A few weeks ago I mentioned Susan Boyle, the singing sensation discovered on the British TV variety show, "Britain's Got Talent."
Much like "American Idol" -- except that "BGT" had genuinely talented people who look like regular folk -- the contestants are weeded out by the judges, who select only a few to get to the next round.
Boyle, mocked as she went on stage because of her frumpish appearance, so blew away the judges and audience with her rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" from "Les Miserables" that she became an international sensation. The video of that performance surpassed 60 million hits on YouTube -- literally, one percent of the entire planet watched that video online at that Web site.
Boyle has since become an international star. But technically, she's also still a contender on "BGT." Over the weekend, in perhaps the least-suspensful contest in the show's history, Boyle advanced to the show's final round thanks to her rendition of "Memories" from "Cats."
The only surprise was the difference in the way the audience treated her. While they snickered during her first performance (that is, right until she started singing; then they broke into a standing ovation during the entire performance), this time, there was genuine buzz among both the judges and the crowd. Boyle didn't disappoint, either, proving she's no flash in the pan.
Needless to say, Boyle is the heavy favorite to win. In fact, she's such a heavy favorite that the British, who love to bet on pretty much everything, probably won't get involved in much action over the show's finale. After all, the odds being what they are, no one will make any money betting on Boyle, and no one is crazy enough to bet against her.
In a way, Boyle has almost killed the suspense of the show, since she's so ridiculously good and popular that her victory is almost a foregone conclusion. Fortunately, she's so popular that it won't kill ratings for the show one bit.
Judge Piers Morgan put it best when he told Boyle how she genuinely spread hope and inspiration around the world.
Once again, I'll point out that Boyle would have never even made it onto the set if she had started out competing on an American program.
She doesn't have the face and figure of your average Maxim cover girl. What she does have is a remarkable talent that will be entertaining the world for years to come.
For your pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3_CtdViu9w&feature=popular
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Tonight marks the season finale of "My Boys" (TBS, 10:30 p.m.) As my brother said to me, it seems like the season just started and it's already over.
Cable's other best bet is a new "Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.), which continues its terrific comeback season. In this one, Tommy confronts the ghosts of Jimmy, Johnny and his dad, while his nephew tries to learn the firefighting biz from Mike.
On the networks, The CW presents the finale of "Reaper" at 8 p.m. It's a shame really, because the show got so much more clever in Season 2. It's followed by the debut of "Hitched Or Ditched" at 9 p.m., a reality show about longtime daters who are finally forced to either marry or split up.
ABC has new episodes of "According To Jim" unfortunately, followed by the conclusion of the TV miniseries "Diamonds" at 9 p.m.
The summer replacement series "Mental" (Fox, 9 p.m.) -- not to be confused with "The Mentalist" -- debuts tonight. It's about a hospital shrink (Chris Vance) who uses unorthodox methods to treat his patients, butting heads with the conservative administrator (Annabella Sciorra).