Fans Can’t Get Enough Of Susan Boyle’s Stunning Transformation

Susan Boyle’s Britain’s Got Talent debut was one of the defining reality TV moments of the ‘00s. The proud Scotswoman became an instant global star with a misconception-shattering performance of Les Miserables’ “I Dreamed a Dream.” And in 2020 the star wowed audiences once again when she dug out her famous audition outfit – and flaunted her truly stunning transformation.

But what was the journey that led to this dramatic makeover? Boyle’s path to stardom began when she decided to try out for the 2009 series of Britain’s Got Talent. Then aged 46 years old, the West Lothian native was invited to audition at the Clyde Auditorium. Her performance subsequently racked up no fewer than 120 million views before being crowned YouTube’s most-watched video that year.

Inevitably, Boyle became the runaway favorite of the show which had previously launched Paul Potts to similar global fame. However, an innovative dance troupe ended up throwing a spanner in the works. Yes, incredibly, the singer had to settle for the runner-up spot after being pipped at the winning post by Diversity. But that’s not to say she didn’t do well out of the experience – and she’s obviously invested some of those earnings into giving herself a totally new look, too.

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So what was it exactly that made everyone pay attention to an unemployed, middle-aged woman from a tiny Scottish town in the first place? Well, when the singer was first seen on camera, it looked as though she was being set up as the butt of a joke. First, there was her slightly unkempt appearance. And her interview with hosts Ant and Dec insinuated that she was very much a stereotypical cat lady.

The reaction in the theater when Boyle walked out on the stage wasn’t much kinder than that of the viewers at home. One crowd member offered an ironic wolf whistle. Others openly laughed, while some simply ignored her and kept on chatting. And then there was the judges’ snapshot opinions.

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Head judge Simon Cowell appeared flabbergasted when Boyle disclosed the fact that she was only in her mid-40s. Piers Morgan, meanwhile, screwed up his face when the playful singer indulged in a bit of cheeky hip-wiggling. The only female judge, Amanda Holden, failed to give any notable response at all.

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Both the audience and the judging panel also audibly scoffed when Boyle revealed her singing ambitions. She declared a desire to be “as successful as Elaine Paige.” A veteran of the West End, Paige had previously taken center stage in the likes of Cats, Chess and Evita. However, the Scotswoman chose to perform a number from a musical that her icon hadn’t appeared in, Les Miserables.

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It proved to be an inspired decision. From the moment that Boyle sang the first line, every jaw in the auditorium dropped. Indeed, while many were expecting the auditionee to be completely tone-deaf, she instead proved to have the voice of a seasoned musical theater star. The self-confessed cat-lady subsequently received the unlikeliest of standing ovations.

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The judges then admitted they’d been completely wrong to jump to conclusions about Boyle. In something of a backhanded compliment, Morgan remarked, “When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said, ‘I want to be like Elaine Paige,’ everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now.”

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Holden then added, “I am so thrilled because I know that everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical and that’s the biggest wake-up call ever. And I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that.” Of course, everyone was waiting to hear what the talent show’s most brutally honest judge made of it all.

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Well, just like Morgan and Holden and the rest of the auditorium, Cowell was bowled over. He joked, “I knew the minute you walked out on that stage that we were going to hear something extraordinary, and I was right. Susan, you are a little tiger aren’t you.” The head judge went on to tell the instant star, “Susan Boyle, you can go back to the village with your head held high. It’s three yeses.”

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Boyle then sailed through to the Britain’s Got Talent semis where she was voted by into the final by British viewers. And although she didn’t take pole position as everyone expected, the singer still went on to forge a successful recording career. In fact, her first studio effort, I Dreamed a Dream, hit the top spot on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Furthermore, the album broke first-week sales records in Boyle’s native U.K. and was named the second biggest-selling U.S. album of 2009. Striking while the iron was hot, the star followed it up in 2010 with festive release The Gift. Rather curiously, her third LP, 2011’s Someone to Watch Over Me, saw the Scotswoman tackle tunes from the likes of Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears.

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Boyle continued to add to her discography throughout the ‘10s. In 2012 she collaborated with Michael Crawford and Donny Osmond on Standing Ovation: Greatest Songs from the Stage. A year later the singer once again embraced the holiday season on Home for Christmas. And then in 2014 she released her sixth album in just five years with the inspirational Hope.

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Released in 2016, the album Wonderful World showed that Boyle still had the power to surprise. Alongside a posthumous duet with the legendary Nat King Cole, the star also covered Madonna classic “Like a Prayer.” Then, three years later, she marked a decade in the spotlight with a hits compilation simply named Ten.

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Yet Boyle’s achievements extend far beyond her discography. The singer has showcased her talents in front of both The Queen and The Pope, embarked on sell-out tours and picked up several Grammy nods. She has also appeared on the big screen, firstly in festive family drama The Christmas Candle and then in Ben Stiller’s comedy sequel Zoolander 2.

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Of course, touring the world and smashing all kinds of chart records has also reaped financial rewards. According to reports, Boyle had amassed an impressive net worth of approximately $30 million since she stepped on to the Britain’s Got Talent audition stage in 2009. However, the star hasn’t exactly succumbed to an extravagant lifestyle.

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In fact, Boyle still resides in the same West Lothian council house that she’s called home her entire life. In 2020 she gave intrigued fans a glimpse into her private life with a tour of the property for OK! magazine. And the star explained why she had decided against relocating to an abode that’s a little more in-keeping with a chart-topping global sensation.

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Boyle told the magazine,“It’s best to be grounded and with your roots.” She explained, “It’s to do with the memories of your house and your upbringing, you need to take stock of things and maybe see where you come from and where your roots lie. It keeps you grounded and prevents you from saying things maybe you shouldn’t say.”

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However, Boyle has still allowed herself to make a few changes to the house, including a modest kitchen refurbishment and a lounge redecoration. But she told OK! magazine, “I couldn’t do anything too extravagant or over the top because I have got my parents. My parents will probably come back and haunt me. It’s good to stay grounded. You get the glamorous side and then you’ve got the more natural side.”

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Boyle also touched upon the difficulties she’s faced since becoming a household name across the world. Referencing some of the criticism she’s received from the press, the star stated, “It’s a bit like riding a bike. You learn to do better. You’ve got to make mistakes to overcome things and I’ve made some amazing mistakes.”

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Sadly, the singer has also had to battle several mental health issues in the glare of the spotlight. In 2013 she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. And six years later, Boyle told Nine News that she very nearly quit Britain’s Got Talent half-way through her run because of the stress. She explained, “You’ve got a lot of pressure and a lot of different things going at once. It is difficult.”

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Boyle also discussed her Asperger’s diagnosis on the Australian news channel and how she was relieved to discover that her fears of “serious brain damage” were incorrect. Explaining her condition, the star said, “[With] Asperger’s you just have to make people aware that sometimes you have to go at a certain pace, don’t be too bombarded with things. At the very beginning I was too bombarded.”

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The singer went on, “[Asperger’s is] nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody has something. I mean, a flaw, if you like.” Boyle then explained, “You shouldn’t be ashamed of it. It’s something that you bring out in the open in the hope that you help other people. I like to feel I’m the voice for people who have been the underdog and I wanted to try and prove myself.”

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Shortly after, Boyle gave thanks to the support system that helped her through those difficult periods while appearing on British morning show Lorraine. She said, “I feel a lot better now, thank you. I’ve had my moments when I’ve needed help, and I’ve reached out and got the help I needed, and I can only thank them for my recovery. I’ve got a great vocal coach, a great PA. My publicist, she’s fantastic. I love them.”

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Later that same year, Boyle further proved she was in fine form by making a return to the BGT stage. Only this time, it wasn’t the British version. The Scotswoman competed in the America’s Got Talent: The Champions final after being given the golden buzzer by Spice Girl Mel B. And she decided to pay homage to where it all began.

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Indeed, Boyle earned a standing ovation for reprising her audition song, “I Dreamed a Dream.” Moreover, Cowell offered his sincerest apology for the way he treated the singer during her first BGT appearance. He said, “I have goosebumps on my goosebumps. That really, really took me back, all those years.”

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Cowell continued, “I can remember vividly how disgusting I was on the day, before you sang — and then what you did, and what happened afterwards.” Sadly, the judge’s kind words didn’t inspire enough viewers to cast their vote for Boyle. The star failed to make the top five in the finale which was won by magician Shin Lim.

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In March 2020 Boyle once again got all nostalgic with another nod to her life-changing Britain’s Got Talent audition. The star sang her favorite Les Miserables number while performing at Scotland’s SEC Armadillo arena. And on this occasion she even slipped back into the famous gold dress she sported back in 2009.

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Boyle showed off the outfit in an Instagram pic captioned, “Deja Vu? Eleven years after her BGT audition, Susan returned to the SEC Armadillo stage and donned the very dress she wore for that audition! Back for one night only, Susan surprised the audience with a quick change before her signature song, “I Dreamed A Dream” and of course it came with the Susan wiggle!”

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And many of Boyle’s loyal followers couldn’t get over how great she looked in the familiar outfit. One remarked, “Susan you’ve lost so much weight!! Wonderful!” Another commented, “Good for you, Susan! I like that dress! I am so happy you have had so much success in the years since.”

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Another highly impressed fan commented, ““You have helped me so much with your incredible talent. I’ve watched that audition video hundreds of times.” However, some of Boyle’s followers may well have been left surprised by the singer’s sartorial choices following comments she made in the Irish Mirror a year earlier.

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Reflecting on that star-making audition, Boyle told the newspaper, “Everyone was laughing at me; they wondered who this daft woman with the crazy hair was… And I had made a bad choice in clothes. So no one had high expectations.” However, having lost two stone in weight since 2016, the star may well have wanted followers to compare and contrast the two looks.

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Indeed, Boyle made a conscious effort to shift some pounds after discovering she had type two diabetes in 2016. Medics had warned the star that the condition could stop her from performing live. But determined to keep doing the thing she loves best, the Scotswoman decided to commit to a new diet and improve her chances of returning to the stage.

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In an interview with Britain’s Mirror newspaper, Boyle revealed that she lost so much weight simply by cutting out sugary foods. She admitted, “I needed to stop eating sweeties and cakes. It’s the bane of my life.” Thankfully, that hard work paid off and as well as wowing fans with her new slim appearance, the star has also been able to continue amazing them with her voice.

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And it appears as though there will be plenty of other chances for Boyle to show off her new trim figure. In September 2020 it was revealed that Cowell had invited the star to appear on a Christmas special of Britain’s Got Talent. Unlike the usual competitive format, though, this one-off show would simply be a celebration of the stars it has discovered.

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Boyle has also returned to the recording studio as a guest on Aled Jones’ faith-based LP Blessings. The star lent her vocals to a duet performance of “Bless This House,” a Christian favorite, on an album which also included appearances from actors Brian Blessed and Judi Dench. And the former choirboy couldn’t have been more excited by the singer’s inclusion.

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Jones told the Belfast Telegraph, “Over the years I’ve met Susan quite a few times and was thrilled when she agreed to sing with me. Who can forget when she charmed a nation with the Les Mis classic “I Dreamed A Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent? I knew this song would suit Susan and she didn’t disappoint. Her vocals are both touching and powerful.”

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Boyle also made the news in 2020 for a story relating to another Britain’s Got Talent outfit. This time around it was the sparkly blue dress she wore during her performance with Michael Ball on the hit show the previous year. The star decided to donate it to help a cancer-stricken teenager get the treatment she needed.

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Ashlee Easton, 13 years old at the time, needed around $300,000 for a vaccine trial held in New York. This vital treatment could potentially keep the rare form of cancer she’s twice beaten from returning. And Boyle told the Scottish Sun, “I wanted to help in any way I could.”

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