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Simon Cowell Admits They 'Made Mistakes' Handling Susan Boyle

In light of Susan Boyle's second canceled 'Britain's Got Talent' concert due to her mental health, judge Simon Cowell admits that they probably should have handled Boyle better from the start.

"Looking back on it all, it has become clear to me that we didn't handle the situation with Susan as well as we could have," Cowell writes in a 'Daily Mail' editorial piece.

"Yet to be honest, when I analyse exactly what happened, I don't know that I could have done it any differently. I had never met Susan Boyle before she walked on to the stage in the Glasgow auditions. I remember vaguely thinking 'I hope she is not another singer', as we'd had so many that day."

"Then after she sang, I thought she had come over well, but not sensationally. I certainly didn't think: 'Here comes a phenomenon who is going to become the most famous woman in the world, I wonder if she can mentally cope with it?'"

"I thought she looked a bit eccentric and certainly a character, but that was all. Then, several weeks later, after Susan had become a global sensation, we were on a satellite link to the Oprah show together."

"She seemed fine with all the attention - I thought she was utterly charming and really thrilled with what had happened. I thought - perhaps naively - that she was in control."

"When I asked her if she was enjoying herself, she replied: 'Simon, I am having the time of my life.' I was pleased. I thought whatever happens, we have changed this lady's life. Then, in the semi-finals, the pressure and her nerves were beginning to get the better of her. As the final approached, I started getting calls from the production team."

"It had become clear that Susan was finding the experience difficult to cope with. So I said 'make sure she has a friend with her all the time. Make sure she has any help that she needs'. Just before the final, I went to see her. She looked tired, but had one of her closest friends with her who was being a great support."

"I said: 'Susan, are you sure this is still all OK?' And again she said, yes, she was fine. I told her the most important thing was that she enjoyed the experience; that it had to be the best night of her life. Even then, I didn't pick up on any unduly troubling signs. She was nervous, yes, but no more nervous than Paul Potts had been before his live final two years previously. She understood the significance of the night."

"Then, during the final show, at the crucial point when the dance group Diversity won, I looked over at her face and thought: 'Christ, she doesn't know how to deal with not winning.'"

"It was a bad moment. Afterwards, I went over and gave her a hug and tried to reassure her. 'Susan,' I said, 'my offer to record an album with you still stands.' And we agreed that we would work together; that it wasn't the end of the road for her."

"After that, I left the studio. I remember having a drink that night and trying to relax, but still feeling a bit strange. Something just didn't feel right. And sure enough, it wasn't."

June 22, 2009 |

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