April 16, 2009 — -- She's 47 years old, unemployed, lives with a cat and confesses that she has never been kissed. She's also Britain's newest singing sensation.
Susan Boyle simply had to open her mouth on the British television show "Britain's Got Talent" and she floored the judges, including the infamously critical Simon Cowell. She brought audience members to their feet with her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the Broadway hit "Les Miserable."
"I can't believe it happened," Boyle told "Good Morning America" today. "I was pretty nervous. It was an audition and I wanted to do well."
An unemployed church volunteer from a tiny Scottish village, Boyle joined the choir when she was 12 and has been singing ever since. But when she took the stage Saturday to audition for the judges before a large audience, the judges, especially the critical Cowell, were skeptical of the woman with the frizzy brown hair and bushy eyebrows.
Boyle was undaunted. When Cowell asked how old she was, she replied, "I am 47," then shook her hips and added, "and that's just one side of me." She did another hip check on "GMA" but caught herself quickly. "Let's keep it ladylike," she said.
She told the "Britain's Got Talent" presenters that she was single and living with her cat Pebbles. "I've never had a boyfriend," she said. "I've never even been kissed." The most "GMA" could get from her today was "no comment" on the subject of romance.
Boyle confessed to Cowell that her dream was to be a professional singer as big as British singer-actress Elaine Paige. When Cowell asked why her dream hasn't worked out, she said, "I haven't been given the chance before."
As soon as Boyle started singing, the audience cheered with amazement as her strong voice took over the theater. After a breathless silence during Boyle's performance, the audience burst into a standing ovation. Piers Morgan, one of the judges, admitted that he was impressed and said, "That was the biggest surprise I have had in three years of the show.
"You said you wanted to be like Elaine Paige and everyone laughed at you. Well no one is laughing now."
Judges Floored by Boyle's Performance
Another judge, Amanda Holden, was almost brought to tears by Boyle's performance. "I am just thrilled," she said. "I think we were all guilty of being cynical before. It was a complete privilege to hear you."
The most cynical of judges, Cowell had a harder time admitting he misjudged Boyle before. "I knew the minute you walked out on that stage that we were going to hear something extraordinary, and I was right," he said of the woman from West Lothian, Scotland.
Now that she has been given the chance to live the dream (all three judges voted "yes" for her return to compete on the show), the virtuous Boyle is poised to become the next pop sensation.
But she hasn't let her near-instant stardom cloud her vision.
"It's just baby steps at the moment," Boyle said, admitting that she's a little superstitious. "We'll see how things progress."