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Susan Boyle's star turn leads to hospital

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The 'Britain's Got Talent' singing sensation receives treatment for exhaustion.

June 02, 2009|Henry Chu

LONDON — Susan Boyle, the amateur singer whose turn on a British reality show made her an overnight sensation, remains hospitalized in London for treatment of nervous exhaustion.

Boyle was "exhausted and emotionally drained" following her appearance on the televised finals Saturday night of "Britain's Got Talent," according to TalkbackThames, the company that produces the program. The 48-year-old Scotswoman has decided to "take a few days out for rest and recovery."

Boyle came in second on the talent show, a shock result for the viewers and bookies who had expected her to run away with the winner's trophy. Instead, call-in voters gave the honor to Diversity, a dance troupe whose tightly choreographed routine wowed audiences.

Boyle was gracious in defeat, but some commentators said she looked to be under major strain after weeks of being hounded by paparazzi and reporters from Britain's aggressive tabloids.

After her surprise defeat, Boyle reportedly ran down a corridor at the studio shouting, "I hate this show." British media also say that she flung a cup of water onto a staff member who tried to calm her down.

On Sunday, police were called to a hotel in central London where a woman was being evaluated by doctors, a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said. At the doctors' request, the woman -- whom the police declined to identify by name -- was brought voluntarily to a local clinic by ambulance. Police provided an escort.

The British media identified the woman as Boyle. The clinic where she is believed to have checked in has not confirmed or denied Boyle's presence.

Her brother, Gerry, was quoted by British media as saying his sister was "a bit tired and maybe even a wee bit homesick."

The concern over Boyle's health even elicited a comment from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"I hope Susan Boyle is OK, because she's a really, really nice person," Brown, a fellow Scot, declared on breakfast program "GMTV" on Monday morning. "I think she will do well."

On the same program, Piers Morgan, one of the judges of "Britain's Got Talent," said that Boyle "has just gone away to have some time to herself and to sleep and eat, doing all the things she hasn't been able to do in the last week."

One of Boyle's biggest supporters, Morgan wrote earlier on his blog that, in the week leading up to the finals, Boyle was "crying, throwing up, not sleeping and generally feeling the weight of the world's pressures on her."

Photos caught her losing her cool in public. Commentators sniped at Boyle for undergoing a modest makeover, even as the world thrilled to the story of an unmarried, dowdy-looking woman with a powerful voice hoping to make it big as a singer.

Tens of millions of people across the globe flocked to YouTube to watch Boyle's initial performance on "Britain's Got Talent," which catapulted the unknown charity worker from a small Scottish village into the global limelight.

Her march through the semifinals of the competition and into the finals was followed closely by media around the world. But with any luck, some of her fans say, that attention will ease now that the program is over.

"Coming second may just be the best thing that ever happens to her," Morgan wrote. "She can now focus on recording an album without all the added pressure and attention she would have got for winning the show."

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henry.chu@latimes.com

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