Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 14:12 UK

Cowell: 'Boyle faces competition'

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle's performance of I Dreamed A Dream

Simon Cowell has denied Britain's Got Talent is a "one horse race" since contestant Susan Boyle's performance became an internet success.

The 48-year-old impressed the ITV show's judges with her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.

More than 18 million people have watched her performance on YouTube.

Speaking on GMTV, Cowell said: "There are some acts that you haven't seen yet, it's not quite the one horse race you are going to think this is."

'Incredible performance'

When asked if he would represent Ms Boyle if she won, he said: "It's difficult to say at this stage because I think we've got to treat it as it is, which is a competition."

Meanwhile, a 1999 recording of Ms Boyle singing Cry Me a River, made popular by Ella Fitzgerald, has surfaced online.

The song was part of a charity album called Music for the Millennium Celebration.

Susan Boyle and Simon Cowell
Susan Boyle has become a hit with US audiences too

Local newspaper The Herald and Post funded the project, although only 1,000 copies were ever produced.

Ms Boyle, who told the judges she hoped to become as successful as stage actress and singer Elaine Paige, has now become the bookmakers' favourite to win the show.

A Ladbrokes spokesman said they are offering the "shortest odds we've ever offered at this early stage in the show".

The singer has also become a hit amongst US audiences.

She has already performed on the CBS breakfast programme The Early Show and, according to reports, she has been asked to appear on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.

Online tributes

Judge Piers Morgan described her rendition as "an incredible performance".

Fans of Ms Boyle have been waiting outside her home in Scotland to meet her.

The church volunteer says she is "enjoying" all the attention but admitted she has not had "time to think".

Ms Boyle's local council West Lothian have been supporting the singer by posting tributes from her fans on the website.

Council leader Peter Johnston said: "We are absolutely thrilled for Susan. Her voice is simply magic."

The prize for winning the show is a chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance.

Teenage dancer George Sampson won last year.

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