Wednesday, December 5, 2007


If you've been sleeping under a rock and didn't note who won this summer's Britain's Got Talent competition (present company included), you'll definitely want to take note. More importantly, if you're looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything, I have the perfect gift for your giving.

My friend, Sister Mary Lisa, put me on to this guy and if you haven't heard his story, go to YouTube and 'tube him (or just see the clip below.) His story is inspiring and his voice is divine. He's the quintessential underdog who gets to go to the ball and comes home with the glass slipper and a contract to boot. His name is Paul Potts and the result of his winning is his album, One Chance.

But don't take my word for it. Go to YouTube and check him out. If his story and his talent don't move you to tears, then you have a heart of stone. If his story does move you, then go out and buy his CD. Be a part of a dream come true and feel the spirit of Christmas.

Out of five stars, a definite five.

Oh, and be sure to buy the U.S. version. It features two bonus tracks: O Holy Night and Silent Night.

Note: This version updates a previous piece that was poorly written at 11:15 p.m. after an arduous day spent being a tour guide in a city where the temperatures were down in the 30s and the wind was bitter.


Di said...

Oh, I've been moved to tears by this story several times NO MORE, Ms Tewkes, I shan't be dragged into the vail of tears again. But it's an AWESOME story, and I love the music. Now I will buy the album (is that what the kidz are calling them these days?).


Cele said...

I'm not an opera a long shot, but that put into context was awesome.

Di said...

Goddammit, you sucked me into it again. I musta seen that thing about 15 times now, but it still makes me have goosebumps on goosebumps, and of course, cry like a behbeh.

Not to get all philosophical, but it's utterly amazing that that much sheer talent can hide out in a car phone sales job, isn't it? Confidence is something I can't wrap my head around, but the lack of it could hide THAT? Unbelievable. And it's appealing to the human spirit in all kinds of ways that someone should "win" based on SHEER TALENT, and without the right 'look' and with no 'ass-kissing' or following any supposed rules. Just archetypal in its appeal.

Plus, he just sings like an angel.

hm-uk said...

I remember watching him on the telly when he got through and thinking, "Good on you, Simon, for picking the underdog." I love a dark horse story, me...

Anonymous said...

I'd seen this before, but loved it just as much this time around. From a technical vocal standpoint, he's not perfect, but obviously loads of raw talent, and very unexpected in a car phone salesman.

Funny--the mom of a kid on Number One's soccer team is English, and talking to her at a practice she said she'd never heard of the "British people have bad teeth" American truism. Should send her this video clip. ;)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Di: I'm not sure what kids are calling them these days. Albums? CDs? MP3s? I don't know. I'm woefully illiterate in the ways of teens.

Cele: I'm not a huge opera lover either and opera purist are likely blanching at this guy's ability, but he's a wonderful way to enjoy a little bit of opera and appreciate an underdog story.

Di-2: Sorry. I'm with you. I love that he's not a beautiful person and yet he has this amazing talent. As you say, "It breaks all of the supposed rules."

HM: I'm with you. Usually Simon makes me crazy, but in this case, he redeems himself.

JA: I agree. He isn't technically 100%, but it's his heart and drive that make him perfect. I think what some critics failed to note was, Paul Potts didn't come on stage and say, "I'm an opera singer." He came on stage and said, "I'm going to sing opera." He'll likely never be the next Pavarotti or Domingo or Caruso, but he certainly holds his own with the Grobans and Crawfords of the world.

As for his bad teeth, I like them. I hope he keeps them. It goes back to what Di said: he defies the rules.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

This is just so awesome. I love Paul Potts. His story resonates with me as well. And I blubber with ya, Di.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

SML: Thank you for pointing me in Paul's direction. If he could realize his dreams at 37, surely I can realize mine at... erm... more than 37!

Di said...

Oh JA, I know he's not technically perfect. Sheesh. I don't even care.

I watched the dumb video twice again this morning. There's something about it. I don't usually watch to the end, though, where they talk about him. I too like people who surprise you, but I don't like to think of them as frogs that you can turn into princes; I don't like that paradigm. He is who he is, and being MORE him will help him find success, not turning from a little lump of coal into a diamond, or a frog to a prince.

I have issues.

Anonymous said...

Did you miss the part where I said I loved it? Makes me cry every time, too. Nobody writes a tearjerker like Puccini, baby. And Paul Potts sings it like he means it.

hm-uk said...

I loved the look on Amanda's face after he got to the crescendo of that aria...I think my face did the same as hers.

JA, I think your soccer mom friend will have heard the truism that Brits have bad teeth, she may have just wanted steer the conversation in a different direction. I've done the same thing when a Brit asks me why all Americans are fat. I love my SO's slightly wonky teeth (her words, not mine), it is a flaw that perfects her and gives her face that unbelievably sexy and slightly crooked grin.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

JA: Indeed you did say you loved him and his story! All's well. (Please note: I said I agreed with you.)

Di: I love his messed up teeth, too. I hope he'll keep them, but apparently it's a cap gone bad that he wants to have fixed. (He mentions it on his website, Be sure to check out to the link to the interview he did with NP.R. It's 11 minutes of radio worth listening to.) Still, I'm with you, too: I love that he's just an average guy who has this extraordinary talent and is living his dream. Makes my otherwise bitter heart soar!

HM: I did the same thing Amanda did when he started singing. I watched Paul's audition again last night and still ended up verklempt.

As for wonky teeth, I had them as a teenager and dreamed of having braces. My dentist crushed my dreams when he said my teeth would naturally work themselves out. They did, and I'm glad, but I'm glad there was a time when they weren't 100%.