She is an internationally acclaimed Internet phenomenon and a symbol of the folly of underestimating people because of the way they look. But in a shocking upset, Susan Boyle, right, the 47-year-old Scottish church volunteer whose stunning audition for the Britain's Got Talent TV show last month has been viewed something like 90 million times on YouTube, lost in the final round of the program on Saturday night.
After the audience votes had been tallied, Boyle placed second, beaten by a dance troupe named Diversity.
Winners of Britain's Got Talent receive about $160,000 and a spot on the roster of the Royal Variety Performance, presented in front of the Queen.
In recent days there were worries that Boyle — who is said to have suffered slight brain damage when she was deprived of oxygen at birth, and is so unworldly that she has no computer — was cracking under all the pressure. Piers Morgan, one of the judges, described her in his blog as "a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights." — New York Times News Service
It was a homespun farewell for Jay Leno's last show at Tonight. Celebrities were largely absent and the self-effacing comedian said he wanted to be remembered for the children born to his staffers during his 17-year tenure as the show's second-longest running host. He even posed with all 68 of them, from babies to teenagers. "That's what I'd like my legacy to be," Leno said, his voice thickened by emotion. "When these kids grow up and they go, 'Hey, mom and dad, where did you guys meet?', they're going to say they met on the stage of The Tonight Show. He noted proudly that he took over the top-rated late-night show from Johnny Carson and was passing it on with the same No. 1 ranking to Conan O'Brien, who begins as host today. "Which means I get my security deposit back," quipped Leno. — AP
Spector gets 19 to life
Phil Spector is going from walls of sound to bars of steel. The producer was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the February 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson. Spector could have gotten an additional 10 years for the enhanced charge of using his own gun, reports E! Online, but prosecutors last week decided to recommend just the mandatory minimum. Spector was also required to pay more than $26,000 in funeral costs and to a victim restitution fund. "I'm very proud of Lana, proud to be her mother," Donna Clarkson said in a brief statement before the sentencing. "No one should suffer the loss of a child."
'Frasier' star married his partner in October
After keeping his private life out of the spotlight for years, David Hyde Pierce revealed on The View that he quietly married his longtime partner Brian Hargrove in California on Oct. 24. The actor and Hargrove, a producer, are still legally wed despite the California Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to uphold Proposition 8. The gay-marriage ban was approved by voters in November, stopping legal nuptials going forward. Angered by the ruling, Hyde Pierce said Thursday: "It's like, 'Oh great, we made the cut.' "
Cat fight! Adam vs. Clay
Adam Lambert fans just got a juicy taste of catnip when the American Idol runnerup gave a passive-aggressive "thanks" for being critiqued by Clay Aiken last week. Aiken said on his blog that he "thought my ears would bleed," hearing Lambert bleat out Ring of Fire. He called Lambert's singing "contrived, awful, and slightly frightening" The gracious Lambert told Access Hollywood that he didn't mind, (purr, purr) because, "I'm glad he's getting headlines now though, because he wasn't before." The 27-year-old glam rocker added, "If he wants to ride my coattails about it, good for him." Speaking of Glambert, the New York Post is reporting that he is planning a Rolling Stone cover to confirm what everyone already knows about his sexuality so we can move on.
Funky heat saps Tone Loc
Rapper Tone Loc collapsed and lost consciousness in the middle of a concert in Pensacola on Thursday. Moments after complaining about the heat and humidity in Pensacola Beach, the Funky Cold Medina singer suddenly went down hard, busting open his elbow and bleeding on his shirt, TMZ reports. According to the Pensacola News Journal, Loc was treated and released from a nearby hospital.
A-Rod finds date in Kate
Alex Rodriguez may not have Madonna's affections anymore, but Page Six is reporting that he is nursing his hurt ego with Kate Hudson. They've been together in recent weeks and she is reported to have stayed with him at Hotel ZaZa in Dallas Wednesday night after the Yankees played the Texas Rangers.
Jon & Kate plus the state
Because we are required by gossip union rules to have a daily update on the mess that is Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight children, know that the state of Pennsylvania is on the beat, too. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor says it's looking into whether the hit reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 is complying with child labor laws, AP reports. TLC says it "fully complies" with state laws and regulations. "Chances are, courts would say this doesn't count as labor, because the children are doing things they would be doing whether there was a camera or not," attorney Paul Moretti told E! Online.