When my friend M put a video up on facebook of some woman singing "I Dreamed a Dream", I thought it would be like any other amazing new talent, belting out the "sha-a-a-a-me" with a neverending diphthong in true Ruthie Henshall style. And yes, of course all the shiny new talents are good, but it gets depressing after a while.
So I clicked on the video expecting to just reply "oh yes, great". Then I saw this frumpy woman totter onto the stage and I thought it must be some kind of joke, that she would be really bad. The cruel wicked side of us all that enjoys seeing people in pain reared its head, and I sat through the introductory blah blah and waited for those first bars to come.
What I heard coming from that woman was a million miles from the bumpkin Scottish accent and neglected eyebrow combover that my eyes were deceiving me with. Her voice was magical, and not just taking her look into account, her voice was truly sensational. She could have been dressed in a full skirt and lace-up corset with an ashen face and dirty fingernails and passed for a very credible Fantine on any stage in the world. Admittedly I had to struggle to see past the eyebrows, but that voice really was unbelievable.
I wonder if I would have been so bowled over if she had been a younger, more attractive woman, with shaped eyebrows and flowing hair? I think not. I think I was so impressed because she looked like any other menopausal woman who helps out at her local church. And I'm truly ashamed of my reaction. Let's hope from now on that competitions like Britain's Got Talent really do root out the talent, and are not simply a showcase of blonde locks and bronze muscles.