Boyle Places Second In 'Britain's Got Talent'

Correction June 2, 2009

We said Susan Boyle had been "flown to the United States to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s show." In fact, the interview was conducted remotely via a video link; Boyle remained in the U.K.

Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle did not win Britain's Got Talent. She lost to the street dancing troupe Diversity.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

It is not turning out to be a fairy tale ending yet for Susan Boyle. She, of course, is the Scottish singer who wowed the world on YouTube with her surprisingly beautiful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream." And her last hurdle on the show "Britain's Got Talent" was a face-off Saturday night against a lively street dance troupe called Diversity.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Britain's Got Talent")

Unidentified Man: The winner of "Britain's Got Talent 2009" is Diversity.

(Soundbite of cheering)

MONTAGNE: On stage Susan Boyle was gracious about the upset, but this morning comes news that she's been admitted to a London clinic for exhaustion. NPR's Rob Gifford joins us with this story.

Good morning.

ROB GIFFORD: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Rob, it's sort of a sad moment, at least, in this story. What do we know about Susan Boyle's condition?

GIFFORD: Well, we don't know very much at all, except that she has been admitted to a clinic here in London. The television company that makes "Britain's Got Talent" issued a statement saying that she was exhausted after the show. And it has been a real roller coaster for her, emotionally, and in every way over the last couple of months since she first came to the attention of the general public in that first program.

She's had the media camped outside her home in a tiny village in Scotland. She's been flown to the United States to appear on Oprah Winfrey's show. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The "Oprah" interview was conducted remotely via a video link; Boyle remained in the U.K.]

She's been all over the media, all over the Internet. And on top of that, on Saturday night, she didn't win as expected. So it has been very difficult for her, I think, and I think there's a lot of sympathy for her and she just needs a little bit of time and a little bit of space to recover, emotionally, from this crazy last couple of months.

MONTAGNE: And what are people saying about why Susan Boyle lost? At least those of us in the outside world were thinking, well, you know, she has to win, of course. She's such a sensation.

GIFFORD: That's right. And I think a lot of people thought she was a complete shoo-in for this. Some people have suggested that the public thought she was such a shoo-in that they didn't bother to vote. Other people have said - there was one article in the newspaper this morning saying that people - it'd just been long enough for people to get either bored or irritated with her and the whole story and the media circus around her.

And leading up to the contest, at the end of last week, again, lots of stories in the tabloid press. There was a story that she had been provoked by two tabloid journalists and she'd launched these expletives at them and got very angry indeed and they got their headline. Boyling Point was their headline at the end of last week, that she was tipping over the edge.

And some people say that she lost that sort of image of the ingénue who'd stepped out of her village in Scotland. And people thought maybe she's a bit sort of more unstable than we thought.

MONTAGNE: What is likely to happen to her now? I mean, one of the things she said during this whole program was she wanted to go on, make an album.

GIFFORD: Well, I think there is a feeling that even though she lost she will go on and make an album. And as I understand it she has all sorts of offers and all sorts of figures being bandied around in the press this morning that she's going to make five to eight million pounds, you know, more than $10 million from record contracts over the next couple of years.

But I think the crucial thing at the moment is that she just takes a bit of time to stand back, step back and recover from it. But certainly the judges in the show on Saturday night were in no doubt that she was going to go on to be a star even though she didn't win.

MONTAGNE: Rob, thanks very much.

GIFFORD: Thank you very much, Renee.

MONTAGNE: NPR's Rob Gifford speaking to us from London.

(Soundbite of song, "I Dreamed a Dream")

Ms. SUSAN BOYLE (Singer): (Singing) I dreamed a dream in time gone by, when hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die. I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

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