6th Grade Boy Pulls A Susan Boyle To Trump LadyGaga

May 20, 2010 Riddle me this…

What dynamo 6th grade boy from Edmond, Oklahoma performed LadyGaga’s Paparazzi managing to segue the local audience from ‘ho-hum, just another piano number’ talent show inattentiveness to jaw-dropping admiration in ‘omg, this boy has some SERIOUS pipes’ style? (video after the jump) AND…

How did digital media turn Greyson Chance into this week’s Susan Boyle vaulting from a YouTube video to land on the Ellen show May 15th with 18,650,416 hits and climbing, as I write this? Not to mention the wonder of his amazing composure and seasoned style, having just been pulled out of math class via text from his mom with news of his TV debut the day prior to board his very first flight to L.A.?

Greyson now has a Twitter account open (a mere 5 days old with close to 43,000 followers/fans already) and has already cut a record deal with LadyGaga’s label Interscope. Add to that, his skilled aplomb handling media moments is a tribute to the entire ‘M-generation’ of so-called ‘digital natives’ who are much more comfy and charismatic on the virtual stage than camera shy media dodgers like me…Truly inspiring. Wait! There’s more…

When LadyGaga was the surprise call-in guest (and admittedly quite gracious, sweet, and encouraging to Greyson) he’s flummoxed and calls her “Miss Gaga” further amping up his gentlemanly appeal. She imparts that she’s flattered by his inspiration, and advises him to ‘follow his dreams’ and ‘stay away from girls and be focused’ as his starpower takes off…

Maybe I’m an optimist, but this seems to underscore sincerity and genuine guidance from a self-created ‘fame monster’ manufactured as a media money-making machine. Hmn.

It’s no secret I’d vote for Greyson over Gaga any ol’ day in the pop culture poll du’ jour as he comes WITHOUT the strut-n-smut media literacy baggage requiring deconstruction ad infinitum for the younger crowd. (And yes, I realize I owe a ‘part two’ LadyGaga deconstruction from a multigenerational media literacy standpoint)

Moreover, I think we all need to look at how quickly digital drama creates almost surreal intimacy that can make sparks fly fast in the blurred lines between celebrity and ordinary…The ‘you could be next’ hype-fest of ordinary people receiving a kickstart to rev up “from unknown to global sensation” in nanoseconds is rocket fuel for the masses with reality trumping reality TV any ol’ day.

Haven’t heard of Greyson? You will.

Give him a listen, I think you’ll agree he’s GLEE at the middle school level, with preteen pipes that triumph.

The power of media to magically change lives, give chances, deliver hope, and tap into many a web celeb fantasy can be used for ‘better or for worse’ as many a flameout crash-n-burn star knows all too well. As I wrote earlier in this post on how snap judgments in media are made with rapid cognition in Malcolm Gladwell, ‘Blink’ style…

It’s a teaching moment for us all to check our own attitudes and expectations at the door, look inside ourselves and be humbled by our own shortcomings of prejudice…(might even be mine about Gaga, we’ll see) Meanwhile, we can learn from our errors, and now literally rewind the moments (Susan Boyle) again and again (Greyson97) to relive those life lessons of “perception vs. reality” whenever we need to impart them through youth. 

Never thought I’d be echoing any advice, especially from LadyGaga, but Greyson, here’s hoping you stay true, soak it in, and take it slow.

You rock. And you are bound to be the media darling for ALL ages as this takes hold…As the old Billy Joel song goes, “Vienna Waits for you…” Have fun with it.

Greyson Chance on The Ellen Show: 1st Flight, 1st Interview, 1st Record Deal

Related Posts

Business Insider/The Wire, Ad Age Simon Dumenco (“How he really happened” chart is a must see)

CSM: Is Rise a Ruse? (gawd I hope this is not a stealth campaign, I will be more media-world weary than I am already!)

Mashable: Greyson Chance is the Next Bieber (great quote: “this one now holds a special place in our blackened, jaded-by-Internet meme hearts”)

Greyson Chance Joins Lady Gaga on Interscope-PopEater/record deal

Greyson97: His YouTube Channel (yep, I just subscribed)



  1. I adore Lady Gaga, outrageous 🙂

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