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Susan Boyle Carted Off To A Psychiatric Hospital – Surprise Not!

susan-boyle-873196098Susan Boyle the runner-up of Britain’s Got Talent has been carted off to the Priory, a psychiatric hospital in the UK the Daily Mail.

The article states: Police were summoned to her hotel and the singer was assessed under the Mental Health Act after she had an ’emotional breakdown’ following her shock defeat in the show’s final.

Yesterday afternoon show aides contacted police to say the 48-year-old was ‘acting strangely’ at her London hotel.
Piers said Susan was ‘almost certain’ to sign a record contract with Cowell

According to the Sun newspaper paramedics were then summoned and helped the ‘spaced out’ star through the lobby and into an ambulance just after 6pm.

I was not surprised when I heard about this as I had just submitted an article to the new News Limited site www.thepunch.com.au querying whether the producer’s of the show still had a duty of care towards her.

Here is a copy of my article below:

Even though you may not know who won Britain’s Got Talent, you will know Susan Boyle was runner up. The 48 year old frumpy spinster became an overnight sensation when she auditioned for the popular UK show. The audience who originally laughed at her gave her a standing ovation once her beautiful singing voice was revealed. Add in 100 million hits on YouTube and you have an international superstar.

Susan’s life has change for ever. It is rumoured she will obtain a recording contract, a book and movie deal. Her days of unemployment and living in public housing in a small village in Scotland have come to an end. But is she at risk of exploitation and will she be able to handle to the pressures of fame? Should the producers of Britain’s Got Talent have a duty of care because they “˜created her”˜?

In fact Britain’s Got Talent producer’s were the first to exploit her by allowing her to be laughed at during her audition because she appeared to be ugly, old, and thick. Since then stories started to emerge which would indicate an emotional immaturity, a previous learning difficulty and the possibility she is mentally unstable.

Incidences reported include storming out of a hotel after judge Piers Morgan praised another contestant, and losing her temper with two strangers who were out to “wind her up”. (source news.com.au)

Also The Sun reveals her nickname in the village is Rambo after the troubled fictional film hardcase “for years”.
A neighbour told The Sun: “The reason is because if Susan doesn’t get what she wants, she goes wild.”
Another added: “It’s not unusual to see her freak out over the smallest thing.
(Source The Sun.)

Reality TV thrives on the quirky, deluded and the freaks for laughs particularly in the audition processes of Australian and American Idol. Unfortunately they sometimes allow the vulnerable and the mentally unstable to be used as their TV fodder, but very rarely will they make it past the audition phase. Susan Boyle did.

Susan who appears to have led a very sheltered life will be vulnerable to grasping managers, corrupt accountants, and lotharios who will want to get their hands on her money.

Support systems need to be put in place to help her cope with her new found fame and the pressures this will bring. Also once her fame starts to decline, which it inevitably will, and she is no longer a marketable commodity it is likely she will need assistance to cope.

Since Britain’s Got Talent has now made money from her because of the interest she generated, they do have a responsibility for her emotional and mental well being. They need to ensure people she can trust will guide her career, and protect and assist her emotionally.

The majority of people see the Susan Doyle story as a fairy tale with a happy ending, however it is a story that may have a sequel which may not be so glossy.

By the way if you are wondering who won first prize on Britain’s Got Talent it was an urban dance group called Diversity.

6 comments

1 Wurstsemmel { 06.01.09 at 1:58 pm }

Absolutely agree with everything you say. There should absolutely be a duty of care for this woman and for other contestants on the show. Haven’t seen the show but understand there were several minors quite distressed.

As you rightly say, there were plenty of warning signs regarding the psychological state of this woman but, I guess, for television companies, it only adds to the drama and therefore the viewing figures.

2 CG { 06.01.09 at 5:10 pm }

Good article. It is really sad. Perhaps this will mark a turning point and the end of reality television as we know it? Although as long as there is money in it, the exploiting producers will still be around. Will be interesting to see how well a Susan Boyle album sells?

3 Reality Raver { 06.01.09 at 5:27 pm }

CG – Personally I don’t see it being the end of reality TV as we know it. People like her don’t come along to often, as I wrote they are normally made fun in the auditions and then sent on their way.
Just found this article written in April where her parish priest highlights his concerns about her vulnerability http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0901753.htm

4 Injera { 06.01.09 at 7:04 pm }

There was a story on the BBC, before the final, that quoted a former psychologist for Big Brother: http://tiny.cc/7u7S8 He was concerned about the pressure on Boyle then.

I wonder how many shows have psychologists on staff or available? The same article had Piers Morgan saying that psychologists were available to contestants, but it seemed to be an “on request” service – he didn’t know whether Boyle had sought help. It’s not clear that she even knew/could acknowledge that help was needed.

The difference between a person who could deal with pressure and a person who couldn’t may not be clear until the pressure is applied, in which case it’s too late. Where would a Tatiana be on the scale of talented – attention seeking – damaged?

5 Reality Raver { 06.01.09 at 11:50 pm }

Great article I wish I had seen it before writing the article. I particularly liked this paragraph.
“It’s a duty of care, it’s about a moral responsibility. The harrowing week that Piers was describing hasn’t been created by the press. The harrowing week has been created by the programme.”

Tatiana had a bit more life experience but agree she could have cracked at any stage.

6 The Susan Boyle Debate Continues | reality ravings { 06.05.09 at 12:49 pm }

[…] I said that in an article I had written prior to news of her entry into the psych hospital. You could see it coming a mile […]