Boyle's performance tonight came after a hard week for her. The church volunteer from Broxburn, Scotland -- population 14,000 -- was caught on camera last Wednesday gesturing obscenely at a pair of reporters and reportedly was overheard by police shouting "How f***ing dare you! You can't f***ing talk to me like that."
Critics and detractors assumed Boyle had cracked under the pressure and reports surfaced that she was not going to make the final.
London's The Sun tabloid, never a newspaper to pull a punch, led with the headline "SuBo Goes Loco" the following day.
In tonight's performance, Boyle glowed. Her silver sequined gown draped to the floor, her demeanor was confident and fully in control -- in every way a diva. Her performance garnered a standing ovation from the audience and the judges.
Judge Piers Morgan, who appears to have become one of Boyle's supporters, told her, "You've had a very difficult week boiling over, cracking up. All I kept thinking about was that all you had to do was sing the song you sang before. That to me was the greatest performance I have seen in any 'Britain's Got Talent.' You should win this competition."
Boyle beamed. The crowd cheered and jeered.
Cowell told Boyle, "You had a weird seven weeks. You could have walked away and you could have a lot of stuff coming at you from America. Win or lose, you have the guts to come back here tonight face your critics -- and you beat them."