Susan Boyle to perform You Have To Be There on America’s Got Talent (Updated)

Susan Boyle to perform You Have To Be There

NBC has revealed the list of special guest performers for the remainder of America’s Got Talent’s sixth season.

Of interest to Benny and Björn fans is the fact that on 31 August, Susan Boyle is scheduled to perform You Have To Be There from Kristina on the show.

This will be massive exposure for the song, originally recorded in Swedish (Du måste finnas) by star of Benny and Björn’s Kristina från Duvemåla musical, Helen Sjöholm. Helen also recorded the song in English on the Kristina: The Musical (At Carnegie Hall) CD

Susan Boyle has previously recorded another of Benny and Björn’s musical masterpieces I Know Him So Well from CHESS for the charity Comic Relief.

I would think it was a fair bet that You Have To Be There will be included on Susan’s upcoming album release (despite reports that some songs have an R&B flavour!), which given the number of albums Susan has sold so far in her career, can only be a massive boost to the song and the chances of people getting curious about the musical it is from.


You Have To Be There by Susan Boyle as posted on YouTube.

The Benny, Björn and Herbert Kretzmer song will be included on Susan’s new album Someone To Watch Over Me released 1 November.

Related links:


  • Thank you for posting this news! Susan Boyle will indeed perform (pre-record) “Du måste finnas” on America’s Got Talent pre-taping program Tuesday, August 30, 2011 CBS Television City, Los Angeles, California U.S.A. at some point past 4:30 p.m. U.S.A. Pacific ,”I Will Be There” to see Susan perform this magnificent ballad (will be “on the road” 8 hours to see her siong by the way). Susan likely will sing shortened version of “Du måste finnas” given typical time limits of “reality TY” performing; this marks Susan’s first public peformance since singing “Who I Was Born To Be” and “I Dreamed A Dream” on China’s Got Talent in the Shanghai China Stadium July 10, 2011. We Susan Boyle Fans are estatic that she will be singing this great work by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and DO hope she will sing other tunes by this legendary song writing & production par.

  • Regarding the Susan Boyle biopic staring Glenn Close, NO such biopic is underway, Glenn Close’ representative saying she is not involved with any such production. There is word though of a TV documentary currenly being produced to go along with release of Susan’s third CD album scheduled for U.K. release November 7, 2011.

  • Thanks for the information! Reference to the biopic now removed.

  • Well correct me If I am wrong, but Herbert Kretzmer the co-lyricist on the English translation of Kristina (and thus of “You got to be there”) is also the lyricist, on “I Dreamed a Dream”. This is probably not a coincidence, and it’s good song choice for Susan.

  • Any idea when this episode of AGT will be aired in the UK?

  • Duncan,
    itv2 usually show AGT in the UK but we usually get it late as last years series was shown this May-July.

    Just off topic has anyone noticed BBC radio 2 playing different ABBA and solo recently? last sunday Paul O’Grady played Frida with I know there’s something going on, then a few weeks before played Benny Andersson Band with You are my man then Ken Bruce on tuesday 23rd played ABBA When all is said and done.

  • Great opportunity for this wonderful song to get airplay around the world and to get Krisitna från Duvemåla more known.
    Ir will be interesting to hear Susan Boyles interpretation of the song!

  • I’ve been playing this song all week by Helen S. It’s an amazing piece and can’t wait to hear Susan’s interpretation of it toakenite. She’s going to soar, I bet and probably make this another IDAD. Keep your finges crossed everyone!

  • Gawn yersel Susan! Fandabidozie!!! (Glasgow words folks, don’t worry!)
    Hasn’t she done well!
    Up ra scots!

  • OMG – just heard Susan Boyle destroy this song – absolutely horrible in my opinion. I still don’t know why she has been such a success. She has absolutely NO stage presence, makes NO connection with the audience or the song she’s singing – she stands there like she’s terrified and sings that way too – and in most performances her voice comes across as weak and thin – no power at all. This has been my observation on every performance I’ve ever seen of her – not just this one – and I’ve seen quite a few. I’m glad this amazing song is getting this exposure, but this song needs a strong, powerful voice and accompanying performance to give it the justice it needs (as Helen does and others could), especially since it’s a PERFORMANCE song from a musical! But this isn’t it!


  • It was a perfectly tolerable version but she is no Helen. It was, as suggested, edited…she started with the third verse I believe and while in solid voice, missed opportunities to make it more dramatic or potent.

    Since “Kristina” seems rather persona non grata in the US to non-ABBA fans, I’m sure most of the viewing audience was scratching their heads since there was no context and no explanation of where the song came from.

  • Well, I’ve just listened to Boyle’s performance and I agree with Jim S. It was tolerable. She has a pretty wooden stage presence and her rendition lacked the feeling that the song deserved. Helen’s version is much superior. It will probably please the American audience though. Susan Boyle came out of nowhere with a competent rendition of a wonderful song from Les Miserables. I’ve often felt that she earned her fame from the surprise element on that occasion. People just didn’t expect an overweight and hitherto unknown middle aged woman with no theatrical training to have an impressive voice – perhaps a cynical reflection on the quality of judges and audiences on shows like these.

  • Well, what a shame, great exposure for the song but not a great version, Helen’s versions have so much drama in them – even in a second language! – But good for Miss Boyle to take such a brave choice of song on such a programme. A singer, a song and no hint of autotune!

  • I am sorry but the only one who can sing this song is Helen Sjöholm. Susan Boyle totally destroyed it…….. Just listen to Helen Sjöholm´s DEMO version on You Tube, fantastic – you believe every word she sings.

  • Randy, it’s not just about the song with Susan Boyle. If you’ve ever seen the first audition you will see a prejudiced audience judge someone’s abilities by how they look – something that happens all too often in life. She came from a very small Scottish town, as far removed from west end stars, or even a remote network to be able to succeed in a field that she loved- singing. Her voice was not, and should never be that of a seasoned west end professional luvvie, who probably spent an eduction and years after, perfecting their skill, probably based in London with the sycophants. Once you get that, it does not matter whether she is “no Helen” or not. I could easily say that Helen is no agnetha or frida but that would be equally pointless. We, the abba and b&b fans of course are aware of kristina , but outside of us there is not much of an awareness. So bringing it to the fore through someone who is popoular both for her actual singing ability and voice, as well as what she stands for havng been an “underdog” and “dreamed her dream” can only be a good thing. Give her a break. Your attitude is partly, on top of what I have already mentioned why she is perfectly entitled to be terrified as you state (if indeed she is) She has had other disadvantages in life which I am sure you will have read about. Don’t get me wrong, am not a huge “fan” or obsessive about her and don’t own an album, but I’d let her sing a song of mine any day! Jim, I don’t think the viewing audience of such shows bothers about such things as the context of where the song stands, and anyone who hears that as a song out with the musical probably thinks it is very religious! (itself of course interesting given Bjorns views)

  • How could a song with such passionate lyrics be sung without any emotion? There were places where she sounded like she was struggling reaching the notes with her voice cracking and her timing of lyrics to music was shocking. Despite cutting sections of the song the whole thing seemed rather speeded up (perhaps time restrictions of the show?) I believe it was pre-recorded. I hope the album recording does more justice to the song.
    Susan’s album not yet released hopefully it may lead people to track down the song and find the original versions by Helen.

  • Well, I have to say, there was no fanfair for B&B and I would neither listen again nor buy that. V average and I’d say a poor plug for the boys as they seek commercial impact across the pond. Respect to Helen, and Kerry Ellis for that matter!

  • There’s no doubt, Susan Boyle has slaughtered the song. It’s not only Helen Sjöholms version which is 100 times better, but Alice Ripleys and Kerry Ellis singing abilities match the song very well too (although I don’t like the arrangements in Ellis version on her album with the Queen guitar riffs at the end, you expect Freddy Mercury to jump in and end the song…)

    But judging from media attention and exposure of this song through Susan Boyle it is obviously now, that her version might become the most known version of all, it is a pity!

    Susan Boyle is not a phenomenon. The possibility that a untalented mediocre voice for musical performances like her can nowadays attract so much attention and devotion (The most successfull debut album in history!) is a phenomenon!

    What puzzles me most is that we now may have a future musical hit song… without a musical!

    To speak as the devils advocate, the song (and Benny and Björn as composers) now receives what it deserves.
    As B+B never found a way to develop the musical further and failed to concentrate on bringing this show to the international stage and preferred to stay with the multimillion dollar printing Mamma Mia show, “Kristina Fran Duvemala” will now be butchered by anyone…

    Too sad, too sad…

    My only relief are the tickets in my hand for the “Kristina” production in Helsinki for 2012 🙂


  • ..Hi ..I also wrote a comment on youtube underneath the video,(under abbadabbado)..I won’t be quite as harsh this time ..2 basic points ,I think she’s a good singer BUT this is not for her.!..and she’s not a performer…or has a lot to learn..

  • Well, I listened to Susan Boyle and then I go to Helen swedish version .
    And now I have the music in my head.
    That is the magic of Benny & Bjorn Music that is intomporelle .

    Don’t panic for the musical , all is here .
    Music makes her move .

    You must let the Music speak !

  • First I´d like to say that Susan was brave choosing this song. And for not being Helen I can accept it. At least Susan doesn´t have such a typical opera voice or overly skilled musical voice that really would not fit here (no, I´m not too fond of Alice Ripley´s or Kerry Ellis´ versions).

    But especially the end is pretty poor, nothing compared to Helen! Susan just didn´t hold the tunes long enough where it would be needed, in several parts of the song, but especially noticeable in the end, that magic final tune that has to be LOUD and LOOOONG and DESPERATE.

    And the lights were wrong, quite nice in the beginning, but too much “show” later. And confetti in the end??? Are they nuts?! (Well, that is certainly not Susan´s fault)

    For comparison I watched this:

    And to not be too unfair (comparing a live concert version of the musical with a TV performance) this:
    (also a TV performance with a live audience, as Susan Boyle´s performance)

    But Helen IS Kristina and will always be. And who ever else tries to sing those songs, to be Kristina, will not completely manage to compete with Helen.

  • Absolutely horrible. Susan Boyle destroyed the song good and proper – what a shame. The comment above is true sadly, this version will probably become the best known, and to be honest I can’t see it doing an awful lot for the musical itself. What a crying shame, I am surprised that B&B allowed this to happen. Susan Boyle should fly to Sweden and let Helen Sjoholm show her how to inject some emotion into a song. What a screeching, whining, out-of-time version of a beautiful, beautiful song.

    Phil x

  • Susan Boyle took the song and made it her own,
    I enjoyed it, I thought she performed very well,

  • Susan Boyle totally butchered this song! Not only did she cut out the beautiful intro in the beginning which I think is one of the highlights of the song and gives it it´s atmosphere but she also cut out the few lines in the beginning of the song starting with “You have banished me…..” etc. which sort of explains the content of the song and the reason for her desperation. To me Susan Boyles version is not the song Björn and Benny wrote. I can´t believe Benny and Björn gave permission to this! Perhaps they weren´t aware of the outccome…..

  • Goodness me! I cant believe the nastiness around this. How terribly terribly sad!! And now we’re onto the lighting for goodness sake! My final comment on the matter would be a question. At the end of the day, whose version will sell the most, and be heard by the most people? (and thus not bad financial decision for B&B to allow it to “happen”!) Can’t seem to remember so much vitriol when other songs have been covered worse (H & Claire I’m thinkin of you lol) thangyouangoodnite..;0)
    Oh, and finally, finally, as someone who saw Kristina in concert with Helen at both Carnegie Hall and Albert Hall live – I’m afraid everyone can hit a bum note now and then! The beauty of “live” after all! Woudl you rather it be,er, “lip-synced”?

  • I watched Susan sing this and yes it is different to the orginal version by Helen. Let’s face it anyone would have a job to beat this one – however, the version done by Susan is different and does grow on you. To be honest I thought it was well done and I am more than happy to see this song get more publicity – it deserves it and if that means people look and listen to the version by Helen then WELL DONE TO SUSAN!!!!

  • It’s great to see the song reach such a huge audience at last but let’s face it, she’s no Helen is she? And she didn’t even come close to achieving those soaring, spine-tingling high notes.

  • Must agree with a few of you that the Susan Boyle version was awful, I wouldnt even go as far as torerable as I got half way through it and turned off.She doesnt have the voice for this song. I recently heard Kerry Ellis at the Albert Hall singing the song and she blew me away and got a standing ovation from mostly queen fans who were there to see Brian may, it gave me tingles. This just spoiled a fantastic song. Hopefully the album version has been tampered with and will sound a lot better. But that live version, she couldt reach the required notes. Susan Boyle has a decent voice, but this was the wrong choice of song for her. will see what the album recording is like

  • One word. Awful.

  • Such a shame. I’ve seen and heard Susan Boyle do some really good stuff.
    I thought she came across as being under a lot of pressure during this performance. At one point she looked to her right, with what I perceived as sheer panic on her face. Her voice almost gave way at one point as well. I wonder if she had a sore throat or was ill in some other way? This was not as good as ANYTHING I have seen or heard her perform before.

    I have to say, I think the best version of this song is Helen’s swedish version.

  • I think people need to touch base with this , it’s the America’s Got Talent not The Royal Variety Performance,
    They do cut songs down on the America’s Got Talent in ways that fans of the songs would Rother they hadn’t.
    I think the lack of the atmospheric introduction which sets the tonality of the song seems to be whet has got peoples backs up Rother than Susan Boyals performance , I’m sure the album version will be the full song.

  • I guess colinthebruce has a point here. For those of us who know of Helen Sjoholm and Kristina (and we are the minority in this country, let’s face it) Susan Boyle’s version of the song just doesn’t compare with what we are used to. However, I guess for people who have nothing to compare this version to, it may well come across as a great song. My comment wasn’t a personal attack on La Boyle, I don’t rate her that much, I think her voice becomes quite strident when she reaches for high notes, but I still don’t think she did the song justice. Apart from anything else, it was just too fast.

    One thing though Colin, if Helen hit a bum note at the Albert Hall, I never heard it!


  • Having just watched the Susan Boyle performance on AGT on YouTube, i agree its perhapes not the best rendition of You have to be there BUT it does bring this most wonderful song to a very wide audience, which has to be a great thing.
    Knowing the highly polished production on Syco records i`m sure the CD rendition will be top class. Simon Cowells Syco productions have an almost haunting sound to them so i for one cant wait to hear the “all polished up!” CD version…the general public will love it. Give the girl a break.

  • HOW HORRIBLE THAT IS!!!! It should be forbidden! But on the other hand: it shows once more how brilliant Helen is! No one ever will sing it like she does, she´s the one and only Kristina! I wish there is a video production of the original Show……

  • Yes, the Benny & Bjorn Song is Track 1 on Susan’s next, (3rd), Album, ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’. As always it is an Album of Covers.

    Unfortunately most people will now only get to hear Helen’s Song via Susan’s much inferior version.

    This will not bother Susan’s Fans, who go on as if she is the most talented Female Singer ever – even though she creates nothing, & I’ve heard many Fans of Opera etc. Singers say that Susan’s voice is not that great – it is only the novelty of how she was ‘discovered’ that has made her famous.

    Susan’s 3rd Album will not be as big as the first 2, as one can only sell records on the back of novelty & a gimmick, for so long – the more that time goes by, the less people remain interested in her. (Even her Fans are already complaining that her 3rd Album appears to be only 10 Tracks in Total – very poor value, in the CD Era).

    Susan recording the ‘Kristina!’ Song will do nothing to get that Musical better known in the UK, & USA etc. I loved the Swedish Musical, felt that the English version lost something, & have long since realised that ‘Kristina!’ will never be a success in English speaking Countries. ‘Chess’ was not truly huge, but it was a certain success – mainly due to 2 big Singles attracting attention to it. There has been no attempt, by Benny & Bjorn, to get any Global Singles off ‘Kristina!’ – which has not helped to get it better known.

    In the meantime, it looks like Susan’s version of ‘You Have To Be There’, will end up being the most widely heard version in the bulk of the World. Which is a real shame – but, inevitable, now……

  • Well the studio version is on you tube now, still no introduction, but I have to say I think its rather good . As with Susan Boyars version of I know him so well the backing track arrangement and production is actually very similar to the original
    The tempo sounds the same as Helen Sjoholm original as well.

  • Well the studio version is on you tube now, still no introduction, but I have to say I think its rather good . As with Susan Boyles version of I know him so well, the backing track arrangement and production is actually very similar to the original
    The tempo sounds the same as Helen Sjoholms original as well.

  • I think Susan’s studio version of the song is brilliant. I was never drawn to Kristina pa svenska or in English, so I’m delighted to hear a moving performance from Susan, even if I’m not necessarily a fan of her music. I like this interpretation more than Helen’s version(s), and more than Kerry’s interpretation. Can’t help but imagine Frida singing it though. It has shades of “I Let The Music Speak” about it.

    Gaun yersel, ye wee belter!


  • Hey as we are comparing versions of songs, whats about STEPS new cover of Dancing Queen?? i know its nothing to do with SuBo…..

  • Ow! ah! its Abba-Cover-Mania….what with STEPS (Dancing Queen)…and now Chris de Burgh`s SOS (not at all bad)…..

  • Hi from Australia 🙂

    I know this is a late inclusion to this posting, but I want to add a note regardless.

    Susan Boyle is out here in Oz promoting her CD at the moment, and I defy any Kristina/B&B fan to *not* get tingles when hearing the ad for her CD on TV when part of ‘You Have To Be There’ is played.

    I do agree with the view that Helen’s is the best version so far (and I much prefer her original Swedish version; which has much strength and emotion, to the English version). Nevertheless, I certainly feel that Susan’s version is good, and I think people should remember that songs are there for *everyone* to sing (otherwise, we’d all be censoring ourselves from signing in the shower), so while we may not like a version of a song, I think that we should still observe other people’s efforts and interpretations of a song, and not be snobs.

    Cheers for now,

    Tony 😀

  • It’s me again 😉

    Additionally, and has been observed, the fact that Susan has included this song on her album can only be *good* for the promotion of ‘Kristina’ and ‘Kristina från Duvemåla’, particularly in regions of the mainstream world that have *not* discovered the magic of B&B’s musical, such as Australia. I’m assuming that our national classic radio station: ABC Classic FM, may have played some of the songs from the musical, as they sometimes play songs from Anne Sofie von Otter’s ‘I Let the Music Speak’ album as well as some BAO (BAB) treats; and the fact that these tunes are now on this radio station’s play-list is now thankfully helping to chop-down the ‘tall-poppy’ syndrome that classic-music purists in Oz have previously had against B&B music due to them previously working in the pop-medium.

    However, as Susan is so popular in Oz, and as it’s coming up to Christmas time, I think it can be safely assumed that Susan’s album will sell, sell, sell 🙂 And, thus, mainstream Oz will soon be introduced to the world of ‘Kristina’, as the curious music-buyer always likes to find out more behind a good ‘unknown’ (to the masses 😉 ) song.

    Have a good weekend 😀


  • I rest my case! (number 1 album. Again. )

  • Not sure what point of yours you think has been vindicated Colinthebruce – but I don’t see anyone on icethesite doubting for a second that Susan Boyle’s album would be very successful. Again.

  • Susan’s 3rd Album is not doing nearly as well as her first 2. In the UK, it went in at No.1 on less than 73,000 Sales – down from almost 412,000 for her 1st, & over 102,000 for her 2nd.

    It dropped to No.6 in Week 2, & looks like being at No.15, or No.16, (or lower), in Week 3. It failed to reach the USA Top 3 – her first 2 Albums were No.1 there.

    It isn’t doing as well as her first 2 virtually anywhere else.

    Australia likes it, & has kept it at No.1 for 2 Weeks, & New Zealand at No.2, for 2 Weeks.

    No-one said that her 3rd Album was not going to be a big success. I, (& others), said that it would not be as big as her first 2. We were right.

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