The Paul Potts Fairy Tale

'Britain's Got Talent' winner Paul Potts skyrocketed into a singing sensation.

ByABC News
December 20, 2007, 9:13 PM

Dec. 21, 2007— -- It was on the stage of the Millennium Cardiff Theatre in Wales where Paul Potts' life changed forever just six months ago, when Potts, a shy 36-year-old mobile phone salesman, auditioned for the TV show "Britain's Got Talent."

Nervously, Potts took the stage in front of a packed house and three judges, among them "American Idol's" Simon Cowell.

"I'm always nervous before I perform," Potts said. "At that point, I was asking, 'What the hell are you doing here?' I felt myself shaking."

Potts sang "Nessum Dorma," the famous Puccini aria, and within seconds, judges and audience members looked as if they knew they were in the presence of something rare. At song's end, the audience was on its feet, one of the judges was in tears, and even Cowell had lost his trademark sneer.

"It was one of the most incredible auditions I'd ever witnessed, because everything changed like that," Cowell recalled. "My first impression was 'Oh, my God, here we go again,' and then, within 30 seconds, I was sold."

"I couldn't believe it," Potts said. "I could tell that the audience had enjoyed it, but it was the three people that sat in the judges' chairs that were the ones that would decide how far I'd go. I thought that would be my final performance and I'd go back to work at the store, and selling phones."

When the moment of truth arrived, Cowell gave his evaluation.

"I wasn't expecting that. This was a complete breath of fresh air. I thought you were absolutely fantastic," Cowell said.

Not only did Potts nail his audition for "Britain's Got Talent," he also went on to win the entire competition.

In the six months since he won, Potts has scored a record deal with Sony, sold nearly 2 million CDs worldwide, and earlier this month, sang for the queen of England. Video of Potts' audition on "Britain's Got Talent" has become a YouTube sensation, getting more than 18 million hits.

"It's just mind boggling," Potts said. "I often sit back and think, 'what the hell is happening, why me,' you know? I never ever dreamed that anybody would think that much of me, you know. It's more than I could ever dream of."