VIDEO: Susan Boyle Makes Britain's Got Talent Final
05/24/2009 AT 11:20 PM EDT
The 48-year-old Scottish singer defeated seven other performers by belting out "Memory" from the musical Cats, and drew a standing ovation from the live audience.
"You are one special lady, I have to say, you really are," panel judge Simon Cowell told her after her performance.
Cowell then apologized to the now-famously never-been-kissed church volunteer for underestimating her when she first auditioned in April.
"You know what, I just want to apologize because of the way we treated you before you sang the first time," he said. "You made me and everyone else look very stupid and I'm very happy for you, very proud for you."
Back then, she knocked the judges socks off when she crooned "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.
This time, the songstress' new makeover was also a knockout. Though she promised she'd never change too much, on Sunday Boyle wore a sparkly purple dress, professional-looking makeup and showed off well-groomed eyebrows – yes, the once-frumpy Boyle looked downright glamorous as all eyes were upon her.
"What pressure?" she said, when asked after her performance if she had been nervous. "It was really good tonight, I really enjoyed it ... I'm very happy to be here and thank you all for your support."
Watch Boyle's semi-finals performance here.