I watched Special Report with Brit Hume on Fox News this evening. At the end of each program, Brit usually offers a short comedy bit via David Letterman or Jimmy Kimmel. Tonight was a little different. Brit offered video via YouTube from Got Talent, the British program that inspired American Idol.
In the clip, Paul Potts, a mobile phone salesman from South Wales, sings opera. On first glace, Potts does not strike an inspiring pose. He looks just like everyone else. Then, he sings. He brings you to tears. Shows like American Idol usually bring people down to bring ratings up. What a beautiful moment on television.
It reminded me of that scene in Shawshank Redemption where Tim Robbin’s character, Andy, plays an record of opera over the loudspeaker of the prison. Morgan Freeman’s character, Red, another prisoner, comments…
"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free."
For just a brief moment, the ironic, sarcastic, and crass world in which we live dissolved away.
UPDATE: Paul Potts sings "Con te partirò" in the Semi-Final.
FINAL UPDATE: Paul Potts wins!