Howard County Maryland Blog

Convention of States in Maryland

Who is Paul Potts?

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, June 21, 2007

This is a must see video… and worth 3:36 minutes of your time.  Take a shy unassuming carphone salesman with a self esteem problem.  Put him in front of a national TV audience (in Great Britian) and what do you get?

A very big surprise, a lot of tears, and a standing ovation.

10 Responses to “Who is Paul Potts?”

  1. Jim Walsh said

    I love it. From the skeptical and even dismissive looks the judges gave him when he came onstage, he quickly won over the judges and the audience with his voice. I watched several clips of his performances on You Tube, and was amazed every time. This is what these talent shows are designed to do: take a humble mobile phone salesman from obscurity to superstardom.

  2. cindy vaillancourt said

    I saw this performance too (on a morning news program) – and I must say, I was also surprised at the depth of the emotional chord it touched.

    How sad that the current route for “discovering” this kind of talent seems to be a television show where the “judges” routinely channel their worst unrestrained middle school bully.

    I don’t watch the “talent” show – but I will watch this guy in the future.

    Cindy V

  3. Freemarket said

    He sure can sing, but his name reminds me too much of Pol Pot. He needs a stage name. Badly.

  4. jim adams said

    He should keep his name

    We well associate the beauty of his talent with the name Paul Potts, and we may forget the ugliness of Pol Pot’s acts.

  5. SSH said

    Paul Potts and Simon Cowell: Singing hyped emotion? H-umm?

    As we reflect on Paul Potts, the newly discovered winner of “Britain’s Got Talent” [ BGT ] and his beautiful voice, we naturally reflect on our own values and life accomplishments. What gifts has God given us? If we work hard, can the sun warmly shine on our faces? I cried and replayed videos several times to take in emotions of not only singer, but also judges, and audience. But my wonder had a gnawing knowing that did fit neatly into the ‘underdog to top performer’ story I heard in his storyline.

    World wide delight and emotions from seeing Paul fully approved; perhaps after being de-valued for years, came as much for his humble slightly tousled persona in the show, and as much for his ardent operatic singing. But, a charade that falsely elicits my true emotions seems a scam, especially if greedy.

    I heard the story on video at – from the opening set-up, “… the world of show biz seems a million miles away. Its Paul, a mobile phone salesman from South Wales.”. At 3.51 on the clip, Simon Cowell said, “I like shows where somebody isn’t a professional, has talent, isn’t aware of it, has a normal job, and then you see something else.”

    On the clip, Paul talked about his dream and how he had lacked confidence. Yes, we identify and all desire encouragement. He sang. Magic. But, as Simon said, “… then you see something else.”, and like he said: I saw a former £8,000 prize [ about $16,000 U.S., now ] for Paul Potts from Michael Barrymore’s TV talent show, and extended tutelage from operatic masters in Italy, four amateur opera productions, a concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and plans for a summer tour with them.

    Obvious. Amateur talent needs training and experience. That is worthy. But my emotions are dialed into a guy who said his dream is to do what he feels he was born to do, and his feelings had always lacked confidence! Experience and prize money is confidence building: he had plenty since his birth and early identity. I saw a fellow who wore a humble jacket at the semi-finals, sans a tuxedo he knows well in opera, yet spiffed at the finals. But it is the voice! No. It is also the person’s words, too.

    It is implied that people did not previously value his talent: an unknown without promotions. On the British TV interview after Paul won BGT, he was clear, “You know, I’ve not taken up promotions before because people wanted me to change who I was, and I’m determined to be true to myself, because at the end of the day ….”, – June 17 video, set 1.30. They wanted his talent, and he chose not? Okay, he can negotiate! But, that seems strong-minded; and very confident! He refused pro-motions. We got e-motions: shy bullied kid; his best friend was his voice.

    Paul went to New York to field NBC’s basic questions: “… and I know that you haven’t had formal training, so how did you learn to sing like this?”. He ignored their wrong assumption and said, “Umm, I’ve just always sung – just always sung. My voice has always been my best friend.”, June 21 video at 2.53; same site. As Simon said, “has talent, isn’t aware of it ….”. What worth to him are the masters who gave him lessons, on which he spent most of the £8,000 prize money? … and singers with whom he traveled the stage on the Italian operatic circuit, and London’s experiences? If humility means to be unassuming and common with other people, like its root ‘humus’, then earthy and unpretentious people do not cover their history of help from other people. Rather, Paul gives us wrong assumptions.

    Critics comment that for operatic singers, Paul is okay; not extraordinary. I like his voice. It is good and memorable! But, what is extraordinary are the hyped emoted feelings. Some people might say, “that is how the show world sells!” No! Not here! Not with true emotions of people around the world, teary eyed for the underdog; not in this case of contestants’ climbing the ranks on rungs of public votes: and the public paying to vote by telephone. Purity of spirit should remain pure, not a sham that brings a shame to hope and faith in Horatio Alger type humanity; at public expense. I enjoy world-class music, but not world-class charades and emoted stories for profit! What is the Paul and Simon story?

    British Simon Cowell spent 2 years forming “Four Tenors” or “Il Divo”, a popularized package of the operatic world, similar to the Three Singing Tenors. Producers package talent. He knows that world. He knows that both talent and emotion sell. Did he tweak our emotions through set-up stories to launch a Paul Potts’ premier CD; with Simon producing more mogul money? I like true emotions, meaning full; not half-full false ‘unknown underdog’ ‘discovered’. That half-full leaves me half-empty.

    A contestant background video showed Paul in what appeared to be lush South Wales seaside, looking like a CD cover. If BGT showcases this 36 year old mature amateur singer, then perhaps the last drop of bloody money can be wrung from innocence. Not his innocence. Ours. Simon Cowell’s announcement at the final show that Paul Potts would be recording an album the next week was lucid business-linkage to the world. But to link our common emotions for hope in challenges, and our faith in people and love of life: to a ‘confident’ ‘hold-out promotion’ person who did not disclose his full story, is miserly manipulation. A contestant who approaches their stage will be known: by producers: and in advance. They want to uncover upsetting persons, especially when the prize is the doorway to a further contract! They want lead-in pieces about a contestant’s character and history! I want a good spirit that is fair to the closing of Nessun dorma!: Vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!, I shall win! I shall win! I shall win!

    If we act fairly, work hard and have talent, then hopefully we are rewarded. But, an ‘underdog’ ‘without confidence’ is hyped and yanks at more money. His ‘unknown’ is really sans full disclosure.

    If Paul Potts fairly wins a competition to get a contract, then great! The Paul Potts NBC interview ended with a transition piece, to NBC’s next show segment. Its topic was ironically poignant: “Greed in America: why some people will do anything in search of easy money.”. Emotion was hyped, then E-motioned by U-tube. We cried. Why? Good voice, and hyped! Perhaps disclosures of Paul and Simon were not as lyrically full as some New York city namesakes, but they might have much in common with another June 21 item from MSNBC: “Martha Stewart on grilled chicken done right” at . Someone, turn up the heat to grill them about “disclosure”, in this case! The sound of money echoes in my deeply emoted feelings, and charades are shallow sales.

  6. Melissa said

    My life has been so hectic and busy lately that I haven’t heard or seen about Paul – Thanks for Posting it! A nice Friday gem.

    Happy Independence Day to everyone – We will be out of town helping my brother celebrate his 40th! Doubt they will have fireworks in Mexico so Ohh and Ahh for me!

  7. Jim Adams said

    Melissa, thanks for keeping our borders safe and keep the pop corn popping.

  8. Melissa said

    My pleasure! On both accounts. Now if we can just the virtual fence fully integrated we’ll be in business! Desparately need some time off… 🙂

  9. This is an amazing story. For more, see

    Incredible! Like Simon said, “A breath of fresh air.”

  10. Pol Pot said

    The Next Madeleine McCann

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