Susan Boyle, an unemployed church worker from Scotland's West Lothian district has captured hearts after a single audition on Britain's Got Talent got another boost with an appearance via satellite on CBS's The Early Show.Talking about her journey so far, she told the morning show that she reacted to the titters in the audience during her audition by focusing on the performance.
"You have to take yourself seriously, so what I did was concentrate on the song."
The hosts asked her about people making fun of her as a child and she graciously answered:
"Well, the ones who made fun of me, they're now nice to me, so I may now have won them 'round."
She also sang a few lines from "I Dreamed a Dream" a capella and chatted a bit with Patti LuPone, whose original rendition of the Les Misérables song is considered to be the gold standard. LuPone told her she had "pluck" and admired her courage.
As a way of explanation for why she went on the show, Boyle said: "I wanted to make this a tribute to my mother, so it was something I wanted to do, so I had to get on with it. That's where the courage came from, my mother."
While Boyle is now considered the favourite to win Britain's Got Talent, her journey has only just begun. She's only appeared on an early, regional qualifying portion of the show. A spokesperson for the show said her next official appearance will not be until the end of May.
She lives alone with her cat, Pebbles, and previously cared for her ill mother, who died a couple of years ago.
This week, she has been inundated with media requests and, talking to the Associated Press, she admitted the instant fame has been an incredible experience.
"It has been surreal for me," Boyle said.
"I'm going to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS and other American networks. I didn't realize this would be the reaction, I just went onstage and got on with it."
Boyle's celebrity continues to grow as YouTube clips from her audition have already been watched more than 18 million times.
She also has a few Facebook fan pages and the most popular have already logged 93,000 fans. A Wikipedia page has even been dedicated to her and a fan page at Susan-Boyle.com has signed up more than 6,000 members.
Her newfound fame has also had a dramatic effect on the village of Blackburn, population about 4,800, 20 kilometres west of Edinburgh on the road to Glasgow.
Agnes Boyle, who lives around the corner from Susan Boyle(no relation), said she's been getting phone calls from people trying to find the Susan Boyle.
"This is the 10th phone call today I've had," Agnes Boyle said, adding she wishes Susan well. "I'm happy for her ... life's not been good to her actually."
Jackie Russell, manager at the Happy Valley Hotel on the village's main street, Bathgate Rd., where Boyle has sung karaoke on a regular basis, said she's "a very quiet person, very unassuming ... just a normal down-to-earth girl."
"People in the village – it's just a village, there's only 5,000 people in it – but everybody knew that Susan could sing," said Russell. "It just took a while for the world to hear her sing," she added.
Russell also expressed confidence that Boyle will win the Britain's Got Talent competition.
"I don't think she (Boyle) will need a job now. I think she'll just continue to do what her heart wants her to do and that's sing."
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