Sue Son: Britain’s Got Talent Violinist

May 3, 2009

Meet Sue Son, Britain’s Got Talent virtuoso violinist who had an audition with a surprising turn of events. See photos, video and a biography here of the newest contender whose outstanding performance was the culmination of a compelling story.

violin 1

UPDATE – Sue Son performed in the Britain’s Got Talent Semi-finals on May 24, 2009 but did not advance to the finals. That video has been added below.

Sue Son Britain’s Got Talent audition was an audition that almost wasn’t. She began as one half of the duo ironically named Addicted, with her best friend, keyboardist Janine Khalil; they are both 23 years old. Together they had high hopes of joining the contenders who must face the formidable talent of the now international star Scottish singer Susan Boyle.

But there was a remarkable turn of events.

The Addicted Britain’s Got Talent audition in Birmingham began with both the keyboardist and violinist on stage, performing a composition, ‘Chance” which Janine Khalil herself had composed. They had barely gotten through a few bars of music before buzzers began to sound and judges rendered their unsparing assessment.

BGT judges were not buying the Addicted duo of violinist Sue Son and keyboardist Janine Khalil.

Simon Cowell said, “I thought the song was dreary and indulgent and I don’t see where you are going with this.”

Amanda Holden said she thought that the two did not go together at all.

The judges talked amongst themselves. Clearly they had assessed the duo as not working as a synergy and realized the weaker talent of the two was the keyboardist. They asked Sue Son to return to the stage. Simon Cowell and asked her if she would come back the next day audition on her own.

The brilliant Britain’s Got Talent violinist said, ‘I’m speechless. I don’t know.’

Sue Son pictures herself as a solo artist, yes or no? And if so, is it a betrayal of her friend? These seemed to be the questions that she asked of herself. After some some deliberation and indecision she agreed to return the next day for her solo audition.

Sue Son Britain’s Got Talent audition was an impassioned and virtuoso performance of the technically demanding Vanessa Mae’s Storm. The piece is an Antonio Vivaldi cover and the title track of the classical-pop violinist’s 1998 album. The piece beautifully revealed Sue Son’s immense talent as the judges noted.

Amanda Holden: “I know it was a tough decision to leave your best friend. But that is going to be the best decision you ever made because that was phenomenal.”

Piers Morgan: “Miles better than the double act. On talent alone you’re one of the best.”

Simon Cowell: “That was an incredibly complex piece and I’ve got to tell you that was phenomenal.

Sue Son Britain’s Got Talent joins a growing list of contestants who have given notable BGT auditions. We have had a range of talent on display from a dance troupe called Diversity, to a 37-year-old pizza delivery man, Jamie Pugh singing ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. Not least two exciting child singers; the 10-year-old Hollie Steel, Britain’s Got Talent audition, in which she sang ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ and stunned judges and audiences with a grownup voice. And finally, the 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi from Wales who sang the Michael Jackson classic, Who’s Loving You.

Suspense builds as it will not be until May 23, 2009 that we hear again the Scottish singer, Susan Boyle, who sang I Dreamed A Dream. Meanwhile her competition continues to wow audiences week after week. At stake is a cash prize of £100,000 and the amazing opportunity to perform for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.

As a biography, Sue Son is 23 years old, as she stated in her BGT audition although variously Sue Son age is reported as 24.

She attended the Purcell Secondary School of Music; the oldest specialist music school in the UK and located in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England. It is where Sue Son met her best friend and duet partner Janine Khalil.

Reportedly, the decision Sue Son made to audition as a solo artist may have had consequences. In an interview, she discussed the strain on her seven-year friendship with Janine Khalil which may possibly have ended.

“She’s taken me off her Facebook friends. I think Janine was upset I didn’t tell her before that I was going back for a second chance.

“Instead of seeing her first, and telling her, I had to do it on the phone. I realised from my other friends she was really hurt.”

“I got some great compliments from the judges. But at the end of the day I lost my best friend.”

Here are Sue Son photos. Watch Sue Son Britain’s Got Talent video below. The Britain’s Got Talent Semi-finals on May 24, 2009 is also below.

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12 Responses to “Sue Son: Britain’s Got Talent Violinist”

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  1. 1
    Gillian Robinson Says:

    With regards to the performance by Sue Son and Janine Khalil and the loss of their friendship. I have a degree in music and agree that as a duo it didn’t work. It was obvious that Janine had a good piano technique and piano and violin go well together. A keyboard, however good, cannot compare with a first class piano in this type of duo – they have a different sound. They chose to perform a piece by Janine (congratulations Janine on experimenting with music – Schoenberg did it and not everybody likes or understands Shoenberg’s atonal music, although I do think it was the wrong choice for the show and I am sure your piece would have sounded much better with a piano/violin mix). The judges saw in Sue another Vanessa Mae I believe. It would be nice if they now gave Janine a chance to come back and perform a piano piece (perhaps something by a quality composer that shows her musicianship and technical ability that was more in keeping with the type of light classical music that most people enjoy) She should certainly consider auditioning again next year and “Britain’s Got Talent” shouldn’t omit having a proper piano (they could be hired from a good music shop or college of music)- also pianists could then audition as well. As to their friendship, it is a shame to break a seven year relationship. Yes, Sue, you should have told her about getting through in person and not on the phone if at all possible and perhaps if you were to win the ultimate prize you could tell Janine you intend to share the money with her. Janine has been criticized for not wanting the best for her friend but would anyone like to be told publically on stage with a large audience watching and a television audience of millions that they were the lesser of the two. I normally agree with a lot that Simon Cowell says but in this case I don’t think he fully appreciated that Janine is probably a better musician than he thinks. If you put Sue on a rubbish violin she would sound better than a beginner but she wouldn’t sound as she did with a high quality electrified violin, a good backing track and a virtuoso piece by such a great composer as Vivaldi. After all Simon, you have a better smile for having improved your teeth (sorry I couldn’t resist it).

  2. 2
    Friendship Says:

    I think that it is Sue’s lucky break and not Janine’s time. As a friend of 7 years, Janine should be happy for her friend, Sue. Sue did apologize. Yes, it was hurtful that your best friend gets chosen and decided to go on without you, but don’t let an audition ruin your 7-year friendship. Be happy for her, and someday, your time will come, Janine.

  3. 3
    David Kennerley Says:

    I think it a bit dramatic and rather incorrect to label Sue a “virtuoso” as her playing was very shoddy and sub-standard. I agree with Gillian that Janine should have played a proper piano, but Sue’s playing was awful-bad timing, and very poor pitching-and goes to show how ignorant the judges really are that they called it “phenomonal”. They also didn’t seem to pick up on the fact that she is playing relatively little in her 2nd audition, its just hard to tell because its difficult to distinguish between her playing and the backing track (except for when she is way out of tune).

  4. 4
    anonymous123 Says:

    To be honest, i thought Sue played better… am not trying to be biased as i have no reason to anyway. But you must be thinking, why?
    well, i dont have a music degree like Gillian Robinson (comment above) but neither does the judges… they are there in search of people with talent and Sue most certainly is talented and maybe the judges didnt quite see that in Janine.

    I mean look at them, one is a tabloid journalist and a writer – Piers Morgan.
    Another is an actress and in some cases a TV presenter – Amanda Holden.
    And finally Simon Cowell… he doesnt like keyboards…
    Maybe they should find someone who specialise in musical performances?
    I mean if i sat on that chair i would think Sue played better because the sound of the electric violin is indeed overwhelming compared to a keyboard.

    And as for the broken bond between Sue and Janine… its really no one’s fault.
    Gillian Robinson says:
    “Janine has been criticized for not wanting the best for her friend but would anyone like to be told publically on stage with a large audience watching and a television audience of millions that they were the lesser of the two.”

    Well first they both agreed to go on the show, everyone knows that there will be pressure from the judges and you cant escape the merciless criticisms from Simon Cowell.
    But how would that be blamed on Sue, when its the judges who should be responsible for spliting them apart – and this lead to an end of a 7 year friendship. After all, its a TV show.

  5. 5
    Tony Says:

    You can’t buy friendship and you can’t buy the chance of getting into BGT.
    I think if Sue said “Can I ask my friend first?’ since they came in same boat.
    This way Sue won’t loose her best friend.
    If Janine said “no”, then she is not best friend after all.

    Sue should have ask Simon if Janine could also perform solo.

    After Simon ask Sue to perform, Sue has the ball on her court so Simon has to say yes for Janine to perform solo else Simon has to eat his words.

    Anyway, Sue is young and she got overshadowed by “Yes or No” question.

    Simon should give Janine a chance to perform solo as well!!!

    The time will heal many things …

  6. 6
    JimmyZappa Says:

    That’s a bad attitude Janine has. My best friend is also my creative partner and i’ve seen him outperform me on a few occasions. I’d be disappointed if he found greater success and I didn’t but I wouldn’t dump him like that. Life goes on and success varies over time.

    From the sounds of the first audition, it sounded like she was a bit of a control freak. She was quick to credit the duet song as hers and was the “voice” of the group. Son seemed like the more unspoken prodigy and she deserves her success. Damn shame she doesn’t have the much needed support from her so-called best friend.

  7. 7
    Troy Says:

    It doesn’t matter lable Sue a “virtuoso” or not. It doesn’t matter how “bad” she had played during the audition. But one thing for sure is her playing brings us excitment and happiness. That’s what the BGT is looking for.

  8. 8
    Richard Says:

    Too bad, the results were not that good, please keep on going, You are that good and willlllll get famous

    Cheers From Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  9. 9
    Phoebe Says:

    If I were Sue, and care about my friendship, I wouldn’t have said that the friendship has possibly ended in the interview. It’s like telling the whole world that my friend is not generous enough to support my dream while Janine is probably just struggling with her emotion.

    I think Sue’s music piece selection in 1st round shows more of her talent than the semi-final one. Also, how she dressed in first round made her look very stylish as an artist. Her 2nd round dress was very nice and dressy, but only makes me feel like a girl who wants to be sexy.

    Hope people don’t find my comment offensive. I am just writing as an audience. I think most of them did better in the 1st audition.

  10. 10
    liquidpill Says:

    I would like to know what happens to Sue Son after the contest. I’m not sure how much I credit the report that the friendship is over. Best friends should support each to achieve success. In reality, the best of friendships are lost far more frequently over trivial reasons, than a potential life altering decision and I think Sue made the right decision in continuing to compete, even though it meant going solo. I believe her not consulting her bf showed her determination to win and it also shows she is realistic recognizing that she may never get a chance to have so much tv coverage on her again.

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