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Singing sensation beaten but already planning first album

SUSAN Boyle may have been beaten by a group of street dancers who jumped, kicked and shook their way to victory against her on "Britain's Got Talent," but her musical career has barely begun.

The 48-year-old church volunteer with the show-stopping voice told broadcaster ITV she hoped to release an album and would "play it by ear" in her new musical career.

The past week had been tumultuous for Boyle. She lost her cool during a confrontation with two reporters, and the police intervened. Another contest judge said Boyle had contemplated pulling out of the program to soothe her frazzled nerves.

On the night itself, she appeared on stage composed, in a glamorous but modest sparkly floor-length dress and gave a polished performance, but it was not enough to secure her victory.

Millions voted by telephone after Saturday's live show, which Boyle had long been expected to win.

"She lost because people didn't bother voting for her because they thought she was going to win it," lamented 21-year-old Gordon Mackenzie. "I didn't vote for her because I thought everyone else would."

Her hometown of Blackburn, Scotland - a working-class village about 16 kilometers west of Edinburgh - rallied round her, stringing up signs declaring their support. Her defeat was greeted with shouts of "no" and gasps of disbelief at the Happy Valley Hotel, where neighbors and friends had gathered to watch the program.

Yesterday, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond was scathing of the media pressure that Boyle had almost buckled under.

"We've got elements of a press who like nothing better than to build people up and then drag them down," he said on BBC's Radio Five Live.

Boyle became an Internet phenomenon after she auditioned for the television talent show. Her entree into the limelight has become reality-show history, after being viewed millions of times - the fifth-most watched clip ever on YouTube.

Dance group "Diversity" won 100,000 pounds (US$159,000), and the right to perform for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Show in December but experts predict Boyle may well have the more lucrative future.


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