these stories provide a universal emotion of struggling and then overcoming it. This completely applies to what happened with Susan Boyle by appearing on Britain's Got Talent.

As we grow, considering the impossible is pushed to the back of our day-to-day lives. Yes, we should all try to set realistic goals that we can achieve, but dreaming adds a special dimension to our lives; a teenager-like energy and swagger that we, as adults, sometimes lack. This is what Susan Boyle exemplified on Youtube, and what opened our hearts to her. The difficulties of everyday life these days might be the norm for us for the time-being, so let's keep on dreaming and rooting for those Cinderellas like Susan Boyle along the road of life.

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