American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino owes her big victory to a security guard with a good ear, who made sure she auditioned for the show even though she arrived late.

Single mum Barrino, 19, drove to auditions in Atlanta, Georgia, last year (03), but left her place in line to get something to eat and thought she'd missed her big chance when she returned and learned the try outs were closed.

She recalls, "There was a lot people out crying and ready to fight and I was standing at the door going, 'Oh God, if you get me in, please, I'm gonna sing my butt off.'

"So I left and my family was saying, 'Go back, try it again.'"

Then she got a lucky break when a security guard, who had heard her singing in the parking lot outside the audition venue smuggled her in because he was impressed with her singing skills.

She adds, "When I got back there was a security guard there that heard me sing and he said, 'I gotta get you in here.' I was the last person to audition."

28/05/2004 20:09