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Jim Watkins

Jim Watkins

Posted: June 19, 2009 06:34 PM

End the Torture: Let Susan Boyle Go Home


"If I had an enemy and I was trying to conquer him, I would give him money, fame and power. They are three things that are extremely difficult to deal with."
Curtis Martin/Former Star NFL Running Back

It may seem strange to apply the words of an ex-football player to a newly-minted singing sensation. But that comment by Curtis Martin, an eventual Hall of Fame running back who starred for the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, applies perfectly to what we're now seeing with Susan Boyle. The middle-aged Scottish plain Jane who became a overnight worldwide sensation with her performances on Britain's Got Talent, the English version of American Idol, seems to be moving closer by the day to a complete emotional meltdown.

The latest chapter came this week when Boyle had to miss two more performances on the 24-date Britain's Got Talent concert tour, after already skipping several other appearances. Today, organizers decided she shouldn't perform at a show in Cardiff after she reportedly had a "screaming fit." In Liverpool yesterday, witnesses said she was crying from her hotel balcony, begging for her cat to be brought to her. All this comes weeks after she checked into a private clinic for what was described as a breakdown.

It's time for someone to say "enough." Ms. Boyle's rags-to-riches story is taking a turn toward tragedy, even faster than what we've seen from others traveling the arc of sudden fame. She is said to have mild learning difficulties, and may simply be incapable of processing the immense amount of attention she now receives. Or maybe she just doesn't like it, and wants her old life back. When someone is crying out from a balcony, "I want my cat, I need my cat," as other hotel guests saw her doing in Liverpool, it doesn't take Sigmund Freud to see that it's a cry to return to the environment and things she's familiar with.

But without someone interceding on her behalf, it might not happen:


"Her mentor Simon Cowell is close friends with the owner of the Planet Hollywood casino and hotel, Robert Earl, and has been trying to broker a deal which would see her singing on The Strip. A source said: 'Simon is confident that Susan will achieve a huge amount of success in America.

'She is already a household name despite coming second on the show, and she is now being lined up to play a number of dates in Las Vegas."

Right. She can't handle a show in Liverpool, but she's going to be the toast of Vegas. It's time for someone with her best interests at heart to step up and, at least temporarily, pull her away from all this.