Today was a red letter day, or should I say red dress day, for fans of Susan Boyle. Susan performed live in Shanghai stadium to 80,000 people at the final of China's Got Talent in a show which was broadcast to nearly 500 million homes in China.
Susan arrived in Shanghai on the 8th July, and despite a significant delay to her arrival due to the plane being 4 hours late, she hopped off the plane looking fresh as a daisy after a 12 hour flight. Susan went off to her hotel and changed into a specially designed red trouser suit with a tartan trim. A lot of thought went into this and it was an acknowledgement of both China and Scotland in its conception, the tartan being the famous Chinese Scottish tartan, the trouser suit jacket being quintessentially Chinese, and red being a symbol of good luck in China. Susan bounced into the press conference looking every inch the international star, and established an immediate rapport with the large group of waiting reporters. She was gracious and funny as she answered questions about her unique story and her journey so far. Susan was given a gift of some silk pajamas by several of the contestants and she in turn presented the contestants with gifts from Scotland. She was amused to learn she was called “Aunt Susan” in China, a name which confers both respect and admiration. That is an awful lot of new nieces and nephews! During the interview Susan even spoke a few words in Mandarin much to the delight of the locals, before going off to film some more interviews and then having a well deserved rest.
On Saturday Susan spent the day rehearsing and also found time to go shopping in Shanghai, whilst she prepared for today's big performance.
Today Susan arrived at the enormous Shanghai stadium to sing for a Chinese audience all of whom were most eager to hear Aunt Susan sing. She stepped onto the stage wearing a Joyce Young creation in red silk and lace and looked absolutely stunning. Her first song, which about half way through the show, was Who I Was Born To Be and was sung against a backdrop of a child on a swing. She sang beautifully. Thousands of fans across the world were also watching on line, just as eagerly as their Chinese counterparts, and the tears flowed as Susan gave an emotional and powerful performance of this song from her début album. After loud and appreciative applause from a massive audience waving light sticks Susan was interviewed and complimented on both her beautiful singing and upon her stunning dress – she confirmed that it had been made especially for this occasion by Scottish designer Joyce Young.
The show appeared very long to non Chinese fans who were fascinated by the very different format and the variety of acts which appeared on CGT. Susan then reappeared at the close of the show shortly before the winner was announced. She performed her signature song I Dreamed A Dream and as usual brought the house down. Susan put passion and soul into this performance, as she always does, singing and performing from the heart.
Susan wore the same beautiful red dress and in the post song interview advised the contestants on CGT to “go for it”, and to “keep trying, I did.” Characteristically she also managed to get in her by now trademark wiggle when being interviewed about her book, The Woman I Was Born To Be, which is now available in Chinese. The audience and the thousands of fans watching on line were mesmerized and charmed. The Chinese hosts told Susan that she was loved in China and she again spoke in Chinese/Mandarin which clearly amused and charmed the audience who laughed and smiled appreciatively.
It is amazing and awe inspiring to see just how far she has come since April 2009 when we first saw her on BGT and to see her now as the international star that she is, performing with such passion and conviction. Kudos Susan, you did it again.