Sometimes it’s not about a clearly powerful or blow-you-away voice. This girl’s voice was just…purity, innocence, and genuine sincerity made audible. She messed up at the first “rainbow,” which I think annoyed Simon a bit. You can see it in the clip; at 2:52, I bet Simon is saying to himself, “Oh damn…I’m gonna have to reject this little girl and tell her she doesn’t quite have it.” As a judge of a huge talent show, I guess it’s better to be skeptical as opposed to being immediately taken by everyone. But she so earnestly musters her way up to every note after—and the way she says “blue” and sings “dreams really do come true” at the end is just pretty damn adorable—that I think she wins over Simon (and pretty much everyone else) in the end.
I still think Simon was going to say “No, come back when your talent is more developed,” and if I were to base on the performance alone, I would’ve had to agree. But it was about more than just the performance and hitting difficult notes with a powerful voice. The thing is, Conny sang with so much more sincerity and earnestness than most of the “professional” artists today and many times, that counts more than a fully developed talent. It begs the old question: What’s the use of talent if it’s wasted?
And at 1:35…that expression. How could even the acerbic Simon bear to see that linger for even a second more? He couldn’t. And I think this clip proves that Simon, contrary to self-created perception, cares at least a little about what people think of him. Being all serious and cutting this girl would paint him as the ultimate jerk; it was a line that he wasn’t willing to cross.
Man…this girl makes me want to have a daughter when it comes time for me to be a family man…
Oh and what’s up with the dude flippin’ off the judges at 1:06? Is that the poor quality of the clip or is he really flippin’ someone off? Is it a British thing? I guess he could be crossing his fingers…but it really looks like he’s flippin’ off the judges.
Connie also performed a full version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for the Finals (yes, she made it to the finals; more on that later).
Connie – Final (full version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
With all that said, I don’t think Connie’s talent is anywhere near its potential and I think, based on talent alone, she is mightily over-rated. Don’t get me wrong, the clip above is pure magic and I would vote for her if that’s all I had to base my vote on, but this girl made it all the way to the FINAL and was runner-up. This was her other performance on the show (her final performance was the full-version of “Rainbow,” so that was sort of like cheating because it’s perfect, for reasons mentioned earlier):
Connie – Semifinal
She’s throughly adorable but I think the judges, and especially Simon, was too scared of the reaction that would be caused if they rejected her. So they had to keep her in. She was/is a sensation–and rightfully so. Her voice just isn’t developed yet and although the purity and innocence certainly is magic…for the same type of magic paired with a fully developed and unbelievable talent, you would have to look to the winner of the competition, Mr. Paul Potts. His name is just icing on the cake.
I didn’t know about this guy. I never followed the show and I wrote the stuff about Connie about a month ago, after watching the youtube clips. I found out about him tonight as I was re-watching Connie’s clips while embedding/linking them on here. And I was utterly and entirely moved by him. I didn’t cry (c’mon now, I’m a MAN!), but my eyes did water up a bit. (It was kind of late too and I was yawning a lot.)
Here are the videos. Just watch and cry (or water up, a lot of it because you’re tired…whichever gender you are. I am just kidding. I’m not THAT sexist.). I’d recommend you watch the first 1:10 of the semi-final clip for the little mini-bio, THEN watch his first audition. And if after following those instructions, your eyes have not watered even a little bit, you are not human. Okay, you’ll still be human, but I hope you’re at least moved by it an inch/centimeter (for all the non-U.S. people) or two.
Mini-Bio from Semi-final Performance:
Paul Potts’ Audition:
It is breath-taking. It is a glimpse of the stuff that makes life worth living. Sappy? Cliche? No doubt about it. But I’m leaving that sentence in here.
Look at the skeptical look on one of the judges’ face when Paul says he’s there “to sing opera.” Then look at their faces when Paul intros his performance with the recorded music. It’s like “Oh no…this better not be a disaster.” Even members of the audience were smiling like “you gotta be kidding me man” or “ah, that’s cute that he brought his own recording and everything.” THEN, look at everyone’s faces a minute into his performance and after that glorious last note. Then look at Paul…it’s awesome. (On a humorous note, some people have pointed out the “mild orgasm” that the lady-judge, who Wikipedia informs me is an Amanda Holden, reaches at the climax [pun most cornily intended] of Paul Potts’ performance. Others have referred to it as an “ear” or “mental” orgasm.)
Connie Talbot’s talent is a pure, untouched talent while Paul Potts’ is a talent that has been weathered, beaten, and bruised in his life but has made it through everything to shine oh-so -blindingly-bright. Ms. Holden described it as a “little lump of coal that is going to turn into a diamond,” “an undiscovered little gem,” “a frog that will turn into a prince,” a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, a seed turning into an oak tree, and maybe even Pinocchio turning into a “Real Boy.”
So yeah…just Connie Talbot and Paul Potts alone prove beyond any measurable and immeasurable doubt that Britain’s got talent and much more good stuff. Makes me want to develop a British accent and learn to be British.
Song of the Day:
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World”
I have since found out that Paul Potts’ story isn’t as “zero to hero” as people (including myself) was led to believe. Turns out he had some success in a previous talent competition, has had a handful of vocal lessons (albeit entirely paid for by Paul himself), performed in at least four amateur opera performances, and once even performed with the Royal Philharmonic (impressing the likes of Luciano Pavarotti himself in the process of all this). But he never got paid for any of these performances and he was indeed a true amateur.
It also turns out that his amateur career had taken a plunge due, at first, to surgery for removal of a benign tumor. And after he recovered from that, he broke his collarbone, which prevented him from singing even longer and pretty much threw him clearly off the track to success as an opera singer. So he became a mobile phone salesman for a couple of years to make ends meet and pay off the aforementioned private lessons that were paid out-of-pocket. Which brings us to his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent.
To tell you the truth, I kind of felt cheated that I was led to believe that Paul simply, merely, relied on his voice, his “best friend,” for the competition. I guess it helped to build up the hype a little bit but I think there would have been equal hype if the focus was put on his various struggles and near-surrender of his dream to sing opera. Oh well, he’s pretty open about all this I think, so I’m still a fan.
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