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 who everyone underestimated practically became an instant global star with a misconception-shattering performance of Les Miserables’ “I Dreamed a Dream.” But, believe it or not, that jaw-dropping slice of television gold happened all the way back in 2009. And in the years since, the star has gone through a stunning transformation that has completely wowed her legions of fans.

Thanks to that dramatic makeover, Boyle looks a far cry from how she appeared when she first burst onto our screens. And she’s been seen on a lot of screens, too. Her first Britain’s Got Talent performance would rack up an astonishing 120 million views on YouTube before being crowned the platform’s most-watched video that year.

Inevitably, Boyle became the runaway favorite of the show that had previously launched Paul Potts to similar global fame. Ultimately, though, 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 to the 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.

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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 – a far cry from how she looks today. Then her interview with Britain’s Got Talent hosts Ant and Dec insinuated that she was very much a stereotypical cat lady.

And 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. Then there were the judges’ snap reactions.

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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 was even less impressed, screwing up his face when the singer indulged in a bit of playful hip-wiggling. The stage was set, then, for Boyle to be made a laughing stock.

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And both the audience and the judging panel audibly scoffed when Boyle revealed her singing ambitions. She declared a desire to be “as successful as Elaine Paige.” A veteran of London’s West End, Paige had previously taken center stage in such huge musicals as Cats, Chess and Evita. Could Boyle really be as good?

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Well, maybe. From the moment that Boyle sang the first line of her chosen song, jaws in the auditorium dropped. Yes, while folks were likely 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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And the judges admitted that 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 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.” But what did the talent show’s most brutally honest judge make 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 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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That debut actually broke first-week sales records in Boyle’s native U.K. and was named the second biggest-selling U.S. album of 2009. Not bad for someone who was unknown at the start of the year! Striking while the iron was hot, the star then followed that smash up with 2010 festive release The Gift. Rather curiously, her third LP, 2011’s Someone to Watch Over Me, saw the Scotswoman tackle tunes from artists including Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears.

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But Boyle hasn’t exactly slacked off since. 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 in 2014 she released her sixth album in just five years – the inspirational Hope.

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The unlikely star has continued to bring out some surprises, too. Her record Wonderful World boasts both a posthumous duet with the legendary Nat King Cole and a rather left-field cover of Madonna classic “Like a Prayer.” And in 2019 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. Pretty impressive, right? She’s also picked up several Grammy nods. And then there’s Susan Boyle the movie star. Yes, you read that correctly. She’s appeared in the festive family drama The Christmas Candle and 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 has amassed an impressive net worth of approximately $30 million since she stepped onto the Britain’s Got Talent audition stage in 2009. Some of that cash, of course, has gone on her astonishing makeover. But with that said, 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. Intrigued fans got a glimpse of her modest abode, too, when in 2020 she gave a tour of the property to OK! magazine. And Boyle explained why she had decided against relocating to a place 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. 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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Boyle has allowed herself to make a few changes to the house, including a modest kitchen refurbishment and a lounge redecoration. But she still told OK!, “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.” Boyle, too, has her glamorous side, as she proved after her makeover.

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But being a superstar isn’t always easy. While speaking to OK!, 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, she revealed, “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 mental health issues – including Asperger’s syndrome – while in the spotlight. In 2019 Boyle told 9News that she even nearly quit Britain’s Got Talent halfway through her run because of the stress she had felt. 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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And Boyle opened up about her Asperger’s diagnosis on the Australian news channel, explaining how she had been relieved to discover that her fears of “serious brain damage” were incorrect. Going into more detail about 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 [that] 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 that interview, Boyle gave thanks to the support system that had 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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So, was Boyle really on form, or was she just putting on a brave face for the cameras? Well, another TV appearance answered any fears fans may have had. In 2019 the Scotswoman competed in the America’s Got Talent: The Champions final after being given the golden buzzer by Spice Girl Mel B. And, touchingly, she decided to pay homage to where it had all begun.

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Boyle earned a standing ovation for reprising her audition song, “I Dreamed a Dream.” And Cowell graciously offered his sincerest apology for the way he had treated the singer during her first Britain’s Got Talent 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 afterward.” Sadly, the judge’s kind words didn’t inspire enough viewers to cast their votes for Boyle. The star failed to make the top five in the finale, which was ultimately won by magician Shin Lim.

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Still, Boyle had the last laugh. In March 2020 she took to the stage at Scotland’s SEC Armadillo arena, preparing once again to sing her trademark Les Miserables number. Now, she looked very different to how she had appeared on the Britain’s Got Talent stage. But one thing did remain the same: the famous gold dress she had 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 dress. 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 wrote to Boyle, “You have helped me so much with your incredible talent. I’ve watched that audition video hundreds of times.” But some of Boyle’s followers may well have been left surprised by the singer’s sartorial choice. You see, she hadn’t exactly been complimentary about that dress during an interview with the Irish Mirror a year previously.

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Reflecting on her 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, she may well have wanted followers to compare and contrast the two looks.

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Boyle had made a conscious effort to shift some pounds after discovering in 2016 that she had type 2 diabetes. Medics had even warned her 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 so improve her chances of returning to the stage.

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

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It looks as though there will be plenty of other chances for Boyle to show off her new trim figure, too. In September 2020 it was revealed that Cowell had invited the star to appear on a Christmas special of Britain’s Got Talent. Unlike usual, though, this one-off show would simply be a celebration of the performers the series 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 that 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, the focus was on the sparkly blue dress that she had worn during a performance on the hit show the previous year. And in a very generous move, Boyle had decided to put the gown up for auction in order 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. That vital treatment could potentially keep the rare form of cancer she’s twice beaten from returning. And Boyle was gracious when speaking about her kind gift, telling the Scottish Sun, “I wanted to help in any way I could.” Yes, while the singer may now look every part the diva, she’s still as incredibly humble as she was back in 2009.

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