Monday, April 20, 2009

Susan Boyle: America, what's your problem?

Apr 20, 2009, 12:49 PM | by Clark Collis

The phenomenal popularity of Britain's Got Talent competitor Susan Boyle, and the furor over the disparity between her angelic voice and her "homely" appearance, has got me thinking, oddly, about David Bowie. I interviewed the Thin White Duke a few years back, asking him such questions as, "Is Mick Jagger a good kisser?" (Answer: "You'd have to ask someone else.") While Bowie was in highly entertaining form, all I could think during the encounter was, "That damn fool has gotten his teeth fixed!" Bowie, you see, was famous for having a set of "gnashers" that looked like an untended graveyard after a nuclear holocaust. Yet here he was, telling tales with a set of teeth that made me wish I had worn dark glasses.

As someone from the UK myself (and as someone whose own dental work appears to have been conducted by Mike Tyson's fist) this came as a big disappointment. Britain is a country with a history of producing music stars more talented than toned, or even possessing of the right number of teeth. Look at Elton John, who even in his '70s heyday didn't exactly set female hearts a-flutter (of course, that actually worked out okay for him in the end). Or Van Morrison, who briefly toyed with early svelteness before becoming the shape and size of the moon (yes, Van the Man was raised in Northern Ireland, across the water from England, but you're basically talking about the same diet and dental plan). More recently, the UK has given birth to such female singers as Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lily Allen, all of whom have enjoyed global acclaim but none of whom spend too much time working on their six-packs (unless said six-packs have "beer" written on them).

Okay, so Susan Boyle is not going to be confused with Miley Cyrus or Christina Aguilera anytime soon. But to me, that's not a source of hilarity (thank you, Jay Leno!) but of national pride. Well, maybe not pride, exactly. But you get my point...

So, what do you think Music Mixers? Are British music stars less conventionally attractive (but maybe a smidge more actually talented) than their American counterparts?

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