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Susan Boyle Checks Into Hospital

Susan Boyle (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan/PA)

Susan Boyle, despite her defeat on "Britain's Got Talent," continues to dominate the headlines. Sadly, it's not for the reasons she had hoped.

Yesterday, she was resting in a mental hospital surrounded by news crews, and the British prime minister gave a televised interview to say he'd checked in on her.

Police took the Internet singing sensation to the private Priory clinic Sunday night after she suffered an emotional breakdown -- just 24 hours after Saturday's finale. Producers issued a statement saying she was "exhausted and emotionally drained." One of the show judges, Piers Morgan, wrote on his blog yesterday that Boyle "told me she'd spent most of the week crying, throwing up, not sleeping and generally feeling the weight of the world's pressures on her."

According to British media reports, police were called about 6.p.m. on Sunday to a London hotel where doctors were "assessing a woman under the Mental Health Act." The woman was taken by ambulance to the Priory, a clinic in north London known for its celebrity clientele.

Yesterday, PM Gordon Brown said he had called judges Simon Cowell and Morgan to "be sure that she was okay." Boyle's brother Gerry told the Edinburgh Evening News he spoke to his sister just before she was admitted. "First and foremost, we have to make sure she is happy, and she is -- she wouldn't change all this for the world. ... But she will bounce back."

The hospitalization is the latest twist in the dramatic saga of the 48-year-old Scot, who shot to white-hot fame in April after her surprise rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream," one of the most viewed Internet videos of all time. Boyle attracted nonstop interest from the British media since her initial appearance -- the kind of hype normally reserved for the Queen or Michelle Obama, reports our colleague Karla Adam. The frumpy church volunteer was celebrated, besieged and accused of meltdowns and temper tantrums.

"You've had a weird seven weeks," Cowell told her after Saturday's performance. He said a lot of people thought she "shouldn't even be in this competition, that you're not equipped to deal with it. ... I completely disagree with that." Cowell said he'd gotten to know the "real Susan" -- not the person portrayed in the media -- who is "still a very nice shy person who just wants a break."

The runaway favorite to win came in second to Diversity, a group of 11 street dancers, including three sets of brothers. Bookies had the boys at 16-1 odds, but they may have benefited from telephone voters who thought Boyle was a shoo-in. Or maybe Boylemania peaked too soon: The Brits like underdogs (one of the reasons why she was so popular in the first place), but by the finale, Boyle was one of the most famous women in the world.

"Never in our fast-changing history, until Susan Boyle, have we managed to quite so swiftly canonize and then pillory another human being, for our own titillation," the Observer wrote.

Boyle appeared to be a magnanimous loser, saying "the best people won." The tabloids, however, reported a darker face of defeat, saying she stormed down a corridor and screamed: "I hate this show!" By the next night, she was acting so erratically that police were called to her hotel.

This development may be a blessing, says cultural critic Cintra Wilson. The author of "A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations" argues that Boyle's breakdown is actually "the healthiest possible response to this kind of stimuli. Any person whose sanity is worth a grain of salt will crack. This is the normal response. You cannot do that and not suffer. That's exactly what she should be doing."

Boyle's scheduled tours in Britain and the United States are on hold, as are the millions she stands to earn from albums and a possible book and television biopic about her extraordinary rise. One commentator on the Times of London Web site urged her to return to her pre-fame life: "Susan, go back to your pussycat for Heaven's sake. Who needs all this?"

By The Reliable Source  |  June 2, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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I had read somewhere that Ms. Boyle was called "Simple Susan." I have taken this remark at face value as her friends and neighbors seem to regard her as just another less than bright middle age woman who stayed close to home. The exploitation of her and her wonderful talent would put anyone into a nursing home to "rest." Give this lovely lady a break and leave her be to recuperate from the less than talented "judges" on this awful show that I have never seen, but have heard about, especially the ga-ga Paula Abdul. I heard Susan Boyle on news programs who played clips of her performance.

Posted by: marine2211 | June 2, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I think Susan Boyle won the entire world.

Posted by: mcgregorgenevieve | June 2, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I read on one of the web sites that her IQ was in the high average range. That's not "simple."

Posted by: mcgregorgenevieve | June 2, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Somebody please shoot the Times of London Web site commentator. Susan was born with an incredible gift, HER VOICE, to share with the world, and it is the very media and sleezy tabloid reporters with their dirty digs that drove her over the edge. Susan's dream is to sing for large audiences. NOBODY has the right to shut her up and send her packing, particularly the main culprits: the media. You did your very best to destroy a woman born with a disability and a gift both who never hurt anyone. SHAME ON YOU!

Posted by: appraiservicki | June 2, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

These reality-type tv shows should have a built-in support system and some sort of coaching for all contestants who gain such quick notoriety. This is especially true for people who appear to have some sort of "social impairment," no matter how high their IQ may be. For example, people with a form of autism called Asperger's (and I am not saying Ms. Boyle may have this) may handle most simple social exchanges, but in their simplicity cannot handle more than that, all the while having a great gift in a particular area for which they may gain sudden fame. The reality shows need to be able to protect people who cannot socially, emotionally, or psychologically fend for themselves, and whose disabilities may not become apparent until after they have gained sudden fame.

Posted by: Rogastrot | June 2, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

susan brought the world together through music. It is a rare artist who has the ability to connect through the vibrations of music- an artist who is connected to life not attached to things. Thank you susan
You have taught many of us how simple it is to connect - to love and care!

Posted by: barb123 | June 2, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

I hope that SOMEONE who loves her is with her at this time. Losing is a devastating experience, and a lot of people experience it. But it is a part of life.

Posted by: dotellen | June 2, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

There's only one person who can empathize with Susan - I believe - and it's the kind og pop: Michael Jackson. I hope he sends her a message. . .

Posted by: Singsong | June 2, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Thank you and congratulations, we love you Susan Boyle. You have given the world at this point in time, the needed gift of your pure voice, which comes from your inner beauty, strength, and natural talent. Your Mother is applauding in heaven now for you. You have grown all your life into this moment in time to share your ethereal gifts, and help lift the world's spirits and hopes. Rest for awhile. Sing for the Queen, then please continue to sing for all of us. Not since Roy Orbison have I been so moved by such an angelic voice and from such an unassuming person's gift to our hearts. Record certainly, appear if, when, and where you want, whatever you do for us, please protect your rights.
With love.
Harriet Fields

Posted by: drhafieldsmsncom | June 2, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

"I read on one of the web sites that her IQ was in the high average range. That's not "simple.""

That would be known as a back-handed compliment.

Posted by: mcoghlan | June 2, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

If I had a face and a body like hers, I'd commit myself to a mental institution as well.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 2, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

When did Cintra Wilson become the go-to expert for psychology blogbites? She hasn't even mastered English yet!

Cintra, "stimuli" is the plural of "stimulus." When you write, "...the healthiest possible response to this kind of stimuli," it's like writing, "...the healthiest possible response to this kind of circumstances." Ewww.

(By the way, stimulus/stimuli isn't even the right word for what you're trying to describe.)

And while I'm here, may I remind you that "criteria" is the plural of "criterion," and "phenomena" is the plural of "phenomenon"? So please don't write "the criteria is...", or "this kind of phenomena," okay? TIA!

Posted by: Tzigane | June 2, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse


"Ilegimiti non es carborundum"
Don't let the bastards wear you down. You won.
We in US have never maligned Kate Smith. She was loved and adored worldwide, You are welcome to come to the US

Posted by: ofiarasan | June 2, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

And if I had a personality like Adrienne Najjar, you can bet that I would check myself into a mental clinic ASAP!!!

Posted by: foreverplaid | June 2, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Susan Boyle rocks!

Posted by: foreverplaid | June 2, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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