Five months after debuting to international acclaim on "Britain's Got Talent," Scottish singer Susan Boyle took the stage Wednesday night on the American version of the show to sing a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses."
Wearing a floor-length black gown and bathed in white light, Boyle made a somewhat unlikely choice with "Horses," a track off the Stones' 1971 album Sticky Fingers. But stripping down the song's arrangement, with only a piano backing her at first, proved to be the key for the singer. Boyle nailed the first high note, and the audience burst into applause. When she finished, they gave her a lengthy standing ovation. Though the evening was in fact the finale of "America's Got Talent," Boyle seemed to steal the show from the eventual winner, country singer/ chicken farmer Kevin Skinner.
In a video segment played before her performance, Boyle addressed the difficulties she experienced when she first became an overnight star following her "BGT" rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream."
"With no pressure, and then having all this pressure on top of it, I found a bit suffocating," she said.
Boyle came in second place in the competition, losing to the dance group Diversity, and then ended up in a clinic after suffering exhaustion. "I don't remember much about it after the finale," Boyle explained. "All I remember is being put in an ambulance and being taken to a clinic. I've never felt so tired. I look back at it now, it was a necessity because I was tired. I don't know what was wrong me with, though."
With her first album, I Dreamed a Dream, coming out on November 24, and her American performance debut behind her, Boyle is most definitely back, and she plans to keep it that way.
"I used to be a kind of spectator looking out at the world, but now I'm part of that world," she said. "And although frightening, I'm going to embrace it, because I feel a bit more confident within myself, more able to cope, more able to take part in the dream."