Shocker! Susan Boyle Falls Short on Talent

    She "Dreamed a Dream," but unfortunately it wasn't enough.

    Susan Boyle, the YouTube sensation and Britain's Got Talent hands-down favorite, took second place in Saturday's finale, falling short to a dance troupe called Diversity.

    Boyle's runner-up placement came to the shock of many, including all three judges, who during her final performance hailed her as the best talent to grace the stage.

    Following Boyle's swan song, Piers Morgan couldn't hold back, saying, "I'm not supposed to favor anyone, I should be impartial, but you know what, forget it. That was the greatest performance I've seen in Britain's Got Talent history. You should win this competition. I loved it!"

    Judge Amanda Holden agreed: "I have never heard such powerful, confident vocals." She even went as far as calling out America's favorite critic, Simon Cowell. "And can I just say, Simon had a tear in his eye and I've never seen that before."

    And as far as Cowell was concerned, the entire competition paled in comparison to Boyle's inspirational journey. Said Cowell, "Win or lose, you had the guts to come back here tonight, face your critics, and you beat them. You can walk away from this with your head held high, Susan. I absolutely adore you."

    Boyle's final appearance awed the crowd with a repeat performance of the Les Misérables classic that made her a household name. The Scottish import belted out "I Dreamed a Dream," this time with extra help from her shimmery floor-length gown and the twinkling stage décor in the background. Also noticeably different from previous performances? The poise and confidence exuded by Boyle.

    Before the winner was announced, Boyle gracefully expressed her gratitude to everyone involved in her rise to the top. "I want to thank the people for all the support they've given me, especially the people back home. Thank you very much."

    And after a week of intense scrutiny and distress, Boyle made it known that she was grateful for the experience. "[It was] well worth it, well worth it."

    Naysayers be damned, Boyle signed off with what has become her signature, a playful hip shake. Susan will always be first place in our hearts.

    (Originally published May 30, 2009, at 1:58 p.m. PT)