This isn't to suggest that Boyle herself is a hoax (though she does seem a bit too comfortable on that stage, parrying with Cowell, to be a complete naif). But the notion that Cowell was unaware of Boyle's existence, let alone discordant looks and talent level, before she ever took the stage, is flatly ridiculous. And the song Boyle chose - if she, in fact, chose it - so seamlessly provides the meta-narrative that it's easy to miss how calculated it is. From "Les Misérables" ("the miserable," the way we are meant to perceive Boyle), she sings "I Dreamed a Dream." Boyle opens on the second stanza: "I dreamed a dream in time gone by/When hope was high/And life worth living." In "Les Misérables," it's sung by a lonely, unemployed character on the fringes - just like Boyle, who sang with the undignified descriptor "unemployed, 47" slung across the bottom of the screen.
After all, doesn't this earlier recording that has been dug up sound just a tab bit ... sophisticated?