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Old 05-28-2009, 02:08 PM
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Default Winner of Britain’s Got Talent

2 months and 39 participants later, last Sunday’s semifinal round of Britain’s Got Talent saw Susan Boyle secure her place in the finals, going up against acts including street dancers Diversity, Darth Vader/Michael Jackson impersonator Darth Jackson and belly dancer Julia Naidenko on May 30, the first of five semifinals. The winner will perform at the Royal Variety Show and receive a cheque for 100,000 pounds.

Her performances on BGT - I Dreamed A Dream, Cry Me A River, Memory, Row Row Your Boat - are among the most watched videos on the Internet. And she is determined to show she's “more than a 90-second audition and a YouTube clip," her brother was quoted as saying on her reaching the finals.

The Scottish spinster, who previously insisted stardom wouldn't change her, left her home in Blackburn, with a spring in her step after undergoing a makeover. Her frizzy grey hair has been cut and coloured red, while her famously bushy eyebrows have been reshaped. She also raised her game in the style stakes with a pair of high heels and a rather enthusiastic smothering of make up.

Recounting the days that led to her meteoric rise, 47-year-old Susan Boyle walked in to audition for Britain’s Got Talent and judge Simon Cowell was about to laugh his guts out. But when the Scottish singer sang her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Misérables, she received a standing ovation from Cowell and the other judges.

The woman with the bushy eyebrows and uncombed hair had become an internet sensation with a 100 million hits on her videos posted on Youtube. Dubbed as ‘The Woman Who Shut Up Simon Cowell’, Boyle was born on April 1, 1961 in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland.

Youngest of four brothers and six sisters, Susan was briefly deprived of oxygen during her difficult birth and was diagnosed with having learning difficulties. She says she was bullied as a child and was even nicknamed "Susie Simple" at school.

Susan took singing lessons from her voice coach Fred O’Neil and never thought in her wildest of dreams that she would amass the type of popularity she has today. Though she was an active choir singer and won several local singing competitions, it was her mother who tried to persuade her to enter Britain's Got Talent, urging her to take the risk of singing in front of an audience larger than her parish church. After her mother’s demise, she did it as a tribute to her mother’s wish.

Boyle, who also appeared on US chat shows hosted by Larry King and Oprah Winfrey, has a fan site dedicated to her titled ‘Never Judge A Book By Its Cover’. “I knew what they were thinking, but why should it matter as long as I can sing? It's not a beauty contest,” she told a local newspaper during her first audition.

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