For those who don’t know, this is his audition where everyone got all shivery and goosepimpled!
A seriously debt-ridden mobile phone salesman, Paul Potts was evidentally taking some mental health leave from his job when he auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent (thank you wikipedia!). And unless you’re totally unaware of anything that goes on around this planet, you’d know he went on to win the thing.
But isn’t his success less to do with his singing voice, and more to do with the fact that his story is the embodiment of all our own deepest, daggiest dreams and wishes? I mean really, the moment he stepped onstage, all nervous and unpolished, the judges rolling their eyes and stealing cynical glances at each other; weren’t you reminded of those times – those embarassing, awkward times – when you locked yourself away as a child/tween/teen/tragic 20year old, and behind a safely locked door sang your heart out, the mirror your audience and a fat Nikko pen your microphone? Do you remember imagining the applause, the ensuing fame and adulation and, most importantly, the knowledge you had proven all your detractors wrong – that you were indeed someone truly amazing, someone to envy and admire.
There has been so much about Paul Potts and his unbelieveable talent, his charisma and his screen presence. Yet that can’t be all there is to it. For a start, he’s not even all that good. Hang on. Let me quantify that. He is good. Very. Provided you’re comparing him to me or any other musically challenged person he’s exceptional. But he ain’t no Carreras, Domingo or Pavarotti. If you listen for it you can hear his lack of experience and the rawness in his voice. Yet in 2007, he sold more copies of his debut CD here in Australia than Pavarotti, despite the fact that fat ol’ Pav even went so far as snuff it – generally a sure-fire sales booster.
All of which leads me to the conclusion that the ‘hair on the back of the neck standing up’ emotion I, and evidentally the judges, felt while watching his performance was due not just to his obvious ability, but even more so to the realisation that, for at least one person on the planet, the showstopping applause and wonderment did not remain imaginary. Watching him in the moments after his triumphant appearance, bewildered and shellshocked by the rapturous applause washing over him, I remembered how I felt standing in my bedroom at the end of a stellar performance, gazing out across an illusory audience made up of all the kids and teachers at school who’d given me grief. I remembered staring each one in the eye and daring them to tell me I wasn’t any good. And they didn’t, because I’d left them all speechless.
And it occured to me…in succeeding so fully and fabulously, and on such an international scale, Paul Potts wasn’t just living his own Victory Moment, he was living all our Victory Moments. This unassuming, almost agonisingly shy bloke, had become the epitome of all our deepest, weakest insecurities, and the mind games we play to keep ourselves from drowning in them.
Or is it just me?????????