Two months after giving the performance that turned her into an overnight sensation, Susan Boyle lost the top prize on "Britain's Got Talent" tonight (May 30), a surprising conclusion to the 48-year-old singer's meteoric rise to fame since her audition in April. Boyle lost to a dance troupe called "Diversity" that won £100,000 (approximately $160,000) and the chance to perform in front of England's Royal Family.
Boyle's loss came a shock to many, considering the degree of media attention that was placed on her after April 11, when her audition first aired in the UK. According to Nielsen BuzzMetrics, Boyle's blog buzz skyrocketed 16,600% between April 11 and April 17, as word quickly spread across the Atlantic of her memorable performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables."
By May 23, however, the buzz surrounding Boyle had declined a steep 95% from that April 17 peak; and even the spike in buzz on May 24 following her semi-final performance represented a 61% drop from that April high. Additionally, the clip of Boyle's semi-final performance has earned a fraction of the YouTube views garnered by her first one, which has been viewed over 150 million times with nearly 100 million of those views occurring in the first week.
The precipitous rise and fall of Boyle-mania stirred a debate over whether the singer had buckled under the pressure. Reports coming from the UK this week said Boyle was not handling the intense media scrutiny well and had been reduced to tears numerous times, even threatening to quit the show before its season finale.
The ratings for this weekend's finale episodes are still unknown but an average 11.8 million viewers tuned into the "Britain's Got Talent" semifinal last Sunday, accounting for 49 percent of the total television audience during the same period.
Prior to "Diversity," the previous winners of "Britain's Got Talent" were 15-year-old street performer George Sampson in 2008 and 38-year-old opera singer Paul Potts in 2007. Sampson returned to school but Potts went on to a successful career; his second album, "Passione," was released May 23 and debuted at No. 33 on the Billboard 200.