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Author Topic: Amazing Performance: Susan Boyle
The Rabbit
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quote:
I find the juxtaposition between their appearances and their voices equal.
The comparison neglects two important factors. 1. Gender and 2. Context.

In our culture, its OK for a man to ugly if he is successful in other areas, it is never OK for a woman to be ugly. It shouldn't be that way, but it absolutely is and it shouldn't be in the least surprising.

Nest is context -- Paul Potts was singing Opera and Face it, men who sing Opera aren't generally good looking, certainly rarely even above average. If anything, Opera singers are noted for being Obese.
[URL=http://www.goodlistening.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/pavarotti.jpg]Pavarotti

On the other hand, broadway stars and blues singers do tend to be good looking. Susan said she wanted like Elaine page.

compare photos


Elaine Paige Susan Boyle


But even outside that context, there is another issue. I'm not sure how old you are, I'm 47, same age as Susan Boyle. So its really obvious to me that Susan looks and dresses likes she is 20 years older than I am. People are comparing her to their grandmother -- but she's not a senior citizen. She is middle aged. Based on her looks, you would expect her to have an old voice. Women in their sixties are usually loosing their vocal abilites. But although Susan looks older than her age, her voice is still young. I think that is part of why it is so surprising.

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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Cashew:
I think it's interesting that Simon NEVER stands up to applaud a contestant's performance. He doesn't do it on Idol and he doesn't here, even when the other two (or 3, in Idol's case) judges do. He doesn't give praise easily, even when he's impressed, as he obviously is here.

Here, too. And he's the first judge up. [Smile]

(For the record, the act was pretty phenomenal.)

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Elmer's Glue
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Meh.
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ClaudiaTherese
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WW, I know. [Smile]

Susan Boyle apparently was in voice training as a young woman, but she left schooling to care for an ill mother. Her mother died in the last year or two, and it sounds like she's on he own now.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
SB did Cry Me a River for a charity fundraising CD some 10 years ago, also beautiful. It's been uploaded to YouTube (voice only).

I guess it's all backed up with proof and what not, but those voiced don't sound the same to me.

I guess the different styles, between a more bluesy song and a musical production, and 10 years of aging, have made up the difference, but if you played both those without prompting, I wouldn't even begin to assume they were the same woman.

Regardless, it's beautiful.

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Cashew
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Quoting Rabbit:
"Paul is really good but I don't think he is one of the best operatic tenors I've heard"
Unquote

He's actually got a terrible opera voice, but has a nice opera-style sound to his tenor, if that makes sense. His vibrato is very wobbly, and he is in no sense of the phrase an operatic tenor (he would never get into an opera company, maybe the chorus). He's a tenor who sings opera songs, (or anything they can make vaguely sound operatic, such as Killing Me Softly translated into Italian from his new album), and there's a world of difference between the two. Think Mario Lanza on an off day.

Having said all that I found the youtube clip of his performance very moving too. But imho, Sarah Boyle has a better voice.

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Kwea
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Cry me a River is actually a BETTER performance by her, if you can believe it. [Big Grin]
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
]I guess it's all backed up with proof and what not, but those voiced don't sound the same to me.

I guess the different styles, between a more bluesy song and a musical production, and 10 years of aging, have made up the difference, but if you played both those without prompting, I wouldn't even begin to assume they were the same woman.

Regardless, it's beautiful.

*nods

Another likely difference is that one was videotaped live as her first performance in front of 1000s of people, and the other was the best track settled on for a recording done in relatively private and controlled conditions. She had to go with whatever voice she had that day for IHAD, but not with CMAR.

I'm interested in seeing what else comes out on recordings from the competition.

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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Carrie:
quote:
Originally posted by Cashew:
I think it's interesting that Simon NEVER stands up to applaud a contestant's performance. He doesn't do it on Idol and he doesn't here, even when the other two (or 3, in Idol's case) judges do. He doesn't give praise easily, even when he's impressed, as he obviously is here.

Here, too. And he's the first judge up. [Smile]

(For the record, the act was pretty phenomenal.)

Here he does stand up and applaud as well: 12 year old kid sings Michael Jackson.
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sndrake
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An aspect of Susan Boyle's popularity is something that hasn't been mentioned here - or if it has, I missed it. The initial audience reaction to her is a reflection of her earliest experiences - as a gawky child with learning disabilities. The following is an excerpt of just one of many news articles covering this aspect of her story.

Susan Boyle sang to escape the bullies

quote:
But she told how as a youngster she was ruthlessly mocked by other kids because being starved of oxygen at birth left her with learning difficulties.

Her ordeal saw her seek comfort in singing - a talent she discovered when she was five.

Spinster Susan - who has never had a boyfriend - said: "I was born with a disability and that made me a target for bullies. I was called names because of my fuzzy hair and because I struggled in class.

"I told the teachers, but because it was more verbal than physical I could never prove anything. But words often hurt more than cuts and bruises and the scars are still there."

However, Susan has proved such a smash hit on Britain's Got Talent that supremo Simon Cowell has held talks with her about signing for his Sony BMG record label.

And she believes her TV success is the perfect answer to the childhood tormentors who made her life hell in Bathgate, West Lothian.

The singer said: "I still see the kids I went to school with because we all live in the same area.

"They're all grown up with children of their own. But look at me now - I've got the last laugh."


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Cashew
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Good for her.
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Lyrhawn
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I just watched the first two episodes of Britain's Got Talent in full. There are one or two other acts on there that are really, really going to give Susan a run for her money.

I don't think she'll have a problem beating the dancing Darth Vader, but that Shaheen something or other kid for one is really quite impressive. I can't remember his last name.

In the end I don't think her winning really matters, she's already had a world wide audition and passed with flying colors.

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Cashew
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Yeah, she's already risen above the show, it's immaterial whether she wins or loses, they will market her very successfully.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Cashew:
Yeah, she's already risen above the show, it's immaterial whether she wins or loses, they will market her very successfully.

I think you are correct in the assertion that her success no longer depends on the outcome of the competition. I do however wonder how much the shows continued success will ride on whether she wins or looses. There are certainly many many people who are very emotionally invested in her right now. If her next performance is as moving as her last and she doesn't win (regardless of the competition), there are going to be a lot of angry viewers.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I don't think we should underestimate how important song selection is to her appeal. "I Dreamed a Dream" is a beautiful, emotionally freighted song.

[ April 20, 2009, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Cashew:
Yeah, she's already risen above the show, it's immaterial whether she wins or loses, they will market her very successfully.

I think you are correct in the assertion that her success no longer depends on the outcome of the competition. I do however wonder how much the shows continued success will ride on whether she wins or looses. There are certainly many many people who are very emotionally invested in her right now. If her next performance is as moving as her last and she doesn't win (regardless of the competition), there are going to be a lot of angry viewers.
Once the acts make it to the semifinals after auditions, call-in votes determine the top winner to move onto the next stage, the final (and the judges pick for the two and three slots). I'm not clear on how the final gets decided. But the element of popular vote is sure to work in her favor, given worldwide interest.
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Lyrhawn
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Somehow I doubt international Britain's Got Talent gets a whole lot of international callers. But even if it did, if she doesn't move on, it's the fault of democracy, not the judges.

Still, there really are some great acts in competition with Boyle, and a lot is going to hinge on the next performance from her and some of the other groups and individuals.

Either way, I don't see the show itself suffering even if she does lose. It was popular before Boyle, I don't think it'll diminish after her because of her.

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DaisyMae
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quote:
I disagree. I found Sarah's performance on the show much more touching than Potts. They sing such different styles that its hard to compare their voices. To me, Sarah's voice is very comparable to the best singers on broadway. Paul is really good but I don't think he is one of the best operatic tenors I've heard. On the whole, I think the bottom line is that Opera simply isn't as popular as the kind of music Sarah sings.
Rabbit, I suppose in regard to music and gender it's comparing apples to oranges. All I know is that Potts made me cry and Boyle didn't.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Somehow I doubt international Britain's Got Talent gets a whole lot of international callers.

("international Britain's Got Talent?" [Confused] Sounds like they'd be a setup for international fans. [Wink] )

I doubt many prior BGT contestants had about 100 million YouTube views by this point, either.

I suppose we'll see what happens when it happens.

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Strider
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the current youtube stats show the video at 33,700,000 views. whatever math they use to calculate 100,000,000 views out of that, they would also need to apply to videos like the Evolution of Dance, which has 118,000,000 views on youtube, and with that same math would be at 360,000,000 views overall. They're mixing and matching statistics without informing the reader.

In other news, here's the new big sensation:

Shaheen Jafargholi

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Lyrhawn
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CT -

lol, gotta love the unfortunate typos. In all seriousness though, I know there'd be long distance fees in addition to the actual call in fee, which is a dollar or two, so, even if you use Skype, you'd still have to pay something in order to vote.

Strider -

Thanks for linking that, I couldn't remember his last name. Kid's got a great voice, better than the other child singer, Elliott, from a different group. I think he could easily become as much of a sensation.

I've never seen them stop someone in the middle of an act and offer to let them sing something else. If they don't like it, they buzz them. It had a staged feeling to me, but I wonder if Simon sensed that he had a good voice but picked a bad song and wanted to let him try again because he's a kid.

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Shmuel
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
the current youtube stats show the video at 33,700,000 views.

That's only one copy of it, Strider. There are a whole lot of duplicates on YouTube; the 100K figure combines them. I don't think the same holds true for Evolution of Dance.
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scifibum
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Just from the few clips I've seen of "Britain's Got Talent" I think Simon is generally acting kinder on that show than he does on American Idol. It wouldn't surprise me if the AI persona is partly an act, one that he maintains because they've found that the acerbic impatient Brit engenders enough sympathy for contestants to translate to viewing loyalty.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Shmuel:
quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
the current youtube stats show the video at 33,700,000 views.

That's only one copy of it, Strider. There are a whole lot of duplicates on YouTube; the 100K figure combines them. I don't think the same holds true for Evolution of Dance.
Exactly. There are literally dozens of copies of that performance uploaded. Adding together the first 10 I found put her at 70 million, and there's plenty more. I'd bet it's well over 100 million by now, all told, not even counting the millions of views on her interviews.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY
34,765,348 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z0h1NNk1Ik&feature=related
6,824,633 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il5TBgD9kHI&feature=related
3,795,854 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk&feature=related
9,481,952 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-KiGva9dV4&feature=related
2,009,469 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnmbJzH93NU&feature=related
4,207,640 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnmbJzH93NU&feature=related
3,008,964 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRmM1J1sfg&feature=related
1,562,528 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-KiGva9dV4&feature=related
2,009,469 views
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBTVdnWj1hM&feature=related
1,601,727 views

------

Lyrhawn, I hear you. I'm interested in seeing what happens, though, because she really seems to have struck a nerve. I'm getting sent links from elderly people in my family, former students at university, etc. Whether that will translate into a financial commitment (even if small) remains to be seen.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
They're mixing and matching statistics without informing the reader.

Nope, it's directly addressed in the article I linked:

quote:
Web stats firm Visible Measures calculated 200 videos of Miss Boyle's song had been viewed nearly 50m times by Friday.

This figure then doubled over the weekend.

[bolding added]


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Teshi
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TheRabbit: You're right, she dresses much older than she is. She looks sixty, perhaps older. She looks like she belongs to my Grandma's generation, rather than my Mother's.

quote:
Shaheen Jafargholi
I don't know. I think I'm just kind of tired of this kind of singing. It's so flat and hard.

I think Susan Boyle's voice isn't like that; she actually sings instead of note-yells, which is why I think she actually deserves the response she got, although shame it came so late. If the Cry Me A River track is legitimate, her voice has deteriorated significantly since she was in her thirties. The Killing Me Softly track sounds a lot more like her-- there's a buzz to her voice. The Cry Me A River track, since it was actually released, may have been cleaned up and her voice smoothed over.

We don't celebrate more subtle singing very much any more. Musical Theatre voices seem to lean to the flat and hard where all dynamic variation requires flipping to a head-voice sound, rather than the rich and full (like S. Boyle's) voice that I find much more pleasant. She can actually sing piano without whispering!

As for real classically trained singers-- it's like they come from a different planet. As has been discussed above, the quality of Paul Potts' Opera is not good, merely surprising. There are many, many excellent young classically trained singers, but they don't usually need televised talent shows to help them along.

Not that I'm not extremely glad Susan Boyle managed to apparently blow people's minds. Yes, talent isn't directly linked to appearance or how much effort is put into appearance. Maybe we should have blind singing competitions more often?

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Strider
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I guess I should've read the whole article huh? [Smile]

that's absolutely ridiculous. I can't believe how popular that clip is.

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Amilia
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My boss showed it to us at work today.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
I guess I should've read the whole article huh? [Smile]

that's absolutely ridiculous. I can't believe how popular that clip is.

You have no idea how many times I've said both of those things in the past. [ROFL]
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Leonide
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quote:
It wouldn't surprise me if the AI persona is partly an act, one that he maintains because they've found that the acerbic impatient Brit engenders enough sympathy for contestants to translate to viewing loyalty.
If?
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Leonide
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quote:
Yes, talent isn't directly linked to appearance or how much effort is put into appearance. Maybe we should have blind singing competitions more often?
This starts to touch on something that's been bothering me since I originally watched the clip. I'd drafted a few responses and ultimately decided not to post, but basically the gist is this: no, talent isn't directly linked to appearance, but it is in the same vein: that is, people with talent have as little control over that ability as people with good looks have over their appearance. Boyle's singing ability is natural and no more a product of her own creation than if she were naturally beautiful.

I have a talent for singing, and it's always been something I've fixated on and used to help define myself: who I am, what I have to offer in this world has been inextricably tied to the natural abilities I'd always had. More and more recently I've become uncomfortable with compliments about my voice: isn't it the same as complimenting someone on their looks? Something outside of my control, that I've always had -- why would you compliment someone on that?

"Good on you for waking up this morning!" "Well done on being born!" "You are such a wonderful blinker and breather!" It feels like "Congratulations: you've done nothing and for some reason I think that's awesome!"

I'd rather be acknowledged for the things I work for and cultivate.

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Launchywiggin
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The question that's been on my mind: If Susan Boyle had been a partially trained 20-something with a great body and a pretty face--and gave an identical performance, vibrato and all...would anybody care? If we went on just the recording (without the audience screams), how many people would be impressed?

Here we are talking about how sad it is that so many people judged her on her appearance, but the only reason this is popular is because of her physical appearance. We wouldn't be watching this video otherwise.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
People with talent have as little control over that ability as people with good looks have over their appearance. Boyle's singing ability is natural and no more a product of her own creation than if she were naturally beautiful.
I fundamentally disagree. A natural gift may be necessary to be great at anything, but whether its music, dance, art, writing or mathematics true greatness requires a lot more than natural talent. We are talking about years of dedication and hard work.

Based on what I've heard, Susan Boyle's singing is only partly natural ability. Yes, I'm sure that is an important part of it, but the rest represents years of dedicated work. Assuming that the three recordings that are out there are legit, Susan has a very versatile voice. She has a great range, excellent control, dynamics and the ability to sing well in several different styles. That isn't a natural gift, its the result of hard work. I think the same can be said of any great singer, artist, scholar or person. It is not simply a matter of what we have been given but what we do with it.

Oh, and I think that is fundamentally different from how we look . Certainly there are those who make the most of their natural beauty and those who don't, but I'm pretty confident that if I spent an afternoon in the hands of a great beautician, I could look as good (probably better) than if I spent two hours every morning grooming myself.

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TomDavidson
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No. I used to date a couple professional models, and they definitely took their appearance seriously in a way that, at the end of the day, mattered. They would spend hours on the upkeep of their bodies, their wardrobes, and even their expressions; they regarded their physical attributes as tools to be kept in top condition.

It is, I think, dismissive of their efforts to suggest that a couple of hours with someone who knows how to apply makeup might somehow be the equivalent.

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scholarette
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With looks, one thing that is very important (in modern society) is physical weight. Keeping your body in shape takes a huge amount of work. Also, things like skin quality can be affected by your choices. I think I am blessed with good looks, but I can definitely tell the difference between when I work at it regularly and when I just go with it. It also takes some knowledge to know the right color schemes for face and all the tricks of makeup application. And clothing styles- knowing what looks good on you is a skill a lot of people lack. For me, I have trouble because I want to look good in certain colors, but I don't.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
With looks, one thing that is very important (in modern society) is physical weight. Keeping your body in shape takes a huge amount of work.
I keep my weight down for my health. I keep my body in shape so I can do the things I like and feel good doing them. I think one of the most screwed up things about modern American culture is that so many people see weight and fitness as being primarily about looking good when there are so many more important reasons to stay fit. At any rate, I strongly object to calling time spent on staying physically fit part of the time one spends on grooming.

quote:
Also, things like skin quality can be affected by your choices.
No nearly as much as the cosmetics industry would have us believe.

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It also takes some knowledge to know the right color schemes for face and all the tricks of makeup application. And clothing styles- knowing what looks good on you is a skill a lot of people lack.
Those are things I think you can get in an afternoon with a talented beautician. I'm not saying you can learn them in one afternoon, I am saying that in an afternoon someone who knows those skill can make you look like you knew them. I think that any woman who is healthy, physically fit and blessed with a little natural beauty could spend several hours with a good beautician and look as good as the super model who spends hours on her looks every day. I believe that because I have observed it. Of course if you want to look that way every day, you'd have to spend those hours every day, but you can look that way for a night without doing it every day.

But being a great singer just isn't that way. Even a person with oodles of natural singing ability couldn't spend one afternoon practicing with a voice teacher and go on stage and perform like a star. I am reminded of a story

quote:
A man once heard of a violinist who was supposed to play beautifully so he decided to go hear him. At the concert he was amazed at how this man played the violin and so he had to find him after the show and tell him how impressed he was. He went backstage and found him and complimented him and told him "I'd give my life to play the violin like that" to which the violinist replied "thank you, I did".

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scholarette
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Actually, with music I am much more willing to concede that point. Music takes a huge amount of work. I usually argue against intelligence being praised heavily. [Smile] In my experience, being intelligent takes little to no work, but being pretty takes a lot. In high school, I would show up for class and get an A and then be praised. Several of my friends would show up for class, study several hours every day and get a C. I always found it strange that I got praised, even though I did no work. And then when I put in effort to look pretty, people would say I was being shallow because pretty is just something you are born with. The contradiction of being praised for something that took me no work (getting an A) and being slammed for something that took a lot fo work (looking good) always confused me.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think that any woman who is healthy, physically fit and blessed with a little natural beauty could spend several hours with a good beautician and look as good as the super model who spends hours on her looks every day. I believe that because I have observed it.
You pick the woman with a little beauty, the beautician, and the day. I'll pick the supermodel. We'll let jebus judge the winner.
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Kwea
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I'd say both musical talent and intelligence are similar, in that it's not just what you are talented at but how much you put into it.

Smart is a relative term. I know that one of the only times I got really, really mad at my dad was when he claimed I never excelled at anything I wasn't already talented at. He used both reading and music as examples....and completely missed the fact that I use to read 3-4 hours a day on my own, and I also practiced playing my flute 1-2 hours a day. Above classes in both.


I some company I seem really smart. In others, while I am not dumb I am not even close to being the smartest person in the room. I have known a lot of really smart people who went into difficult fields only to find out that they were only average in their field.

A lot of it is relative.

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Teshi
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quote:
I have a talent for singing, and it's always been something I've fixated on and used to help define myself: who I am, what I have to offer in this world has been inextricably tied to the natural abilities I'd always had. More and more recently I've become uncomfortable with compliments about my voice: isn't it the same as complimenting someone on their looks? Something outside of my control, that I've always had -- why would you compliment someone on that?
You think a professional singer or someone like Susan Boyle doesn't put a lot of work into his or her voice?

By this logic, nothing is worth complimenting them for, because, after all, Einstein simply had a "talent for math".

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Leonide
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quote:
Whether its music, dance, art, writing or mathematics true greatness requires a lot more than natural talent. We are talking about years of dedication and hard work.
I'm not talking about greatness. I'm talking about natural ability.

quote:
Based on what I've heard, Susan Boyle's singing is only partly natural ability...She has a great range, excellent control, dynamics and the ability to sing well in several different styles. That isn't a natural gift, its the result of hard work.
I wasn't talking about "Great" anything. Susan Boyle is not a "great" singer -- she has tremendous natural ability, the potency of which is heightened (apparently) when directly compared with her physical appearance. She was straining for a lot of those higher notes. Her breath support was spotty. Her diction was poor, and her vibrato forced, and she couldn't hit the lower notes of the song.
NONE of this lessens the impact of that performance, and none of it is real criticism on my part -- but it is pointing out the fallacy in assuming she's put a lot of technical work into her voice.

I've sung that particular song many times, so I know the range and the feel of it. I've never had steady voice lessons in my life, and I've never taken my voice seriously as an instrument. I don't really want to get too much into the dynamics of my own relationship with singing, but suffice it to say the compliments I receive on my voice are not because of all the "hard work" I've put into my talent. It is this phenomenon that I'm railing against -- the idea that I could wake up in the morning and sing that song and have everyone tell me how tremendous it was when I wasn't doing anything special.

edit: I can tell I'm ticking people off, so I'll just add that I DO think there are great singers, and great thinkers, and great people in the world. I am concerned with the trend I have seen of appreciating those that DON'T put any time or effort into their gifts, that are just "doin' what comes naturally", myself included in this category. Again, I am not criticizing Boyle's performance, good on her! I'm speaking about the response to it. Please don't misunderstand my intent.

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Teshi
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I think you give her too little credit. The thing I notice most about her singing is she tends to modify the vowels of her long notes. Her diction was otherwise decent, but not great. Her vibrato is not at all unusual for her age and a rich musical theatre sound. Some people have a lot of natural vibrato.

As for the low notes, she was bottoming out-- something that is to do with your natural voice (it's also about where I bottom out). On the top notes, she was doing as well as many belters would do. It wasn't out of tune.

She had a very slidey slight pitch issues at the end, but I would expect that with someone who doesn't have someone telling them how to sing.

As for breath support, sounded pretty solid to me. There was one time early one when her voice died away, but I'll put that down to nerves. It takes pretty cultivated guts to sing like that.

People aren't born singing like that. They practice. If you've sung I Dreamed A Dream "many times" then you have practiced.

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katharina
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quote:
If you've sung I Dreamed A Dream "many times" then you have practiced.
Exactly. If you sang it like that the first time you opened your mouth and gave it a shot, then it's nothing but natural ability. If you sing like after years of singing, even if done without a teacher, then it's after practice.
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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
I'd say both musical talent and intelligence are similar, in that it's not just what you are talented at but how much you put into it.

I have no problem with praising people for intellectual accomplishments, I just don't like when people get praised for simply being smart. For example, my friend is a math genius. In playing games with him and talking to him, that is obvious. But I wouldn't praise him for being a genius. I would praise him for the years he spent actually developing that intelligence though, the time he spent educating and expanding himself. Whereas I have met some Mensans who are unemployed (and kinda unemployable) and basically sit around complaining about how stupid everyone else is. The annoying guy is also actually very intelligent, but he hasn't developed it into anything useful.
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Leonide
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I guess I just have a different definition of practice than y'all. Singing along with a CD multiple times in my car, and once or twice in maybe a recital or something, is not "practice" -- practice, to me, indicates specific intent. I don't warm up. I don't practice individual lines or notes. I just sing the song, maybe to remind myself of lyrics, but not focusing on form or support. If merely singing a song multiple times constitutes practice, then okay, I agree with you both.

I think you're giving me too little credit -- I'm not trying to drag her down or belittle her accomplishment.

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The Rabbit
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Leonide, If you really aren't trying to drag Susan down, I am totally missing your point. You posted.

quote:
I wasn't talking about "Great" anything. Susan Boyle is not a "great" singer -- she has tremendous natural ability, the potency of which is heightened (apparently) when directly compared with her physical appearance. She was straining for a lot of those higher notes. Her breath support was spotty. Her diction was poor, and her vibrato forced, and she couldn't hit the lower notes of the song.
NONE of this lessens the impact of that performance, and none of it is real criticism on my part -- but it is pointing out the fallacy in assuming she's put a lot of technical work into her voice.

You've pretty much said straight out that she has only natural ability, that she hasn't put much work into it and that natural ability shouldn't be considered an accomplishment. If you didn't intend that to belittle her accomplishment, what was your intent because I missed it entirely.

Aside from the fact that I disagree with some of your critique, it is very presumptuous of you to think you can determine based on one performance that she hasn't put much work into her singing ability.

The fact that you can get compliments for singing this song without practicing does not qualify you to determine how much work another singer has put in to developing their voice.

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Leonide
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I must not be expressing myself adequately, and for that I apologize. I brought my personal experiences into the equation because I've been wrestling lately with (like I said) concerns over being appreciated for things I had not worked to attain. This actually ties in with scholarette's point about commending intelligence; it was a school award that first started my navel-gazing, and I started to expand it to include my singing experience as well.

My initial point, which I thought I spelled out pretty clearly, was pointing out a trend, or a fear I have of a trend, of complimenting people for things they do naturally: i.e. talent, beauty, intelligence, etc.

quote:
You've pretty much said straight out that she has only natural ability, that she hasn't put much work into it and that natural ability shouldn't be considered an accomplishment. If you didn't intend that to belittle her accomplishment, what was your intent because I missed it entirely.

I said it was a fallacy to *assume* she had put a lot of work into her singing, just because she sounds good. That was exactly what I said and exactly what I meant to say, and I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth. [Smile] My entire point in critiquing her singing was to provide evidence that she may not have had training, or worked to get where she is. I obviously have no idea whether or not this is the case.

quote:
The fact that you can get compliments for singing this song without practicing does not qualify you to determine how much work another singer has put in to developing their voice.
I didn't do that. I commented on the weaknesses I perceived. I was not trying, as you so generously insinuate, to pat myself on the back -- in fact, I took great pains to avoid comparing my talent with hers. That wasn't the point of my posting at all.

I guess I should've gone with my initial instinct and not chimed in. [Smile]

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The Rabbit
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Susan's gone and had a make over . Not a major one, she reportedly spent 35 pounds on it (plus the cost of new clothes I presume).

I think she looks great.

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Lyrhawn
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Sell out!!

Just kidding, I think she looks good, and damn, she got a decent looking leather jacket and a new hairdo for $50? That's pretty thrifty.

I think she looks great, and that she should look like whatever she wants to look like. That "makeover" isn't really that dramatic.

I'm watching the third episode right now of BGT. Can't wait for the semifinals.

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The Rabbit
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I don't think the $50 included the cost of the leather jacket. I think that was the price for the hair cut and dye. That's still pretty thrifty. I don't know how prices run in scotland but you'd have a hard time get a cut and dye for that price in the states.

[ April 27, 2009, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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