probably never thought that she would be compared to
, but both of them went into the finals of their respective talent shows as heavy favorites and both went home with second-place finishes.
Boyle, who may have become the biggest singing star in the world over the past few weeks, thanks to a ballad from "Les Miserables" and YouTube, performed a terrific, albeit anticlimactic, rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" during the finals Saturday of "Britain's Got Talent," but lost out to Diversity, an amazingly deft and clever dance troupe that flew under everyone's radar.
Diversity's finals performance was "brilliant," as the Brits like to say every five seconds ( marred only by BGT's quick-cutting cameras), but BGT's talent pool was so deep that Tattle wasn't sure that Diversity was any better than Flawless, another dance group, whose flawless audition weeks ago was one of the most innovative pieces of choreography we'd ever seen on TV.
Although we have never been fans of "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars" or the cornball, state fair nature of "America's Got Talent," for some reason we became obsessed with this year's British version.
Was it the infectious joy of judge Amanda Holden, or that cranky Simon Cowell was enjoying himself . . . happy? Or was it BGT's sincerity - the type that our TV talent shows have become so good at faking?
Even the 10-year-old singer/ballerina who botched her song in the semi-finals and started sobbing for another chance didn't come off as obnoxious as she could have.
From the riotous step dancing of the chubby father-son duo "Stavros Flatley" to Two Grand, the recently-widowed grandfather who sang Disney duets with his 12-year-old granddaughter, the Tattle BS-meter never felt the icky, slickness we felt watching those over-hyped "America's Got Talent" commercials last summer with Sharon Osbourne cooing over the 4-year-old singer or David Hasselhoff being David Hasselhoff. Only Piers Morgan, who "judges" both shows, brought any sense of, well, sense, to the proceedings.
David Hasselhoff? Come on. What could he judge besides a wet T-shirt contest?
Maybe the unfamiliarity is the secret of Tattle's fondness for BGT. Watching the show in Youtube segments or on its own Web site (talent.itv.com), one can avoid the hype, the betting lines and the tabloid tales and simply enjoy the acts for what they are: regular blokes trying to catch a break, win some dough and - how quaint - perform for the queen.
These Brits actually get a wee bit choked up about the queen thing. They revel in the fact that BGT is a family show. And, with 19 million of them tuning in for the final ("American Idol"-type numbers from a country a fraction of the size), BGT really comes off like a national event in a way AGT never can.
"America's Got Talent" debuts June 23. Here's hoping it's half as entertaining.
* Since "Jon & Kate Plus Hate" is working out so well for its reality stars, it's nice to see that OctoMom Nadya Suleman is going to put her 14-children brood before the cameras.
People magazine's Web site reported yesterday that Octo Plus Six has agreed to be filmed by a British production company.
Suleman lawyer Jeff Czech says that production company Eyeworks hasn't yet sold the proposed show to an American network and plans to air the series on British TV.
He says that film crews will not follow Suleman and her children 24 hours a day, but will document birthdays and special family events.
You know what would be special? If she put a dozen of the kids up for adoption. *
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.