America tunes in to Britain’s Got Talent via the Internet

Andrew Huff (’10)/Eastside Staff

A true marker of the technological era, a television show not even aired in the United States has managed to move the hearts of millions.

Currently in its third season, Britain’s Got Talent has, in the month of April alone, introduced three extraordinary performers to the entertainment world. Known for propelling ordinary, even frumpy-looking persons to stardom such as in the case of phone-salesman-turned-opera-star Paul Potts, the show has found an outlet in America through YouTube.

The website has allowed Susan Boyle, Shaheen Jafargholi and Hollie Steel to transcend beyond the frame of reality TV and change the perception of the connection between first impressions and true ability.

When 47-year-old Boyle first walked onstage in a frumpy outfit and a bold attitude, she garnered eye rolling and sneers from the audience. The most interesting facet of her seemed to be that she had never been kissed before.

Yet when she belted out “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables, the entire audience and panel of judges roared with applause at the astounding rendition of the song. Boyle’s performance and emotional reaction to her acceptance to the show have been viewed 49.3 million times on YouTube.

Shortly after Boyle’s moving performance, which made headlines for days across the nation, Shaheen Jafargholi followed in her footsteps. The 12-year-old began singing “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, but after being stopped by Simon Cowell (one of the three judges), he flawlessly sang Michael Jackson’s “Whose Loving You.” His performance has been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube.

The most recent contestant to pleasantly baffle audiences, Hollie Steel, pranced out onstage in a pink and purple tutu, where she gave a lackluster few seconds of a ballet routine. Steel transitioned abruptly after a few seconds of dancing to singing “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady.

The 10-year-old’s remarkable vocal abilities led to much praise by the judges, and predictions of her appearance in the finale of the show. Steel’s audition has been viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube.

As the show progresses with each round, there is no doubt the Internet will provide a way for Americans to see how far these, and other unexpected, talents will go.