Sunday, May 31, 2009

When Hope Loses

The sensationalist media holds Susan Boyle’s second place in the latest installment of Britain’s Got Talent as the surest proof that overhyped attention can defer you from winning the gold. Being the horse to win is never a good omen. The best horse doesn’t necessarily win. What they fail to realize is that Boyle was never the prize horse. She was the Seabiscuit. Over the past seven weeks, Ms. Boyle poised herself –unknowingly- as a beacon of hope amongst the hopeless that turn towards entertainment for comfort. And with it, she gave the performance of a lifetime. A footnote of good news in a newspaper of ghastly headlines.

For entertainment value, the dancing group Diversity proved to be the best act of the night. It did not feel as if the public eschewed Ms. Boyle’s performance in an attempt to under saturate what was claimed to be an overly saturated act by the press. It felt just right that the best act be proclaimed the winner. In a night where perhaps seven of the ten performances were shoo-ins for the prize, the public responded. It did not go for Ms. Boyle on a sentimental note. It went out with what they thought was the best public display of entertainment, as Boyle herself pointed out when graciously conceding her laurels to the deserved winners.

Covering her with headlines such as “Boyle toppled” is an offense to the millions who watched (and many more millions who had no possibility of voting) her outstanding rendition of the song that brought her fame but more offending to those who liked the Diversity act enough to consider that it was worthy to be showcased in the Royal Variety. Who cares if they are not known in America? Apparently the only ones in the world who do care are the ones who sensationalize with headlines of failure, when all ten performances should have been a testament to the dire need of finding hope within entertainment. Even if it means finding hope on You Tube.

The fact that millions were moved by Boyle’s singing, Hollie Steel’s meltdown, Julian Smith’s simple notes on a trumpet or a grandfather singing out of love for his granddaughter just proves to us that the World is in dire need of a sing along. If not, in a desperate need for a laugh as was proven by the father/son Stravos Flatly act. For now, it is safe to say we are content with dancing. But shhh. The media will attempt to prove otherwise. It sells to say that the cheeky "has been" lost. Hope, for entertainment’s sake, doesn’t.-

*Picture credit: REUTERS/ David Moir (BRITAIN ENTERTAINMENT)

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