The Susan Boyle fame narrative continues as expected. Reports came in last night that Scottish songbird, currently vying for the Britain's Got Talent crown, is crumbling under the pressure, causing her to lash out at fans. Like any good singer, she's following all the notes of insta-fame to a T.
Step One: Winning Hearts and Minds, but Mostly Hearts
When she first trundled on stage during the prelims of the British competition show, Boyle seemed sad and dowdy and homely, one of those myriad miserable people that reality show producers across the globe like to trot out for their embarrassment and our snickering amusement. So everyone was relieved and giddy and just simply thrilled that, when she opened that pie hole of hers, Boyle could blow. Sonorous, classically-tinged mezzo-soprano that could hold up ably in some supporting funny role in the West End. Good for everyone for finding an unattractive woman fanciful and fun! We're not such terrible monsters after all.
Step Two: But, Uh, About That Unattractive Thing...
Yeah, she's not Princess Di. And once the initial warm surprise of Boyle's singing ability began to wear off, everyone started looking at her with cocked heads and saying "Hmm..." Most culture vultures (gag) took this as an opportunity to say what's wrong with ugly people?, which was nice and true, sure, but also just the teensiest bit smug. And, oh yeah, you're still calling the poor lady ugly. So what happens next in the narrative? I think you know.
Step Three: Makeover!!!
Susan Boyle got a leather coat. And maybe had her hair blown out. And everyone said that the inevitable makeover had begun. And it made sense, really, because if you were on one of Britain's biggest TV shows you'd probably want to look your best too. But did it maybe start to engender some backlash? I mean isn't it awfully vain and prideful to dare make yourself look better? How dare Susan Boyle think she's people. She's not people! She's our Edith Piaf Scottish troll lady idol. I mean, what fun would Shrek be if he looked like Harry Hamlin, y'know?
Step Four: The Dip
It was bound to happen. Some other vaguely unsettling novelty act ascended the BGT stage and nearly erased all memory of Susan Boyle from our fickle, fiendish hearts. Someone like the bespiked castrato, who isn't quite as pleasing as Boyle, but boy is he weird and fascinating. Plus, Boyle's second go around on the show wasn't quite as stirring, probably because, yawn, been there, seen that. So it looked like the Boyle party train might be slowing to a standstill.
Step Five: It's Infected with Rage
So apparently Boyle was watching BGT at her hotel and one of the judges said that SOMEONE ELSE had the best vocal of the show so far, which sent Boyle into a rage blackout in which she told hecklers to "fuck off" and threatened to quit the show. (And then there was a little bomb dropped about how she maybe suffered brain damage during birth? Ugh.) So she's back on top of the filthy news pile! But at what cost? Will she lose the support of those who just want her to be the ugly frog lady with adorable little probably-not-gonna-pan-out-in-any-significant-way-in-the-end dreams? Perhaps. Or maybe she's just a person under a lot of pressure and people under a lot of pressure have been known to lash out at people who are actively trying to get her goat, as the two hotel patrons were supposedly doing.
What's next for ol' Boyle? Well, the rest of the competition, for one. But beyond that there are further steps in the fame trajectory. She hasn't yet had a true taste of validity, which maybe she'll get when she's offered a role in a West End show. Then it'll be all pints and good times, then it'll be dwindling offers, then it'll be another, shittier reality show, and then it'll be... well who knows. Most likely that merciless void, known to some as obscurity and, to others, as life.