Fantasia Barrino was an early favorite to win the third season of “American Idol,” and after being nearly eliminated twice, the 19-year-old from High Point, North Carolina, pulled through (see ” ‘I Made It’ Declares Tearful ‘Idol’ Winner Fantasia Barrino” ).
Q: You broke your shoe, yet you danced with them on for your last performance.
Fantasia Barrino: I wanted to take them off ’cause I hate shoes. Everywhere I go I’m barefoot. But I thought, “I’m not gonna do it. I’m gonna hop in this one shoe.”
Q: You said the best thing about winning “American Idol” is you can take care of your daughter without having to borrow money. Where did you work before?
Barrino: My grandmother has her own day care [facility] and I would go down and help her out. She wouldn’t pay me for it, but she would bless me and say, “I know you need things for Zion, so here’s a little change to go get it.” I don’t have to do that anymore. I can say, “Here you go, go over and get whatever kind of lollipop you want.”
Q: There were theories that your votes went down as America learned you were a single mom. Did you feel any backlash?
Barrino: I worked harder because I knew that people thought that. Just because I have a child, it doesn’t change me, it just makes me a great mom. I sacrificed and I left my child for three months and I came out here and worked hard. I feel like a good mom. I’m a strong woman now. I fought so that my child can have the best. Don’t look down on me, pray for me.
Q: Be honest, did you have a feeling after Tuesday’s show that you had it won?
Barrino: You never know. Diana DeGarmo is a very talented girl. She’s a powerhouse. I said, “You know what, it doesn’t matter. I made it to the top two out of 70,000 people.”
Q: You were called a diva throughout the season. Do you have diva-like qualities?
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Barrino: I don’t feel like a diva. I don’t know, I like clothes. I like to dress. I’ll put on a purple shoe with a red shoe, it don’t matter as long as it looks good.
Q: So you won’t be demanding just the green M&M’s or the $3,000 manicure?
Barrino: No, no, no, no. You’ll see me in Target, just wilding out in Target.
Q: What exactly is the Bobo?
Barrino: I keep remixing the Bobo, so I gotta stick with one. It’s my victory dance.
Q: When you introduced yourself in the semi-finals you said, “My lips are big, but my talent is bigger.” Of all the ways to introduce yourself …
Barrino: I used to hate my lips when I was a kid. They cracked on my lips really bad, saying, “Your lips are big.” But they not goin’ nowhere, so I learned to love them. So I cracked on ‘em first before any of these kids could crack on my lips.
Q: How important is your faith in all of this?
Barrino: I’ve been in church all my life. I always thank the people, but if it hadn’t been for God, I wouldn’t be here. He’s the one that puts the breath in my body. He gave me the gift. So every time I sing I offer it back up.
Q: What’s the first thing you’ll do when you go back home?
Barrino: The first thing I want to do is go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
Barrino: I’m still not gonna change. I’m still gonna be barefoot. All I have now is a story to tell, which I will through my music.
Q: Is there anyone in particular you want to work with?
Barrino: I have to say Aretha Franklin. I would love to do a song with her ’cause she is my girl. I want to do a song with a lot of people, even Prince. If I can find him. He is on the go. Slow down so I can do a song with you, Prince!