Boyle took second place in the hotly contested finals, with a saxophonist, Julian Smith, placing third. Diversity will receive a £100,000 prize and the opportunity to perform at the annual Royal Variety Show that takes place in front of Her Majesty the Queen.
Boyle and Diversity were also the first two performers to go forward from the first of the live semi-finals, staged May 24. Boyle, who reprised her celebrated audition song, "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables (now viewed by some 64 million viewers on its original youtube posting) for the grand finale, was told by judge Simon Cowell, "You have had a weird several weeks and you had every right to walk away from this. You have had the guts to come back here tonight and face your critics. Whatever happens you can walk away from this with your head held high."
In the last week there has been some public backlash against her, after media reports of Boyle's four-letter tirades at fans in the hotel where she was staying for the competition. As one commentator, Euan Ferguson, reported in The Observer, "Never in our fast-changing history, until Susan Boyle, have we managed to quite so swiftly canonise and then pillory another human being, for our own titillation."
Boyle, for her part, was gracious in defeat, stating, "The best people won. They are really entertaining. Lads, I wish you the best."
Boyle is still on course to reap significant benefits. She is now reported to be preparing to record a solo album of show tunes for Cowell's record label, which will be recorded in Prague with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Dusan Mihaly of the orchestra said in a press report, "The album will have a big Broadway sound." Cowell told the U.K press, "Diversity were absolutely incredible. I'm gutted for Susan. She was there at the top all the way through. But she was incredibly gracious. Susan has come out of this very well. We've never had a runner up like Susan before. She won over a lot of fans tonight, not just with her voice, but with her graciousness. She's got a massive future in front of her."