Susan Boyle: rags to riches

18 Apr

Susanboyle Here's what we can learn for sure from the past week in the life of Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle.

We learn of the enduring power of storytelling – this is 'rags to riches' while 'David and Goliath' is another perennial favourite. There are surprisingly few great stories.

Great stories get people talking; great stories have the power to move. Great stories remind us of our humanity.

What we don't exactly know is what this tells us about the balance of power between broadcast and social media, between manufactured and organic success. Sure, people will comment on the ability of a YouTube video to make her a global viral phenomenon – but don't forget that this would not have been possible without prime time broadcast television.

Sure, she's a homespun amateur talent. But the ITV programme is presided over by Simon Cowell, that master creator or manufactured success. Will she now have a makeover?

The Guardian newspaper has a detailed analysis of the fame factory at work, including comments from Max Clifford. (That's how The Guardian justifies most of its celebrity and entertainment coverage – by taking an analytical view of the phenomenon.)

See also NBC: An Unlikely Star is Born. Don't be too quick to dismiss the so-called mainstream media and their ability to influence public opinion.

One Response to “Susan Boyle: rags to riches”

  1. Termeh 27/04/2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Yeah, it’s pretty crazy how the rags-to-riches story, despite its omnipresence in the media, continues to fascinate and move the public. Especially on talent shows, where they pop up every year(see: George Sampson and Paul Potts from last year’s Britain’s Got Talent)

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