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British Singing Hopeful Becomes Internet Sensation

Susan Boyle, a singing contestant on the U.K. reality show "Britain's Got Talent," became an unlikely Internet sensation this week. ITN's ITV news correspondent Phil Reay-Smith examines Boyle's appeal.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Finally tonight, a story that has circled the globe via YouTube at breakneck speed. It features a Scottish competitor who appeared recently on the show "Britain's Got Talent."

    Phil Reay-Smith of Independent Television News updates what's happened to her.

    SIMON COWELL, Judge, "Britain's Got Talent": How old are you, Susan?

  • SUSAN BOYLE, Singer:

    I am 47. And that's just one side of me.

  • PHIL REAY-SMITH:

    Nothing about her suggested she was one performance away from worldwide fame.

  • SUSAN BOYLE (singing):

    I dreamed a dream in time gone by…

  • PHIL REAY-SMITH:

    … but Susan Boyle's life changed when she opened her mouth.

  • SUSAN BOYLE (singing):

    When hope was high and life worth living…

  • HOST:

    You didn't expect that, did you? Did you? No.

  • SUSAN BOYLE (singing):

    I dreamed that love would never die…

  • PHIL REAY-SMITH:

    As of this evening, the unemployed church singer from Blackburn's performance has been viewed online more than 20 million times.

  • SUSAN BOYLE:

    I'll say it's mental, right?

  • JOURNALIST:

    So you're quite a star.

  • SUSAN BOYLE:

    Oh, well, all I can say is thank you.

  • PHIL REAY-SMITH:

    Despite her modesty, she's having to adjust to being a celebrity.

  • SUSAN BOYLE:

    Lots of fun being on the — I've got a lot of support from the neighborhood in general. They're very supportive, especially my family. I'm blessed with a good family.

  • JOURNALIST:

    And what do they all think about it, then?

  • SUSAN BOYLE:

    They think it's great. They think it's magic.

  • PHIL REAY-SMITH:

    And despite the judges' initial reservations about her appearance, there will be no makeover.

  • HOST:

    Look at that!

    AMANDA HOLDEN, Judge, "Britain's Got Talent": I honestly think it spoils people if you give them a big, old makeover, and it's best that they do it, if — you know, if and when they win or if something else happens to them after the show. But I think we'll keep her as she is for now so she doesn't have the added pressure of worrying about what she looks like.

  • PHIL REAY-SMITH:

    And she's achieved all this before even making it into the second round.

  • SIMON COWELL:

    It's three yeses.