Susan Boyle Loses Talent Contest, Has Emotional Breakdown

The big news this weekend: Susan Boyle lost Britain’s Got Talent! Oh yes, the international phenomenon was actually competing in a silly little TV show. It seems the web video-powered hype cycle was too short for this particular contest, with Boyle’s breakthrough performance now seven weeks old. After losing this weekend, Boyle, who has had difficulty dealing with her newfound fame, was reportedly admitted to a clinic to treat an “emotional breakdown,” according to British tabloid The Daily Mail.

The show itself, driven by tremendous interest in Boyle, drew a record 19.2 million watchers this weekend, with 72 percent of those watching TV in the UK. It will surely draw many more viewers online. Of 4 million votes on the final, dance troupe Diversity had about 25 percent and Boyle had 20 percent. But even if massive YouTube viewership didn’t bring in the big bucks for show producers, it may well add to Boyle’s wealth, if she can regain her health. A U.S. tour and massive record deal are reportedly in the cards.

Judge Piers Morgan wrote on his blog,

“I genuinely believe that if she had been on one of the later audition shows, rather than the first one, she would have won easily…Coming second may just be the best thing that ever happens to her. She can now focus on recording an album without all the added pressure and attention she would have got for winning the show.”

Boyle, who reportedly has a learning disability, apparently turned off some fans when reports surfaced last week that she swore at reporters and threatened not to compete in the show’s final. This weekend, Boyle reportedly ran down a show corridor after the results shouting “I hate this show.” Afterwards, she was reportedly escorted by police from her hotel to a private clinic after she was “acting strangely” and “spaced out.”

Having just gotten back to my computer myself after being out all weekend, I caught up on the news and took a little walk down memory lane. Here’s Boyle’s journey in videos:

First televised performance in audition (I Dreamed a Dream). One of the most viral videos of all time, with more than 200 million views across multiple postings.

Semifinal performance (Memory, with a wobble). Within five days, this was 90 percent as viral as the first one, according to research firm Visible Measures.

Finals performance by Susan Boyle, reprise of I Dreamed a Dream, this time with more dramatic dry ice:

Finals performance by the winner, a multi-age dance group called Diversity:

Announcement of the winner, with Boyle giving gracious on-camera congratulations:

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