With several weeks to go before Susan Boyle once again takes the stage for British TV's "Britain's Got Talent," judge Simon Cowell has spoken out on how he initially misjudged her, what she needs to do to win the competition, and the pitfalls she must avoid if the Scottish singer wants to have a successful, long-term career.
"I'm tired of hearing about the way she looks or the kissing, or this or that. Susan mustn't become a gimmick," Cowell told London's Daily Telegraph. "The problem is with all the sub-stories about the cat [Boyle has stated that she lives alone with her cat] and how she looks. It could all go horribly wrong now because there are so many other distractions."
While he worried about Boyle's media treatment since her star-making rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Misérables" earlier this month, Cowell also took the time to apologize for the way he initially viewed the singer.
"We were all guilty of judging her before she sang," he told "Entertainment Tonight." "You watch it back and it is embarrassing. We were completely wrong."
On the topic of Boyle's recent makeover — including new hair color, shapely eyebrows and a revamped wardrobe — Cowell was sympathetic. "I think to be fair, first of all she is a woman, and I think anybody who was subject to the kind of comments [she was] is going to go, 'You know what? Maybe I should do something about the way I look,' " he told "ET." "She was probably swooped on by about a million colorists who want to make a name for themselves."
When it comes to making a lasting name for Boyle herself, Cowell had very specific advice. "She has got four weeks to prepare for the biggest night of her life, and she has got to sing better than she sang before with all those expectations on her," he told reporters in Los Angeles, according to Reuters UK.
"Get yourself together, sweetheart, for the big one — the semi-final," Cowell continued. "Shut the door, choose the right song and come back as who you are, not who you want to be."