Priory

Piers Morgan: ‘Susan Boyle is fine’

Susan Boyle Biggest star on planet

Susan Boyle Biggest star on planet

Piers Morgan has said that Susan Boyle is “mentally fine” and will play a number of dates on the ongoing Britain’s Got Talent live tour.

Ahead of Boyle’s performance last night in Glasgow, Morgan told BBC HARDtalk that it was the attention of the media and not the reality talent show that had resulted in the singer’s admission to The Priory.

Morgan said: “She did three great shows and is now having a rest and she’ll be back for a few more shows. Susan’s fine.

“Susan Boyle’s fine. She has always been, in my view, mentally fine. The problems she found difficult as anybody would was this incredible worldwide attention.”

He added: “What I find even more hypocritical is that the broadcast media, and broadsheet media as well, they want to cover this story and the best way of covering it and to get the acres of publicity that you want for ratings is to somehow try and turn it into something more sinister than it was.”

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 23, 2009 at 12:46 am

Categories: Britain's Got Talent, Britain's Got Talent tour, Priory, Susan Boyle   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Susan Boyle performs for home crowd in Scotland

susan boyle singing

susan boyle singing

Susan Boyle has performed in front of her home crowd on the Britain’s Got Talent live tour, says Metro.

The 48-year-old from Blackburn, West Lothian took to the stage at Glasgow’s SECC last night, after missing two performances in Manchester over the weekend.

Onlookers said that she sang ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ and ‘Memory’ from the musical Les Miserables for thousands of her Scottish fans.

Boyle’s appearance at the concert had been in doubt after she was forced to pull out of a matinee and evening performance at Manchester’s MEN arena on doctor’s orders.

It was previously suggested that Boyle would not be performing on every leg of the Britain’s Got Talent tour, as she recently completed a stint in the Priory for exhaustion


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:38 am

Categories: Priory, Susan Boyle   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Susan Boyle is a feisty, funny lady with a huge talent.

Now she wants to make her album… and pursue her dream

The first time I ever saw Susan Boyle was on a cold, drab evening in Glasgow.

I remember it well because I’d been forced to endure a particularly long, tedious day of Britain’s Got Talent auditions at the SECC Theatre.

We’d had the usual Scottish plethora of dreadful bagpipers (I know there are some very good ones, we just never seem to see any when we go up there), appalling kilt-wearing wailers and shockingly bad Highland dancers.

Magnificent: Susan Boyle performed a triumphant new version of I Dreamed a Dream at the final but it was not quite enough to win the public vote for the top prize

Magnificent: Susan Boyle performed a triumphant new version of I Dreamed a Dream at the final but it was not quite enough to win the public vote for the top prize

prize

‘God, this is horrific,’ moaned Simon Cowell during a break.

‘Something will turn up,’ replied Amanda Holden, ‘it always does.’

An hour later, a little middle-aged lady strode purposefully on stage and introduced herself as ‘Susan Boyle from Blackburn in West Lothian.’

When Simon asked her age, she smiled, said ‘I’m 47,’ and then did one of her now famous wiggles, chuckling: ‘And that’s just one side of me!’

Simon and I rolled our eyes at each other dismissively, and he sighed: ‘OK, so what’s the dream?’

Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden, Simon Cowell

Stunned: The judges agreed that Susan’s first performance on the show was ‘the biggest surprise ever’

‘My dream is to be a professional singer,’ she replied, firmly.

Cue much hilarity in the theatre.

‘And why hasn’t it worked out before?’ probed Cowell.

‘I just haven’t been given the chance before, so here’s hoping it will change.’

More eye-rolling.

‘And who would you like to be as successful as?’

‘Elaine Paige.’

Again, loud guffaws around the theatre, but again, no hesitation.

Susan, that day, was brimming with self-confidence and absolute certainty as to why she was there, and what the gameplan was.

‘What are you going to sing?’

‘I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.’

I burst out laughing. ‘OK, that’s a big song.’ Which could be safely translated as: ‘This is going to be way too big a song for you, my little dearie.’

The rest, of course, is now the stuff of legend.

Susan burst into a stunning rendition of the famous West End anthem, and made us judges and the sceptical audience distinctly uncomfortable in the process.

Susan Boyle

On the mend: Susan plays up to the cameras while out clothes shopping with her doctor in Radlett, Hertfordshire

We’d committed the oldest sin in the talent- show book  – judging a book by its cover.

At the end of the performance, with the crowd roaring their approval, Susan did a small theatrical bow and blew us all a kiss.

Then, when Simon, Amanda and I all said ‘Yes’, she danced around the stage, punching her arms in the air, absolutely jubilant about what had happened.

I watched that audition clip back on YouTube this week, and felt the very same goosebumps I had that day in Glasgow.

It was, truthfully, one of the most surprising things I’ve ever witnessed – for all the sexist, ageist, fashionist reasons that everyone else was surprised, too.

It was also one of the most inspiring.

In that short 90-second performance, Susan Boyle offered up a wonderful one-woman antidote to all the cynicism that had engulfed the world during this devastating recession.

She wasn’t a greedy banker, or a corrupt politician.

She wasn’t in this for fame or fortune, either.

Susan has no interest in being another D-list celebrity, or racking up piles of cash.

She’s 47, and has spent her entire life dreaming of one thing – being a professional singer.

A real one, like Elaine Paige.

This single fact leaped out at me while watching the playback more than anything else.

Because, for the past seven days, there has been a veritable torrent of criticism of Britain’s Got Talent, and the show’s supposed ‘cruel manipulation’ of this allegedly poor, defenceless, vulnerable woman, and of younger contestants, too.

I won’t even get into the argument about whether kids should be on the show or not, because I find it so inherently silly.

Suffice to say that the vast majority of children on Britain’s Got Talent exude a self-evident stage confidence and natural ability that shames their adult competitors, and to further point out that kids have been known to occasionally cry when they lose at tiddly-winks, let alone a major talent contest.

The headline-writers and columnists were quick to condemn: She should never have been allowed to audition!

It was obvious she’s mentally ill!

Nobody with learning difficulties should ever go on a TV show!

And so on.

To which I say: What a load of absolute poppycock!

The Susan Boyle who auditioned that day in Glasgow was a feisty, funny, joyful woman who was quite clearly loving every second of being on the show.

After a lifetime devoted to helping care for her mum until she died, and working tirelessly for her local church, Susan was finally doing something for herself, and was thrilled to get such a positive reaction.

And that’s exactly how she stayed for the first six weeks after her audition was screened on ITV in April.

Now, I’ll be honest here: none of us had any idea how famous Susan was going to be.

We thought her audition was terrific, don’t get me wrong.

But we didn’t even think she was going to be the stand-out act of that first edited audition show.

We were all convinced that the street dance act Flawless would dominate the Press coverage, and be favourites to win the competition.

Britain's Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle

Great expectations: The ‘gobsmacking’ first performance by Susan which kick-started her meteoric rise to global phenomenon

I even wrote their name on a piece of paper as my prediction for who I thought would win when we chose the Top 40 – as did Simon.

But when I watched that first audition show go out live on ITV, and began getting an immediate big reaction from friends and family, I texted Simon in Los Angeles and said: ‘I’d forgotten how brilliant Susan Boyle was.’

Within 24 hours, her clip started to shoot virally around the world.

I began getting emails and texts from America, Australia, Italy and Russia  – all of them from people I knew, saying they had been reduced to tears watching it.

After three days, Susan had become a global internet sensation.

And she dealt with it with consummate ease.

I watched her appearing on huge American TV programmes such as Larry King Live and the Oprah Winfrey Show, and she was just the same Susan I remember from Glasgow.

She laughed, she sang, she pulled faces, she danced a bit, she had fun.

She didn’t take herself too seriously.

And she never once showed any sign of discomfort at all the attention.

For week after week, the Susan Boyle phenomenon grew bigger and bigger.

It was one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen.

To watch someone go from complete anonymity to international superstardom so fast was just astonishing. But slightly scary, too.

I remember Simon saying after three weeks or so: ‘This is all getting out of control, we need to calm it down.’

Simon Cowell

Concerned: Even Simon Cowell, who is known for his tough image and brutal putdowns of contestants, was worried about the impact on Susan

He was concerned then about Susan’s bubble bursting as fast it blew up, that people might get bored with her before the live finals.

And he was also concerned about the effect of all the attention on Susan herself.

On his advice, Susan curtailed the number of interviews she was doing, and focused on rehearsing for her next performance on the show.

But the mania continued unabated, and her legend grew by the day: 100million hits on Youtube, 150million, 200million.

Demi Moore even started backing her on Twitter.

It was insane.

Susan Boyle was downloaded more times in a month than Barack Obama, Britney Spears and David Beckham put together.

She’s had, to date, more internet hits than Mandela, Churchill, JFK and Hitler combined.

One afternoon, Amanda joined Ant and Dec in my London flat to do a series of interviews for American television.

We were all united in our shock at the Susan phenomenon.

‘I can’t believe this,’ said Amanda.

‘It’s ridiculous,’ agreed Ant.

‘Unbelievable,’ whistled Dec.

I laughed. ‘Just think, you three have been trying to crack America for 30 years between you, and she’s done it in four weeks.’

The next time I saw Susan was on the day of her semi-final two weeks ago.

I came out of my dressing room at the Fountain Studios in Wembley to find her sitting outside, waiting to do her dress rehearsal.

Susan grinned broadly when she saw me. ‘How you feeling?’ I asked.

‘OK, OK,’ she said.

‘Nervous?’

‘Yes!’

She was shaking a bit, but then so were all the contestants.

For amateurs to perform live on a show getting up to 20million viewers is nerve-racking.

The difference with Susan was that until then she had exuded remarkable confidence.

Now, suddenly, I could tell that the pressure was finally beginning to get to her.

She had been the red-hot favourite to win for seven weeks now, which is a lifetime in reality television.

And I think it had slowly dawned on her that virtually the whole world was going to be watching her sing that night, and there was little chance of her ever being able to live up to the magic of that initial audition tape, however well she sang.

Live shows can be brutal, unforgiving things.

Susan Boyle

Nerves: Susan displayed the initial signs of stage fright at the semi-final but but persevered after missing the first note

They’re also the greatest test of potential future stars.

I’ve seen many talented auditionees shine and fall at this stage of the contest.

It’s what makes it so dramatic, exciting, unpredictable and emotional.

When Susan walked out on stage, she looked like a frightened rabbit, and my heart went out to her.

I, too, felt incredibly tense, knowing the size of the likely global audience watching our every move that night, and I was just a judge.

God only knows how Susan, the most famous woman on the planet, was feeling.

Then she began to sing, and missed her very first note. I froze.

Oh God, were we about to see her self-implode on stage?

No, we were not. Susan simply grabbed her diaphragm, took a deep breath and burst into the next few notes with incredible power.

It was a defining moment for me.

The moment when I realised that Susan could hack live performing.

Her rendition of Memory, ironically, was perhaps not quite as memorable as I Dreamed A Dream, but it was good enough to prove that she was not a one-hit wonder, a flash-in-the-pan.

Susan Boyle on the final of Britain's Got Talent

Cracking up: Susan manages a final wiggle despite losing to Diversity

When she heard she’d won the public vote, she danced wildly again on stage, pure delight radiating from her face.

‘This is for you, Piersy baby!’ she shrieked, amusingly, offering me a very special wiggle. (She’d admitted a few times by now that she had a bit of a crush on me.)

A few minutes later, I was walking back to my dressing room when she spied me, ran down the steps, jumped into my arms and planted a big smacker on my lips.

‘I’ve been kissed now, haven’t I, Piersy baby!’ she laughed.

‘You certainly have,’ I laughed. ‘You were brilliant out there.’

‘Thank you. I enjoyed it.’

And I could see she had. She was ecstatic.

But that was the last time I saw her that way.

From the following day, some of the media and public attitude towards Susan turned negative.

She was scorned for her ‘eccentric’ behaviour on stage, her apparent ‘lack of humility’ and the fact she missed a few notes in her performance.

There were reports of her having blazing rows with ‘strangers’ (who turned out to be journalists) in hotel bars, and of shouting at the TV screen when she saw me praising Shaheen Jafargholi on the second semi-final (she furiously denied this to me).

The headlines over the next few days were strident: ‘BOYLING POINT’, ‘SUSAN’S CRACKING UP!’

And they had a huge impact on her.

Until this point, Susan had basked entirely in the positive glow of fame.

Now, suddenly, the mood had changed, and she didn’t know how to deal with it.

I’m not going to be a rank hypocrite and lambast the media for this mini-backlash.

I was a tabloid editor for 11 years and would have almost certainly pursued the Susan Boyle story with just the same enthusiasm and aggression as my former colleagues were doing now.

I understand, and broadly agree with, the argument that she had voluntarily entered the competition, had courted the world’s media, and therefore had no right to complain.

All that is true.

But she was still entitled to feel upset and angry about it.

She’d already had to put up with being dubbed ‘Hairy Angel’ and ‘SuBo’ as if she was some Japanese wrestler, mocked relentlessly for her looks and fashion sense and ridiculed for never being kissed.

Now she was being written off as a not-very-good singer, too, by some of the very same people who had until very recently lauded her to the hilltops.

Celebrities joined in the Boyle-baiting.

Lily Allen sneered that she was ‘overrated’, and Craig Revel Horwood (the least known judge on Strictly Come Dancing) said he wanted to ‘smash the TV screen’ when he watched her in the semi-final.

And with every gratuitous insult, so Susan’s self-confidence diminished.

By Wednesday, she was in a bit of state.

So much so that I made a public plea for everyone to ‘back off’ after she threatened to leave the show altogether.

I spoke to her at length on the phone, and she said she’d been horrified by the turning of the tide in the Press coverage.

‘Why are they doing this to me? You used to be an editor, tell me?’

‘Because you’re the hottest story in the world,’ I said. ‘And I’m afraid this goes with the territory.’

She sounded close to tears.

‘I was sick last night, and I can’t sleep,’ she said.

‘I wish they’d just leave me alone.’

‘That’s not going to happen, Susan, and it shouldn’t happen.

‘You entered this show to be a professional singer, and everyone who does that has to accept that the media will be interested in their story if they do well.

‘There’s only one way to shut them all up, and that’s to absolutely nail it in the final.

‘Kill them with your talent.’

There was a pause.

‘I’d better show them all then!’

‘That’s the spirit, Susan.

‘My advice is don’t read the papers, don’t watch TV, just stay calm, keep away from all the mayhem if you can, and concentrate on getting that final performance right.’

‘I’ll try, but it’s not easy. It’s everywhere, I can’t get away from it.’

‘It is, but there are only a few days left.

‘Just focus on your final performance, because in the end that is all that matters now.’

She laughed. ‘I’ve been practising a lot.’

‘Good!’ I said.

At this stage, let me explain what goes on behind the scenes on Britain’s Got Talent.

The contestants are not just left to their own devices.

There is a huge support staff of people to advise them, and they are incredibly experienced in this kind of show.

The team on BGT also do X Factor, so they have had years of dealing with the highs and lows of being a contestant.

From my first-hand experience, this team are remarkably kind, patient and sympathetic.

They all know how nerve-racking it is, how difficult to suddenly find yourself thrust into the public eye, however much you want to be thrusted in the first place.

Simon, despite his tough-guy reputation, wants the show to be essentially uplifting and positive, not some kind of unforgiving Roman amphitheatre.

‘We want people to have a good time, both as contestants and as viewers,’ he told me.

‘Britain’s Got Talent works best when it’s a warm celebration of British talent and eccentricity, not when it resembles a bearpit.’

That doesn’t mean we can’t all have a good laugh at the daft, deluded acts, or mock the occasional complete idiots who grace our stage.

But it does mean that everyone working on the show knows there are limits, and that they take those limits very seriously.

Background checks, for instance, are done on every act that appears.

Everyone knew Susan was an exceptional case, the most talked-about contestant in the history of talent shows.

And she was repeatedly asked if she felt OK about continuing in the show.

‘Yes,’ she always replied. ‘I wouldn’t have entered otherwise.’

To try to make things easier for her, various close friends and family were flown down from Scotland to offer support and this definitely helped.

On the day of the final, I had another conversation with Susan on the phone.

‘You OK?’

‘Not really,’ she said. ‘I’ve not had a good night’s sleep all week, I haven’t been eating much, and I’m really stressed out.’

‘You’ve got your chance to show everyone what you can do tonight.

‘This is it, Susan. This is your moment to have the last laugh.’

She laughed. ‘I don’t feel much like laughing. There’s so much pressure, I don’t want to let anyone down.’

‘You won’t. You have inspired millions of people around the world with your singing, and you mustn’t let a few silly headlines ruin it for you.

‘You’ve enjoyed the show haven’t you?’

‘Oh yes, of course. I’ve been living my dream.’

I believed her, but was still worried for her.

‘You going to be OK tonight?’

She didn’t hesitate.

‘Yes.’

Two hours later, I found her waiting in the corridor to rehearse.

She was sitting next to the grandfather from fellow BGT hopefuls, 2 Grand.

Both seemed quite awed by the occasion, which was no surprise given the enormity of the ratings.

‘Look after each other,’ I said, and they smiled.

Then I gave Susan a quick hug. ‘Go out there and do what you do best tonight.’

‘I will,’ she said.

Later that night, Susan walked on to the stage and unleashed a magnificent new version of I Dreamed A Dream.

I was staggered by how confidently she sang.

After the extraordinary rollercoaster she’d been through, I genuinely feared it might all end in tears at the final hurdle, that she might crack under the maelstrom of attention and expectation.

Susan Boyle with Diversity

Face of disappointment: Susan appeared to take defeat to Diversity well on the night of the final but checked into the Priory the next day

But she didn’t. She nailed it.

To my shock and dismay, though, there were a few boos in the audience when I suggested in my critique that she should win the show.

I realised then that she probably wouldn’t win, that the bubble had indeed burst right at the last minute, that the British public – as Simon had feared – had grown a little bored and irritated by Boyle mania.

In fact, she nearly did win, missing out to the brilliant Diversity by just four per cent of the vote. (Incidentally, I’d hate all the ongoing obsession with Susan to detract from this wonderful dance group’s achievement. What fantastic role models they are, and what a statement their victory makes about a country supposedly drifting towards the BNP.)

And Susan was fantastically generous and modest in defeat, while reserving the right to do one last wiggle on stage.

Flawless

Absolutely Flawless: Piers expected the street dance group Flawless to win the show when he first saw their electrifying act

The next day, I was asked to call Susan because she was ‘exhausted and upset’.

We spoke for half an hour, and she admitted: ‘I’m so tired, I need to get away from all this for a while.’

‘You were brilliant last night,’ I said.

‘I didn’t win, though. Will I still be able to have a career as a singer?’

‘Of course you will,’ I replied, truthfully. ‘And remember that your dream was never to win this show, it was to sing professionally.’

‘That’s true, it is. It’s all I have ever wanted to do.’

She was undeniably jittery and erratic in that conversation.

There were laughter and tears, excitement and sadness.

She had been through an unprecedented two months.

‘Are you glad you came on the show?’ I asked.

‘I am,’ she said. ‘Even the way I feel now, I am.’

Later that night she was admitted voluntarily to the Priory Clinic after seeing some doctors.

She was, they said, ‘completely exhausted’.

I felt sad for her, but relieved too.

The Priory is a favoured destination for stressed-out performers.

They know exactly what Susan had been through, and exactly how to treat it.

Her admittance sparked a new media furore, most of which was laughably hypocritical.

As I said before, I don’t blame the papers, TV and radio for pursuing the story, or even how they pursued it.

But I do find some of their shameless finger-pointing faintly ridiculous.

I cannot think of a single thing more that anyone could have done for Susan.

Or a single rule change that could be made to protect future contestants from dealing with the unique problems of experiencing the unprecedented worldwide attention she has had.

Susan wanted to be on this show, has no regrets about doing it, is well on the road to a full recovery already and came out of the Priory last week after just a few days.

Now she wishes to pursue her dream of making an album, a disc that I would guess might sell somewhere north of ten million copies given her astounding popularity in America, making her the biggest selling female artist of the next 12 months.

I’ve no doubt she’ll get exhausted again in the future, and occasionally fed up with overly-critical journalists.

And she will, I confidently predict, also grow to loathe all the travelling, sycophancy, paranoia, insecurity and sheer hard work that goes with being a big star these days.

But when people say she should never have entered the show, and was ‘exploited’, I say that’s nonsense.

Susan had a blast for 90 per cent of the time, and remains a feisty, funny, independent-minded lady with an incredible talent.

She’s not some sort of cruelly exploited simpleton, as a few ill-informed critics seem to think.

She’s a smart-witted person (watch some of her American interviews) with a great sense of humour, but also a bit of a short fuse when it comes to people abusing her.

I guess when you’ve been bullied at school like she was, and had yobs chuck stones at your house, you grow less tolerant of that kind of behaviour.

Her brother, an intelligent, articulate, sensible man, summed it all up perfectly this week when he said she just needed a good rest, and added that he was mystified by all this over-exaggerated stuff about her ‘learning difficulties’.

‘She did as well academically as the rest of us,’ he said. ‘She just used to get very nervous before exams.’

The Susan Boyle story is not, as some would have it, a modern-day parable of reality TV disaster, the tale of an innocent victim whose life has been ruined by transient fame.

It’s the story of how one woman from a Scottish village set the whole world alight with the sheer force of her personality and raw, undiscovered talent.

OK, so she was a bit drained by the end of the whole shebang. Who wouldn’t be?

I’m so knackered, I feel like checking myself into the Priory as well.

But without Britain’s Got Talent, Susan Boyle would have probably carried on living alone with her cat in a remote part of Scotland, never knowing if she had what it takes to be a star.

Now she knows the answer. And so does the entire world.

She does.

ref Piers Morgan Dailymail

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Categories: Amanda Holden, Barack Obama, Britain's Got Talent, Britain's Got Talent final, Demi Moore, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher wedding anniversary, Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, Piers Morgan, Priory, shaheen jafargholi, Simon Cowell, Susan Boyle, Susan Boyle auditioned, white house   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Susan Boyle could remain in Priory for weeks

susan boyle singing

susan boyle singing

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle could need to remain in the Priory clinic for weeks, doctors have said.

The 48-year-old singer checked into the north London facility at the weekend, after feeling physically and mentally exhausted following the live final.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the clinic’s chief medical officer Chris Thompson insisted that the Priory was “not a rest home and not a spa. It is a psychiatric hospital”.

“I cannot talk specifically about Susan Boyle but any admission to a psychiatric hospital for a matter of days is, in my opinion, a failed admission because either it was unnecessary in the first place or the job hasn’t been done fully.”

He went on to say that if Boyle had been assessed under the Mental Health Act, as previously speculated, it implied “compulsory admission”.

“It implies there was a degree of personal risk,” he explained. “Secondarily that implies she did not want to come into hospital voluntarily.”

Earlier today, Boyle’s older brother said that the family were hoping she would be leaving the clinic within the next few days, adding that she was feeling “a lot better” since her admission.

4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 4, 2009 at 9:47 am

Categories: Britain's Got Talent, Priory, Susan Boyle   Tags: , , , , , , , ,