Americans To “X Factor” Hopeful Danyl Johnson: “Hi, How Are You?”

noah | August 25, 2009 9:00 pm

Danyl Johnson is a 27-year-old schoolteacher from Reading, England, whose audition for the Leona Lewis-spawning British talent search The X Factor over the weekend has become the latest Simon Cowell-sparked YouTube singing sensation. His rendition of “A Little Help From My Friends” was dubbed “the best first audition I’ve ever heard” by the cranky American Idol arbiter, although to these ears it sounded like it could veer into Danny Gokey yarl territory at any moment. But Johnson’s success has resulted in some confusion among people scouring the Internet for information on The Guy Who Could Be A Cuter, More Marketable (And Everyone Hopes Less Prone To Exhaustion) Susan Boyle—and it’s both amusing and all too familiar to this observer. Trending not all that far below “danyl johnson video”—the current top search term on Google’s rising-search-words tracker Google Trends—is the term “daniel johnston britain’s got talent,” a triple error that commits the one-two-three punch of citing the wrong Cowell-produced show (Simon, call your branding team), swapping an “i” and an “e” into “Danyl,” and adding the all-too-dreaded “t” to “Johnson.” Which is actually a funny error to me, since I’m often subject to the “t”-ectomy from well-meaning observers. For those of you who got here wondering just who Daniel Johnston might be: He’s a Texan independent-music mainstay and artist who’s released a lot of music since his first album came out in 1981; he’s performed with the likes of Yo La Tengo and Okkervil River over his career; and he has an album coming out—Is And Always Was, produced by pop genius Jason Falkner—on Oct. 6. Obviously that’s a very broad sketch, but if you want to know more, his official site, with comprehensive info on his career, is here. Meanwhile, the video below shows him performing “Mask” on Henry Rollins’ old show on IFC:

I like it. But I also know that he’s definitely not Simon’s type at all. The X Factor 2009 – Danyl – Auditions 1 [YouTube] Daniel Johnston on the Henry Rollins Show [YouTube]