Potts of Sour Grapes? The Paul Potts Controversy

Wherever there’s a prize to be had, jealousy and controversy are never far away. ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent 2007 was no exception. Some people thought Paul Potts, the tenor that brought a silent stillness to an entire studio audience, made Amanda Holden almost as emotional as did a very cute six year old singing sensation and bagged thousands of public votes – shouldn’t have won. The reason: he’s been an amateur singer for a while.

You see, at six, you haven’t had time to get many gigs, but at thirty-six, when singing’s your dream – you’ve tried a few times. That just means you’ve got determination. You’ve sung karaoke and you’ve joined an amateur operatic society if that’s your thing. That was certainly Paul Potts’ thing. He even spent ₤8,000 of his own cash on a singing course. OK it was money he got as winner of Michael Barrymore’s My Kind of People (1999) but it was money he’s deservedly earned. He didn’t get paid to appear – if he hadn’t won, he’d have got nothing.

Britain’s Got Talent was a show meant to bring us undiscovered talent. It did exactly that – would YOU have heard of Paul Potts without that show?

As Paul put it to The Sun newspaper “I am not a professional. I’ve never been paid for my singing, all the training I’ve received I paid for myself, and I grafted hard to do so.”

Too right he did! He is a mobile phone salesman, not a professional singer!

Paul Potts never professed to be completely untutored. But claims he had lessons from the great Pavarotti himself are clearly wrong. At the end of the week-long singing course, he was ASKED to sing for Pavarotti. Pavarotti may have thought Paul Potts was fantastic – if he heard what we heard on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent he probably should have thought that – but it wasn’t a career-making break.

So what’s a guy to do? Only losers give up. Paul Potts didn’t give up – he entered the biggest talent show Britain’s ever seen. Any of us could have done it. Many of us didn’t so we couldn’t win. Paul Potts won – it’s as simple as that. He won because he deserved to win.





Paul Potts Has Potts of Talent But is Still a Mobile Phone Salesman!

Paul Potts has hit back at critics who branded his recent win on Britain’s Got Talent a sham. He says he’s not ashamed of anything he’s done in his life and he never hid the truth from anyone – including ITV bosses.

Yes Paul Potts has had singing lessons, but they were no free ride. He worked thirteen hour days packing supermarket shelves to pay for singing lessons that allowed him a chance to live his dream. Paul Potts is an emotional, romantic man, as wife Julie Potts will tell you – and all that emotion comes out when he tells you how angry he is at the critics’ claims he should have been disqualified from the show.

“I’m no pro. I’ve never hidden anything,” he told the Sun newspaper.

“I am what I am — a normal man working a day-to- day job. And I’ve never been paid for any of the opera work I’ve done before — if only!”

Paul Potts, a Carphone Warehouse mobile phone salesman, who shares a modest home with wife Julie-Anne in Port Talbot, South Wales began singing at school to escape vicious bullies who made his school life misery, probably because he refused to join in a gang. Paul’s always been a loner, you see. He feared he’d never sing again after two terrible accidents, and was snubbed by the opera agents who refused to recognize Paul Potts’ talent even after he bombarded them with tapes of his singing.

That’s when Paul decided to pay for his own lessons. He told The Sun,

“I worked from 7am until 8.30pm to get as much money as possible for lessons.”

“I don’t mind doing manual work. I’ve got a degree but it didn’t get me a white collar job so I just took what I could.”

Paul Potts is certainly not afraid of hard work. He saved all he could to fly to Italy and attend one of its famed opera schools. While he was there, he was chosen to sing for Pavarotti.

Beaming with pride, Paul Potts said of this time,

 “It was one of the highlights of my life. I had to pay for the master class — but I had to audition first and I couldn’t believe I’d even got through.

Back home, Paul took part in a charity concert with just six members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – again, a great honour but not a professional gig. Illness and accident then saw Paul Potts off work for six months and building up debts of £30,000.

Only now – winning the biggest talent show Britain has ever seen, does Paul Potts stand on the threshold of the professional operatic career he so richly deserves – and the first thing he’s going to do with the £100,000 cash prize is pay off his debts. Surely no-one should begrudge him that. Its a long way from being a mobile phone salesman!