Hollie Steel falters but still makes it to Britain’s Got Talent 2009 final

PerezHilton.com posted the story today of Hollie Steel’s meltdown on Britain’s Got Talent, live on TV during the show’s semi-final.  She begged to perform again and after a bit of consultation, Simon Cowell, authorized it.

The ten-year old chose to sing Edelweiss, from the Sound of Music, a relatively simple song, often erroneously referred to as Austria’s national anthem.  She forgot the words, faltered and started to cry.  She tried to continue, but the pressure was too much and she broke down.  After the performance she begged to start again.  It wasn’t pretty.

Here is Hollie’s breakdown:


Here is her “redeeming” performance, where her nerves are still affecting her voice.  Although I wonder if the key that she is singing in, isn’t a tone or two too high, particularly for the last few notes :


Hollie’s audition was a much better and it almost doesn’t even seem like the same singer.  She doesn’t seem as nervous here, even if I Could Have Danced All Night, is a bit harder to sing than Edelweiss.


Maybe that is why the judges voted her through to the final tomorrow evening where she will compete against Susan Boyle who is rumored to be having troubles of her own.

Remember that Brooke White, stopped singing, said I’m sorry, turned, nodded to the band and started again on American Idol Season 7.  I’ve seen a professional and seasoned jazz singer stop a performance and get their band to start again because they felt the “audience deserved better”.  I found both of these performances a bit awkward to watch.

The best recorded example of a singer forgetting their words, is Ella Fitzgerald singing Mack the Knife on the 1960 album of a live concert, Ella in Berlin – Mack the Knife.  Halfway through her performance of Mack the Knife, she sings “Ahh Louis Miller, somethin about cash, yeah Miller he was spending that trash” with the perfect notes and phrasing as if the words were meant to be and making it a more memorable and enjoyable performance than it would have been if she had remembered the words.

We’ve all forgotten words when singing, but few of us have done it  on live tv, broadcast to millions worldwide.  The more experienced and professional performers have a way of forgetting the words and continuing on with the song with confidence and I guess you could say nerves of “steel”, something that Hollie still has lots of time to acquire.

In fact, we saw Susan Boyle do exactly that in her semi-final performance.  She didn’t forget the words, but for the first few notes she was not singing on pitch, she knew it, and we knew it. But within a few seconds, she adjusted herself found the key and went on to give a good, if not great performance.

Tomorrow’s final of Britain’s Got Talent 2009 will be interesting!

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