I normally don't pay attention to reality TV (isn't that an oxymoron, anyway?), but this is worth talking about.
You've probably seen the clip of Susan Boyle on "Britain's Got Talent" by now (linked in the article below), but Jim Emerson (in "Reality: What a concept") has seized on it as a way to talk about what he sees as the hollowness and hypocrisy of trying to extract heartwarming moments from shows fundamentally based as much on ridicule as they are anything else.
The whole thing is worth reading, but I'm chomping out this quote from the comments for discussion:
... the people who made ridiculous assumptions about Susan Boyle based on her appearance in a TV reality show contest are congratulating themselves on Learning A Lesson — and are lecturing others about it.
I brought this up to a friend who replied "Well, what if they really did Learn A Lesson, and they're just being clumsy and tasteless?" My answer to that was, we have no way of knowing whether or not they were sincere about such a thing — because in order to know that, you have to see what people do when no one else is around to keep score. And that's not something you can fit into the context of a reality TV show, and maybe even TV period.
But above and beyond everything else, the lady has a fantastic voice.