Simon Cowell's ‘Expectations' from Susan Boyle’s BGT audition were 'quite low’

Simon Cowell opens about Susan Boyle’s BGT audition, 'I will never forget it'

By Madison Raymond July 28, 2023
Simon Cowells ‘Expectations from Susan Boyle’s BGT audition were quite low’
Simon Cowell's ‘Expectations' from Susan Boyle’s BGT audition were 'quite low’

Simon Cowell wasn't expecting what he got from Susan Boyle.

Simon Cowell recalls how the world first learned about Susan Boyle's incredible singing talent.

2009 saw Boyle, who was unemployed at the time, try out for Season Three of "Britain's Got Talent."

Cowell recently joined "America's Got Talent" host Terry Crews to rewatch Boyle's audition. Cowell founded the "Got Talent" franchise and has served as a judge on the British version since it debuted in 2007.

On July 25, a video of the pair praising Boyle's voice nearly 15 years later was posted to the YouTube page for the venerable NBC competition series.

The film opens with a retro scene in which Boyle, then 47, tells "Britain's Got Talent" co-hosts Dec Donnelly and Ant McPartlin that she lives with her cat Pebbles, has never been kissed, and dreams of performing in front of a live audience.

Cowell, a current "America's Got Talent" judge, observes that footage while seated next to Crews at a theatre. He describes the experience of revisiting Boyle's moment of notoriety as "amazing" to the actor.

"I’ll never forget this," Cowell says. "I was having a terrible, terrible day and I remember saying, ‘I really, really hope she’s not gonna sing,’ because there were so many bad singers that day and I thought, ‘I just can’t take another one.’"

Fortunately, his wish was not granted. Boyle awed the judges and the crowd with her rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables."

"Our expectations were quite low," Cowell recalls. "But she is the perfect example of ‘never judge a book by its cover.’"

Crews exclaims, "No one was expecting that!" as the old video of Boyle singing and an appalled Cowell plays.

The vocalist is still being praised by Cowell, who refers to her as "the most incredible person."

Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, two other judges, were rising and clapping by the time Boyle performed the last note on the video, while Cowell sat in his chair in shock.

Crews applauds Boyle and then inquires of Cowell how it feels to experience the miraculous audition once more.

"This is special because, you know, she is just the most incredible person," Cowell reiterates.