She was overweight and visibly middle-aged with appalling brown-stained teeth. But from the moment Susan Boyle opened her mouth and sang in that incredible voice, she brought tears to the eyes of everyone watching her.
Even those who never normally tune in to Britain's Got Talent have been spellbound by the Youtube video of Susan singing her showstopper from Les Miserables.
It's not difficult to work out why she has captured our hearts. Hers is a genuine fairy story - with Simon Cowell as her high-waisted godmother. In these difficult times, the idea that someone from the most ordinary background can captivate the world with her extraordinary talent is the uplift we've all been looking for - which is why she's getting so many hits on both sides of the globe. Her rags to (soon to be) riches tale is set to be one of the biggest happy endings of the year, and a reminder why we need reality TV.
Although the judges have pledged not to give her a makeover, no doubt this will come. But judging by the heartfelt, utterly genuine message from the woman herself on her facebook fan page this morning, success won't change her - not one bit.