Susan Boyle: Crowd Reactions and Analysis

[These are three of my comments concerning Susan Boyle and the reactions of both the audience and the judges.]

The I have a Dream from Les Miserables really did capture the emotional impact of her musicality.

People heard the song from many levels. Simon’s been a past master at emotional manipulation, aka drama, so it is no surprise. And it doesn’t even matter whether he heard her rehearse before the show, either, he has seen enough of these surprises to know how the audience will react and he plays his part dutifully.

I am not a master at reading facial language, but the female judge looked genuinely surprised and the other male judge only looked moderately surprised but got himself in check very fast when it came time for comments to the effect that I didn’t read any surprise latent in his mannerisms once he started talking.

The first thing people heard was the audience’s amusement at this middle age woman who has a quirky mannerism and a subtle, not pronounced, accent. The image and expectation with singing devas and stars were too incongruous for the audience and some of the particularly younger members (including one foolish and inexperienced young female who rolled her eyes and was caught on camera). THen the audience heard the expectation and the fear, their own and each other’s. People feared a train wreck, others expected one, and still others were hoping for an underdog extreme success. One girl was holding her hand against her mouth, cause she was so gripped with expectation and dread of a embarassing moment. Still others were envious and admired her for her pluck and determination in front of such an audience reaction, something most of the audience knew in their heart of heart’s that they could never ever withstand such a thing as she has been doing.

And then the song. First the surprise reaction and the applause. Not sure who they were applauding, as she was here to show her talent and she hasn’t finished just yet. I surmise the audience was applauding fate or serendipity or luck that had them be the audience to see such a thing at such a moment in such a show.

THen after the relief and the joy and the various other emotions started cropping up in the audience gripping them, came the musicality. People started actually hearing the words and it interspersed with what they heard from her auto-biographical details and some of Obama’s Hope and Change mantra that has filtered into the dull wits of the young and the foolish cynical minds of the old.

They saw her success and heard the words of the song and knew she was living her dream. Her hope. And they then started applauding that.

I could not have planned a better propaganda event had I the resources of an entire government and I had been given the charge of improving morale for an existential war effort.

# Ymarsakar Says:
April 14th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I rewatched the judge’s expressions during the song and here are my more conclusive judgments.

The other male judge on the left didn’t hear her first rehearsal so he was surprised. Neither did the female judge. Simon, however, I suspect, did know. If not by actually hearing it then at least because he was told by those that did hear her before her stage performance.

Btw, the female judge, while very attractive before, became stunning once you started seeing the interplay of emotions on her face.

And, of course, not everybody was against Susan. That was just a judge’s projection or displacement or theatre act. There are those like me, I am sure, who watched the reactions of others far more than we watched the actions of Susan on stage. And this would have been true even had we been tipped off that this was something special, spectacular, or spectral.

Simon, of course, was perhaps surprised only in the sense of how powerful the words of her song was combined with SUsan’s singing voice and the reaction of the audience. You could see Simon enjoying the audience’s reactions and even once started glancing around before he caught himself.

# Ymarsakar Says:
April 14th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Okay, I just heard Simon’s comments for the first time and he admitted he knew. Which is as I surmised.

The female judge commented that “we were cynical”. I wouldn’t phrase it that way, actually. Rather, it is more like when cynics don’t believe in things, they will then believe in anything produced by a good con man, as Obama has testified and demonstrated.

I would term it this way. The people are fools not because of what they believe or do not believe, they are fools because they do not pay attention to the emotions and reactions of others. THey are not vigilant. Whatever they feel and whatever they think, they are unable to control because they don’t even notice what causes it in others, how can they notice what causes it in themselves?

They do not understand the power of emotional manipulation or psychological adjustments. THey do not understand the basis of power or what moves the masses. They are not a Simon or a Reagan or even an Obama.

They do not respect work because it has been drilled in our society that 1. either you are born with talent and genetic benefits like intelligence or 2. you are relegated to the bottom classes, economically or otherwise. Social Equality is such a big deal because people believe that things cannot be balanced any other way except through the all powerful government, which they have been taught brought the US out of a World Wide recession and won a world war in the bargain. They want that kind of comfort. THey want to be able to say “I am not responsible for this, therefore I need not feel any guilt for the government will take care of the inequalities for me”.

Dirty Jobs has already proven that there has been a war on honest work in favor of “intellectual pursuits”. But the cost of that is a further handicap on people, young or old, to misinterpret their reality.

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3 Comments on “Susan Boyle: Crowd Reactions and Analysis”

  1. Kate Says:

    IMHO – Our reaction to Susan is actually 2 separate reactions – but I don’t see how either of them have anything to do with her beauty, or lack thereof. Susan took the stage in a dress that didn’t suit or compliment her in anyway, a mass of unruly grey locks looking wind-scattered and not a stitch of make-up. Not what we would expect from someone who is “trying to be a professional singer”. Then she sang – and her unruly appearance faded against the beauty of her voice. It was a pleasant shock. Enough to catch everyone’s attention.

    The second reaction though, was the most powerful and it happens about 15 seconds into the song. This is when the audience (and judges) actually realized “what” she was singing so well. “I dreamed a dream” has been sung by some of the best voices in musical theatre – and everyone of them were “acting”. Everyone of them were trying to bring authenticity to the song. For the first time ever, people actually heard the right person singing it. Not an act, not a polished, practised performance – but the real heart and soul of those words actually performing them for us.

    The song is more than an anthem of hopelessness. It hides a plea that we all hold inside – to wish the hell of life away – even with our dying breath, knowing it will never go. But last week – it did. Susan’s dream – that SHE dreamed was actually happening AS she was singing the song. As if all the powers of the universe finally decided to turn the fate of those heart wrenching lyrics around.

    When Simon broke out in that “you melt my heart” smile towards the end – I think he was actually “getting” what the audience was just reacting to. It was the only time I have ever seen Simon Cowel “live the moment” of any performance, rather than work on how to critically judge it.

    I do agree with you 100% that Amanda Holden became truely beautiful when she fell into the moment of the song.

    Whether or not the judges heard Susan before hand is not the point (and I don’t think they did). Not one of them could have predicted how that performance was about to unfold – or why it would cause 30 million people around the world to cry.

  2. Rose Says:

    I have listened to her sing that song over and over again. Even without watching it – and the drama that accompanies it – it is a beautiful sound.

    I hope she goes on to make many successful recordings.

    I like her spunk, too. She is who she is, and isn’t ashamed of it.

    How many more amazing and wonderful people are there out there, doing their quiet thing, never noticed by a society that is blinded by Hollywood’s shallow veneer.

  3. ymarsakar Says:

    Nice to hear from you, Rose.


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