Today's cuppa: Many cups of ABC coffee, topped off with Barry's decaf Irish breakfast tea at home
Spent today over at ABC HQ in Burbank, going through a whirlwind round of interviews with talent from ABC Network and its sister cablenets. Talked to some terrific folks, topped off by meeting Regis Philbin of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," who's just as lovely and gracious as you think he'd be. More later.
Got home and turned on my computer to discover that YouTube sensation Susan Boyle lost out to a dance troupe called Diversity on the U.K. talent competition "Britain's Got Talent." Somehow I don't think that will slow her down one bit.
I watched Boyle's performance in the finale — in which judge Piers Morgan stated that she should win — resulting in the same sniffling, cheering and clapping (though just short of the outright sobbing with joy) that accompanied my first viewing of her sensational audition.
Back in April, a couple of weeks after Boyle became an overnight online-video superstar, I attended an NBC press day and sat down with Morgan — a "Celebrity Apprentice" winner who's also the host of NBC's "America's Got Talent," returning for a fourth season on June 23 — and we talked about the Boyle phenomenon. Here are a few of his comments.
On Boyle's post-audition makeover:
Of course, that's showbiz. It's ridiculous. Every woman in the world who is suddenly propelled into fame would have a hairdo. People ask me, 'How do you feel about Susan Boyle having all these makeovers?' I said, "Well, she's like me, she's just getting better looking every day."
Millions. Millions! I think the whole emphasis on the aesthetic look is going to change. What the recession has done worldwide is make people go back to core values, to find themselves again, re-establish relationships with family and friends.
In terms of television and entertainment, Susan Boyle represents the new way, which is, it doesn't matter what you look like. The rest of it's fake and phony.
She's not a size zero or a conventional beauty or any of those things, but she has a powerful spirit and an amazing talent. And funny! Hilarious. She's absolutely loving every moment.
On what Boyle — an unemployed, unmarried 47-year-old Scottish church volunteer who lives with her cat, Pebbles — has given to the world:
We're in a recession, and a lot of people are suffering. They've lost their homes, their jobs. They're struggling to pay their bills.
What Susan Boyle's given everyone is a real sense of inspiration and hope that if you dream a dream, however bad things get, you can realize it. Never give up. it's important.
She's singlehandedly cheering the world up. That's a pretty amazing thing.
On the beatific, Christmas-morning smile that appeared on the face of hard-nosed "Britain's Got Talent" and "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell during Boyle's audition:
It was like, "Ka-ching! Ka-ching!" Simon's Simon. He's just a pussycat. Simon was shocked. We were all shocked by it, the Susan Boyle thing, still reeling from it now.