New Susan Boyle: Jonathan Antoine floors 'Britain's Got Talent'
Jonathan Antoine, when he appeared Saturday on "Britain's Got Talent," looked like someone's slouch of a kid brother with his faded T-shirt and baggy pants. But then he opened his mouth, and everyone else's eyes popped open.
Antoine, 17, is built like the stereotypical opera singer, and his voice is even bigger than he is. His performance was powerful and moving. As people were wiping tears from their eyes, you could almost see the Susan Boyle comparisons begin to form.
Antoine and partner Charlotte Jaconelli performed "The Prayer." Antoine said on the show that he had a confidence problem and that Jaconelli had helped him through that. Their singing teacher first suggested that they form a duo, she said. In their performance Saturday, Jaconelli had trouble holding her own.
At times they seemed dissonant, and at moments she seemed overpowered. (The Antoine video is viewable on YouTube.)
Following the performance, Simon Cowell -- who had had one of his more charming transformations as a judge over the course of the performance, going from mean-spirited and skeptical to supportive and slightly less mean -- said to Jaconelli: "I worry, Charlotte, whether you're going to hold him back."
Antoine replied: "We've come on here as a duo, and we're going to stay here as a duo."
(More wiping of eyes in the audience.)
All four judges on the British show gave them the thumbs up, with a couple of the judges saying Jaconelli's voice was a lovely complement to Antoine's.
The Boyle comparisons were inevitable with Antoine's don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover performance. But Boyle, as you may recall, didn't win on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009. She ended up in a clinic, suffering a breakdown after losing in the final.
According to the Herald Sun, Antoine not long ago suffered a breakdown caused by bullying over his weight at school. The site quotes him as saying in October he had a "nervous breakdown. At that point, I left the school I was at -- me and school just don't get on."
-- Amy Hubbard
Photo: Simon Cowell attends the "Britain's Got Talent" launch on Thursday in London. An emerging star of the series is teen opera singer Jonathan Antoine. Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images