Boyle, who was runner-up in the 2009 contest, returned to the BGT stage to deliver a stirring rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, the Les Misérables classic she sang in her original audition, which famously blew the judges and audience away.
“I knew the minute you walked on stage we were going to hear something extraordinary and I was right,” said Simon Cowell after her performance, repeating the joke he made about his initial low expectations of Boyle when she first auditioned ten years ago.
“Susan, you can go back to your village with your head held high because you’ve got three yeses,” he added, again echoing his comments from a decade earlier when only a trio of judges sat on the panel.
“I want to say something to you, as a friend,” said Cowell. “Without you I do not believe we would be sitting here today. You define this show.
“You gave us the most amazing memory and it tells us why we make this show – because of people like you.”
Fellow judge David Walliams chimed in: “I feel like I’m in the presence of showbiz royalty. Thank you so much!”
Amanda Holden, who judged Boyle’s original 2009 audition, said: “So many people since your performance have tried to recreate television history. And nobody can touch it because you were genuinely a huge surprise on that dreary day in Glasgow and you made this show go global. You single-handedly changed the landscape of Britain’s Got Talent.
“Everyone was laughing, but they’re not laughing now!”
It’s not yet clear if Boyle’s performance will appear on the upcoming series of Britain’s Got Talent to celebrate a decade since her first audition. Alternatively, the footage could be used for the final of America’s Got Talent: The Champions, in which the singer is set to compete in February.
RadioTimes.com has contacted ITV for comment.
Boyle recently sang a cover of Wild Horses for Cowell at the auditions for America’s Got Talent: The Champions, an all-star spin-off that sees 50 winners and finalists from the various other Got Talent franchises compete to be crowned global champion.
As well as Boyle earning a standing ovation, judge Mel B pressed her Golden Buzzer for the singer, sending her straight through to the competition’s final. It’s there she’ll be competing against original BGT winner Paul Potts, who wowed judges with a performance of Caruso.