For weeks, Susan Boyle, the 48-year-old church volunteer from a tiny Scottish village, was the odds-on favorite to win the U.K. reality TV show "Britain's Got Talent." Now, with the final a day away, Boyle is no longer the sure winner.
Boyle now finds herself in a three-way race with a 12-year-old singing prodigy and a father-and-son duo that mash up "Zorba the Greek" with Michael Flatley's Irish dance extravaganza. Boyle's biggest challenge, though, may be herself.
"The tide has turned over here," British celebrity gossip guru Neil Sean told ABCNews.com. "The feeling over here is that we are over Susan Boyle. We're all a bit bored by her."
That sentiment often occurs in British culture, "Britain's Got Talent" judge Peirs Morgan said on "Good Morning America" today .
"I think in Britain, it's the classic British thing. Build them up, knock them down. And I'm not knocking that. It's kind of the British thing to do," Morgan said. "But I think in her case, you have to remember that she had a very tough life. Susan, when she was born, was starved of oxygen at birth. And that caused her severe learning difficulties. She was bullied at school."
Morgan said Boyle has had a taxing week and critics should realize she has become a global sensation in near record time.
"Everyone has to remember, it's been a hell of a week for Susan. I mean, she's gone in the last two months from total anonymity to becoming arguably the most famous person on the planet. And that brings with it some great stuff and some pretty ugly stuff," said Morgan, who admitted he felt "quite protective" of the potential superstar.
"She has found this week very testing. She's been in floods of tears. Two days ago, she actually threatened to quit the show and packed her bags. And I think the pressure's just been building and building and building. And after her semifinal performance, when she missed the first note and began getting a lot of criticism and people are having a real go at her, it's all been building up. The tension mounting and she finally has been finding it very difficult," he added.
Morgan said Boyle has been taken to a safe house to get "away from all of the melee" so that she can do herself justice in the competition.
Since Boyle's confident performance in the semi-finals last Sunday, when she was voted the viewer's favorite, she has weathered some bad headlines.
According to the British press, Boyle unleashed a four-letter tirade at a London hotel bar on Tuesday while watching Morgan praise her 12-year-old competitor Shaheen Jafargholi for giving "the best singing performance we have heard in the semi-finals so far."
Boyle reportedly stuck up two fingers at a television and shouted "f*** off," before stomping off to her hotel room.
According to Britain's Daily Mail, a spokeswoman for Boyle said she left the hotel bar before the video of her competitor was shown. And a spokeswoman told The Associated Press that earlier in the day Boyle lost her temper after being pushed "over the edge" by two journalists.
Sean said such behavior contradicts viewers' initial impression of Boyle as a naive amateur thrust into the spotlight.
"She is not what she seems," he said. "I think she's a hard-faced woman. You don't swear about a child."
He believes her true personality has come out now that she has sniffed the competition and realized she is not a shoo-in. The audience, through telephone voting, determines the winner.