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Susan Boyle: now one of the most famous names in pop culture.
The Scottish singing sensation gave her first extensive interview to Britain’s Daily Mail, revealing the details of her breakdown, and how she’s determined it won’t happen again.
Boyle became an overnight star after her audition for “Britain’s Got Talent,” in which she sung a moving rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Mis,” was aired.
The songstress skyrocketed to fame, and became the world’s Cinderella story. But she ended up falling short of the “BGT” win, placing second, and ended up checking herself into London’s Priory, a mental health clinic, shortly afterwards.
Boyle has now opened up about her journey – from stardom, to her breakdown, to her rise back up to the top, which has seen her take the top spot on Amazon in pre-sales for her highly anticipated upcoming album, “I Dreamed a Dream.” The singer says despite her shortcomings, which include her mild learning disability, she will continue her rise to the top.
“This is the last time I will mention the Priory,” Boyle told the Mail, and launched into the details of her experience of overnight worldwide fame.
“Everything had built up and I was exhausted. You have to understand, my life ceased to be normal when ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ went live,” she said.
“There were a lot of press people outside my door, a lot of television people, a lot of people who wanted a piece of me. I thought ‘God, what’s happening here. I’m a reasonable singer, but I never expected that.’”
The notoriety was exciting for the single Scottish woman, but it turned ugly quickly.
“It got to the stage where I couldn’t even go outside because the media – American television crews too – surrounded the house.
“I had to draw my blinds, and even after that they started hammering on my door. I didn’t have any security then – it was just me and one of the ‘BGT’ production team, who had been sent up to stay nearby for me. I was quite frightened. I felt very vulnerable, because I was living on my own.
“There were phone calls 24 hours a day. They kept me awake for three weeks, until I changed my number. It was just constant. I don’t know anybody else from a talent show who got that.
“I don’t think Paul Potts [“BGT” 2007 winner] did. It was like being inside a giant pressure cooker, where the lid bubbles up and bubbles up and soon the pressure cooker goes.
“It was totally out of control, like a steamroller. It just got bigger and bigger and bigger, until eventually it can flatten you.”
The pressure came to a head on the night of the “BGT” finale, in which Boyle placed second.
The singer explains the events of that fateful night:
“Simon [Cowell] sent for me and asked if I was still sure I wanted to sing that night.
“Of course I wanted to – it’s what I’d waited my whole life for. There was nothing going to stop me stepping out on stage the night of the final.
“He said, ‘Okay, then, in that case…Do you remember what you said at the audition? You said you’d make the place rock. Well, go out there and make it rock.’”
Boyle did, indeed, rock the stage with another stirring performance of “I Dreamed a Dream.” It wasn’t enough,though, and she lost to the “BGT” title to the dance group Diversity.
“I just went through to the dressing room and I don’t know what was wrong,” Boyle said. “I couldn’t even see properly. I hadn’t eaten properly for about a week, hadn’t slept properly. It was like looking at everything through a glass, and the feeling was one of extreme exhaustion that manifested itself in firing off at everyone.
“It was like the dream had gone pop – a baby that’s had the sweeties taken away. I was just being childish. I so desperately wanted to make a record. I wanted to prove myself a bit more, but maybe I was pushing myself a bit too hard.
“I felt I’d got so close. I don’t remember much else. I just know someone sent for an ambulance and I went to the Priory. I needed to sleep. I was too tired to even think straight. I’m much stronger now, though.”
Still, Boyle has zero regrets about being on the show, despite the intense ups and downs that came along with it, and says no matter what people think, she was absolutely not exploited by the “Britain’s Got Talent” execs.
“I know people have said, ‘How can you allow someone to pass the audition process when they’re not able to deal with it?'
“But there are lots of people with hidden disabilities who do auditions. I don’t think they should be discouraged. My audition was only three minutes long for goodness sake!
“A lot of the difficulties I had were purely emotional. I couldn’t handle things at that particular time, because I was new to it all. The whole thing just got out of control. It’s never happened like that to anyone before and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ can’t take responsibility for that.
“When you put yourself in that arena, there are always going to be people who want to know more about you – but it’s you who put yourself there. I can turn my disability now into ability. I’ve got a great deal more ability than people give me credit for."