Call it coincidence that I was catching up on ‘Glee’ this weekend and witnessed yet another moving rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables. I call this coincidence because days before I had started working on this blog post on Susan Boyle. Who is Susan Boyle, you say? Susan Boyle is the middle-aged woman who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, and despite being mocked and judged by her physical appearance, went on to perform one of the most captivating television performances of all time. The song she sang – “I Dreamed A Dream”. Now, I’m not one to watch a show like Britain’s Got Talent. Seeing as I live in Canada I’m not even sure I would have been given the opportunity. However, the buzz on this performance has refused to go away and a few months ago I broke down and looked up Susan Boyle on YouTube. Seven minutes later I knew I had to share this inspiring story, and share the inspiring video of her performance.
“I know what they were thinking, but why should it matter as long as I can sing? It’s not a beauty contest.” ~ Susan Boyle
Susan grew up singing at her local church, and after winning several local singing competitions was convinced to audition for Britain’s Got Talent. The funny thing is that in the days leading up to her audition, Susan wanted to withdraw from the competition because she felt too old. Luckily, at the tender age of 47, Susan pushed past her doubts and took to the Britain’s Got Talent stage, proclaiming that her dream was “to become as successful as Elaine Paige”. As you will see in the video, no one could expect what was about to happen, and Susan Boyle’s rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” (ironically, a song about a broken dream and loss of hope) went on to be proclaimed by one of the judges as the “biggest wake-up call ever”.
“Modern society is too quick to judge people on their appearances. [...] There is not much you can do about it; it is the way they think; it is the way they are. But maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example.” ~ Susan Boyle
Since her performance on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, Susan has gone on to release her own album entitled “I Dreamed A Dream”. It topped the Billboard chart for six straight weeks and narrowly missed becoming the best-selling album of 2009. On December 13, 2009 Susan appeared in her own television special “I Dreamed a Dream: the Susan Boyle Story”, featuring a duet with Elaine Paige.
Why do I share this story with you today? First of all, it’s hard not to feel inspired after watching the video of her 2008 BGT performance. Second of all, I feel this is a great story of overcoming criticism, judgment, and self-doubt to see the realization of a dream. Susan Boyle dreamed a dream, and because of this has provided inspiration to millions.
Watch the Video: