Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Susan Boyle Phenomenon Was Hyped and Scripted

The Susan Boyle Phenomenon Is Already Getting Old

By Michael Musto

One of the week's most clicked clips was that of Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old frump who rocked out on Britain's Got Talent and wowed the smirks off the skeptical judges' faces. But as someone who knows about the inner workings of TV, can I just say how phony the whole thing came off? In fact, the only shock in the whole thing for me is that people are taking it at face value!

First off, Boyle--if that's even really her name--was obviously drabbed down for effect, so you'd think she was some crazy woman off the street. The dialogue before her song came off completely calculated too, with her even stumbling for a second to cement the idea that she's a bit daft and totally amateur. And the judges all assumed this "Give me a break" stance--with seemingly rehearsed audience reaction shots thrown in--all to stack the deck against saucy Susan.

And then she sang her Les Miz dirge and the judges, every bit as rehearsed as before, lit up with predictable shock and glee, as I started to suspect this woman is a pro with a lot of theater credentials, probably sent down by Central Casting.

But aside from all that, what is so fucking startling about a 47-year-old being able to sing? Patti LuPone turns 60 next week!

61 comment(s) / Post a Comment Jonster says:
While you were on the Today Show this a.m., Patti LuPone and Susan Boyle had a conversation on, I think, ABC. (There was a dizzying array of familiar faces on the morning news today.) Patti, who sang it originally in London in Les Miz, said she was in tears watching her on Youtube. People are mad about this woman. Just hope the bloke who gives her her first kiss doesn't run off with all her cash.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 12:53PM Vodka Stinger says:
oh, you old cynic you. Aside from all of the obvious reality pageantry (the swelling music as the judges gave her a unanimous YES, and the shot of what appeared to be Ashley Simpson pre-nose job rolling her eyes) I suppose it was just nice to see her succeed. These shoes are beyond calculated, there is nothing left to chance (eh-hum Sangiya). None the less I love this clip. I want Susan Boyle to play Miss Lovett!!! Viva BOYLE!!

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:11PM Julie says:
I suppose you had to be the first person to go against this (well done you) but can't understand why anyone would. Its a happy story in a time when all we hear about is bad news. All I can say that the whole performance was not staged or acted up. I'm British and TV over here is not over dramatised or acted like soo many US shows. Everything about the show is real so end of.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:20PM Dem says:
Why " ...was obviously drabbed down for effect, so you'd think she was some crazy woman off the street." Why crazy? I'm not going to comment on your statement (I have not a clue whether the Boyle-show was phony or not). What I'm going to question is your above statement: why a woman dressed in a decent dress, sans the ubiquitous feathers-tin-foil-sequined-shorts-almost-bare-breasts is considered some crazy woman off the street? Do you really think that Madonna's stage costume (that stupid, ridiculous corset) is ... normal? Oh, she's La Madonna.
Just my thought, about "crazy women off the street."

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:38PM ginga says:
You're right. Even the shot of her eating, with those bushy eyebrows, was designed to read: nutty wacko from the hinterlands.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:50PM VonEl says:
The reason she stumbled verbally while trying to describe her hometown is because she has a learning disability due to oxygen deprivation at birth, something she has apparently been teased about much of her life. The only "professional" experience she has is singing with her church choir and a brief sting in a theatrical school.

Not my kind of music by any stretch of the imagination, but she clearly has a natural talent and a sweet, unvarnished charm. Really now, Michael. Just lighten up and let the poor woman enjoy her well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:53PM Musto says:
I'm talking more about the presentation than about anything else. Susan is very cute and sings nicely. But do you think Simon really didn't know what was going to happen? You think the judges weren't prepped that this frumpy thing was going to be able to belt it out of the park? You think they didn't try everything to make it look like the decks were stacked against her? Then you probably believe every minute of Survivor too.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 1:58PM bethel says:
Dem: "why a woman in a decent dress is considered some crazy woman off the street."

Please! This is a talent show where people put on a performance and dress to win! No, Madonna isn't normal, but she has a sophisticated, glitzy look that spells success. This woman was made to look as common as possible so you'd think she had no talent.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:03PM Julie says:
Believe me the judges were not prepped if they were then what you saw of their faces was pure acting.

Amanda Holden (one of the 3 judges) genuinely looked utterly flabergasted when Susan sung. Amanda is an actress over here and she can't act for toffee.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:11PM icarus says:
I couldn't care less that the video is obviously slickly produced and edited.

I also wouldn't care if Susan Boyle was professional and not amature.

The whole package was so stunningly beautiful and timely it matters not one bit. However, it was conceived and executed is irrelevant in the face of the message and joy it's bringing to many.

Ugly pettiness just looks that much more ugly and petty in comparison.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:15PM Green Eyes says:
Oh yeah, it would be much better to see clips or read stories about self-absorbed slutty acting young brats such as some of the ones on your site. How dare people get excited for a lady that has endured ridicule all her life and has dedicated her life to taking care of her family.

What's the weather like down in the gutter?

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 2:32PM Julie says:
Too true VonEl and Green Eyes. Me thinks some people should just lighten up and not be soo bloody bitter about everything. Another thing what the hell is Survivor???

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:03PM Jonster says:
"I adore cheap sentiment." Bette Davis.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:17PM Jonster says:
PS - MM you are ALL over the tube today! I was on the treadmill at the gym just now and suddenly there you were (on the monitor) talking about the Hilton Sisters on E.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:20PM nick b. says:
Here's why I think we love Susan.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:35PM Jonster` says:
Julie, Survivor is a reality show that spawned the career of Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a conservative commentator on The View who took off her panties for peanut butter.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 3:46PM marlon says:
all those who "love Susan" should remember she is a devout Scottish Catholic which means like those pigs at St Patricks she hates gays, is vehemently against abortion, etc etc. Grinding her hips grotesquely on camera belies her "virgin" status -- as soon as "sugar tits" Simon Cowell signs her to a contract, you can be sure she will be fleeced by the man who she says she expects to find asap--

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:00PM Julie says:
Are you having a bad day (or life) Marlon??

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:10PM Anonymous says:
Wow - either I'm naive or some of you guys are too jaded for your own good. I think she must be the real thing - her reaction backstage bears this out, if nothing else...

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:11PM AC says:
Musto, you camp dingbat. When have you been significant? Do you have any actual talent? Nobody cares. Granted, the segment was masterfully edited. Why shouldn't it have been? For anyone to sing that well and movingly at a low-tech, amateur audition is astonishing, and it's right that it should be celebrated. Please go away a long time ago.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:20PM Anonymous says:
Marlon you sound like a religious bigot, a snob and a little bit too defensive (i think you have had a bad day/life) don't be soo presumptious

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:22PM carla says:
how did anyone see Musto on TV since that fat turd of an archibishop has been getting free blowjobs on all the channels? -- since when do these hate-mongers get all this free publicity for their homophobic sect? As for Susan, she has a middling Broadway=style soprano voice but Musto is absolutely right -- the whole show is staged, she auditioned and was doubtless told to dress down and not shave her eyebrows, etc etc -- does anyone really think Cowell does anything at all in an uncalculated way, without the almighty dollar as sole motivation? Nothing on a Simon Cowell show occurs by accident -- and Susan is clearly as ugly inside as as her exterior would lead us to believe --

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:24PM jazzhands says:
I love all you British idiots who are saying, "Who cares if it's fake and bullshit and contrived and rehearsed and phony? It makes us feel good! Because we're morons!"

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:32PM VonEl says:
Carla, I don't think there's anyone as ugly on the inside as you seem to be.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:34PM Jonster says:
How can it be possible that this Youtube link has had over 15 million hits in only 4 days! It's just utterly amazing. This woman reminds us of someone we know (or might like to) perhaps. For me, she's my Brit grany who looked very much like her when I was young. Same eyebrows. Same shoes. Same stout, Midlands, farm-raised look. The backstory makes us feel good about ourselves by feeling good about other people.

Even we are perhaps being conned, I don't mind.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:42PM Anonymous says:
Wow the backlash starts on here (what a suprise!!) some people don't break any stereotypes on this discussion board

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 4:50PM Lisa Shields says:
Everyone I know has gone nuts over this clip to the point of tears, saying it's given them renewed hope, etc. But I completely agree with you-the whole thing came off as contrived and rehearsed. She seems like a very sweet lady but her voice isn't that good and she was obviously manipulated by the producers to be the next Paul Potts.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 6:02PM deus ex machina says:
How can anyone possibly know how the show was edited, or if they knew she was coming, or if they set it up even? Anyone saying that is offering nothing more than a theory which none can prove. Ridiculous. Have some common sense instead of letting your jaded mouths get ahead of you.

And to all the people commenting on Simon Cowell being the money-grabbing mastermind behind it? Congratulations, because you're all more cynical and jaded than he is.

You judged a show based on no factual evidence, a performer on the platform she chose, and based your 'opinions' on your own spiteful inability to see something triumphant as a positive thing.

Well done...hold your head high and be proud.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 6:05PM Anonymous says:
deus ex machina - soo true

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 6:11PM ohplease says:
The thing I find most astonishing is that anyone would think that a British TV talent show is run by brilliant manipulative masterminds who can control the reactions of millions of people worldwide and that Simon Cowell is some sort of all-powerful, all-knowing genius.

This show's orchestra is a tape deck somebody presses a button on backstage -- exactly how slick are we supposed to believe this is? Yes, it's sharply edited, but any 15 year-old with a computer could make a tv show look just as good.

Are we honestly supposed to believe that nowhere in any village in Scotland is anyone remotely like Susan Boyle? Really? That nobody looks like that or would dress that way to be on a British TV talent show? Because I have no problem at all believing that.

Clearly Boyle is the real deal. Clearly the audience and the judges were taken by surprise. Clearly some people may have lived in NYC just a little too long.

Michael, I love you, of course, but just because something makes people genuinely happy doesn't mean it has to be evil.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 7:22PM ReginaldL says:
Yeah, well the Anti-Susan Boyle backlash is already getting old. These kind of opinions spring up within seconds. You're already 5 days late.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 8:15PM Joe says:

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 8:41PM hort says:
this clearly wasn't staged. no one is smart enough to make this up or else it would be done over and over. next thing you'll be telling everyone sully ditched his plane for fame. get a life!

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 9:38PM Cornel says:
Lets put it simple..ladies and gentlemen!Susan has shown that she doesnt only have a voice but that she is simply a natural, straightforward and AUTHENTIC person!
Dont we all want to have such a moment in our lives? Be famous AND be loved by the world?
Could it be that some of u are simply ashamed of bearing such a wish in the depest depths of ur souls?

I did send the link of Susan to all my friends of my personal network on and we ALL keep our fingers crossed for her and for her further career!

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 10:06PM ceilingcrash says:
A dog comes upon a small flower.

He shits upon it.

That is all.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 11:23PM greg says:
Simon actually said some nice things about here here too:

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 11:28PM Dave Todd says:
This article is just sickening.

Although it is pretty typical, usual and synical meeting every criteria of the Voice and the author.

Posted On: Thursday, Apr. 16 2009 @ 11:46PM Barabara says:
Here's her story you cynical saddo. As you can see, she IS the real deal. She didn't 'dress down' either - she wore her best dress and had her hair curled specially.

The producers would have known she was good, as they must pass the pre-auditions in order to perform before the judges, but I highly doubt the judges knew, even Simon. None of them can act to save their lives, even Amanda who calls herself an actress - she's crap.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 12:44AM alexis kaiser says:
What an ignorant article. Patti LuPone a superstar with years of training compared to an unemployed church worker with no real training. Are you that stupid to compare apples to pick up trucks?
Could you back up your so called knowledge of the production of UK television?
Could you call her singing less than spectacular?
You are one jaded person. The hits on You Tube alone prove that the rest of us believe in the Ugly Duckling. We believe that dreams are allowed to come true for what society deems as less than the norm.
As for you....I hope the ice around your heart, the cynacism of your soul softens and you keep your "opinions" to yourself.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:07AM Andrew says:
Definitely some masterful production work to encourage the drama but completely scripted and fake? Absolutely not. And I've heard the behind-the-scenes stories about scripted reality shows from actor friends who've been in or audited for them but this was basically real from her personality, to the audience's reaction. The performance including the drama before and after was exciting and inspiring to watch even with a cynical awareness of the showmanship behind it.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:09AM Robert Johnson says:
Author is a troll

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:12AM blissbaby says:
Anything associated with Simon Cowell is fake and cynical and manipulated. His genius is to sell that to the masses as "truth" and they ignorantly buy it.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:29AM Manoel says:

Fake and manipulated is something TV does all the time. Sometimes the leitmotiv is kids sniffing glue, people shooting people, non-American-villains-and-American-heroes...

Even the press does so. Media has much less to do with reality than media people admit. So when they turn almost-beggar-ugly-brit into beautiful singer able to shut Cowell's mouth, it's a good dream they are faking a manipulating.


Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 9:41AM Anonymous says:
I feel sorry for some of the people who have posted negative comments about Susan Boyle. They truly must be quite depressing people if they pick fault in a story like this. It must be quite a miserable existance that they live. Who cares if it was tarted up a little its a great story. Now everyone stop whining

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:11AM gingrrl says:
Was it orchestrated? Maybe. Were we manipulated? Maybe. You know what, I don't care. I can only say that that was the best thing I've seen in forever. You can still be touched by the consummate ruse. Happens all the time in movies and tv. I love Susan. And I do think she's the real deal. Dig this torchy version of "Cry Me a River" she did for a charity cd some 10 years ago.

Can you believe she's never been kissed? Gawd, if she sang this for me I'd surely drop my knickers faster than you can say "Brigadoon".

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:25AM Scot Schtape says:
Musto, you cynical bitch queen! Where is your humanity? Take a vacation why don't ya. Take the last train out of Snarksville while there's hope.

You're just jealous 'cause your eybrows look better on her!

So There!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:26AM Mean Mister Mustard says:
Wow, The Voice's Long March into oblivion continues!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 12:38PM Booger says:
Wow. A jerk. In NY. Try being less typical.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:05PM Rose says:
Wowee, the nut are coming out of the woodwork for this one.

For what it's worth, I agree with the post 100%. The woman is a good singer but nothing extraordinary. Of course the judges knew she would be good and were told how to act. Simon was playing the whole thing for the cameras. At one point near the end you can even see him smiling at her and then quickly glancing at the camera to make sure he was seen doing it.

While the words may not be scripted, there were reaction shots of the hosts, judges, and audience members inserted to tell you exactly what you're supposed to be feeling throughout the performance. The whole thing seems rather ingenuine.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 2:22PM Justin Thyme says:
Susan Boyle is either a BRILLIANT actress willing to take part in one of the biggest, most complicated hoaxes in the history of entertainment (her entire life story has been fabricated?) or she's a woman who brought her talent to the stage, had it edited by producers whose job it is to create entertainment and has gone on to inspire others to embrace their lives in all of their warty glory. The perspective you adopt speaks volumes about the person you are.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 3:05PM NOSTRADAVIS says:
Who knew "Now Voyager" was such a prophecy? I'm holding my breath for the makeover...her "B" side recording hit you tube today.Soon she won't be cryin' anyone a river!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 4:08PM Jonster says:
That cry me a river song is right up there with miss peggy lee!

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 7:32PM Mary Spallacci says:
Reading your acticle is like watching the judges and that audience have such sinck looks of disbelief. You sound like a bully so from all those who love Susan, go to hell
You rock Susan

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 7:51PM Glenna says:
Gads, MM you are repulsive!! This is my first and my LAST visit to this site.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 8:39PM Jonster says:
Whoah. Did Musto shoot the Pope? Susan Boyle is real, the artifice is in the presentation is all he's saying. Someone had to pass her through in the audition process so there's a chance they weren't completely surprised by her performance. A lot of folk think they have some hidden talent that has gone unexpressed. It's almost like Susan Boyle represents the perfect finale to that secret fantasy, that's her attraction. Besides, the world is just looking for some good news these days. Mister Musto failed to genuflect. Six Hail Marys.

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 9:13PM the NOT unhappy says:
Vive la liberte d'expression!

If you have had a bad day or have a bad life, please do not hesitate to post your negative comment here... you're in the right place as you can read in some posts...

If you are one of them, go ahead, spend two minutes to write your opinion about it, but have in mind that you won't get the Pulitzer for sure... and don't worry [nobody will notice] so you can spit all your poison that burns your mouth, you'll feel relieved but not be healed...

After all, tomorrow, you'll be the same, nothing will change in your miserable life... (if you can call it a life)

But you have a chance, YES, there is hope, so you can go to the nearest corner-store and buy a forest where you'll get the oppotunity to get lost...

At least, I can say for sure that when I saw the video and heard her singing, I completely forgot [for seven minutes] my daily problems I deal with in my NOT unhappy life, believe me...

But anyway, who cares?

Posted On: Friday, Apr. 17 2009 @ 11:33PM La Grand Puta says:
Well it worked honey! Little Simon, Rupert Murdoch, and everyone else involved in the franchise are wheeling in the barrows of cash!
I've watched the video several times. It was as exciting as room reveal on Clean House
(sans Niecey Nash) but she showed us heart, and for a few minutes we all had a little hope. It was probably the Les Mis number, but the first time many of us see that video, we remember what hope is. Some people had it last November...We need to be reminded in this from time to time.
Then Simon opens his mouth and you remember it's all about Simon's bank account. But for one brief moment,honey, we all clapped for Tinkerbell.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 3:11AM La Grand Puta says:
I made my first post before I read all the spew. Jonster is a doll and I concur with his post completely. Kudos to the earlier B. Davis quote.
Someone during the audition process saw a moment of magic, the news made it's way to Simon who played it like a true, um,showman. He played it up. He may be a greedy ass but he orchestrated a moment of magic for all of us. I'll even say thanks Simon.
I must throw a ruby red conspiratorial slipper in the works and ask if there's any co-incidence that this particular magical episode occurs the very same week Fox sponsored their Teabagging parties?????? Big Tea Party media hit one day, next day Sweet Susan to erase the memory.....Rupert Murdoch and Karl Rove- the evil king and queen of media... they ARE that evil but I'm not sure if even they could have planned it so precisely.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 3:44AM tomalhe says:
On the bright side ... it's another 6 weeks before she actually does anything ... this was still in the wacky "american idol" losers (william hung) audition weeks.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 5:04AM Rob says:
What a bitch. I heard New Yorkers were a bunch of pricks but until I read this I thought it was just a stereotype.

For 'someone who knows the inner workings of TV' you are pretty ignorant about the format of this show. The producers line up the acts (the judges do not get to see them before hand) and mostly they are rotten. They are not given any help or make up at this stage. That is part of the shows appeal in the UK.

The woman in question has spent much of her life looking after her mother who died recently. She's had a learning disability since birth for which she has been bullied. Yet she still comes across as a warm, friendly and down to earth human being who doesn't let her disadvantages effect her cheery outlook.

As for her look, she's clearly not 'up' on the latest New York fashions and simply tried to look her best - for which non-bitches love her.

You really could do with taking a leaf out of her book.

You think you're being clever but it has backfired and you simply come across like the high school bully. It is clear to anyone reading your post how ugly you are on the inside.

Well done you.

Oh, and go stick your head in a bucket.

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 5:50AM Danny Bloom says:
Susan Boyle's much-hyped TV appearance was "scripted" -- and the public was bamboozled again

Susan Boyle's much-hyped TV appearance was "scripted" and the public was bamboozled again

Although of course she deserves kudos for a great voice and a great personality and going ahead with the TV appearance, but readers, bloggers everywhere, this entire show in the UK is scripted, the judges are all paid entertainers, Susan Boyle did not just walk on the stage and sing a song, unknownst to the judges or the audience even. The entire event was prepared and scriped, they don't leave any room for chance on these kinds of "reality" and Live shows, it is pure TV billshit, and we have been bullshitted again and the entire world has gone gaga for a PR stunt of major proportions.

Again, Susan Boyle was not part of this, she was just a guest on the show, but she knew what was going on and none of her lines were spontaneous. It was all scripted, stage managed by professionals. Again, I not blaming her for this. She went on the show and has a great voice and deserves all the good luck and fortune that comes her way, yes.

But we should all know that it did not happen the way the "media" and the show's producers want us to believe. The virgin, the never been kissed, the "I will never be lonely again" remarks on CNN, the spinster headlines, all the hype. She had voice lessons for two years, she has now admitted. She made a CD in 1999. She was not some unknown non-professional singer who just "happened" to walk on that stage. It is all rehearsed and scripted.

We have been bamboozled by the Brits again, using Hollywood hype as their tool. And CNN and LArry King and Ap and all the media went for it, because it's a great story. But the entire show, and her part especially, was scripted. Don't believe me? Ask me how I know. I know.

leave comments below

Posted On: Saturday, Apr. 18 2009 @ 8:20AM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bet you feel rather foolish now, don't you?