American Idol reject Jennifer Hudson has made it big after all - as the star of new big-budget Hollywood musical DREAMGIRLS.

The gospel-trained singer, who was kicked off American Idol last year (04), will star alongside Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx as the girl group leader who is unfairly dumped.

Hudson admits she's still in a state of shock after hearing she'd won the coveted role in the new film on Saturday (12NOV05).

She says, "I just got to Los Angeles (on) Monday night and started rehearsals yesterday (16NOV05)."

Ironically, one of the 783 hopefuls that Hudson beat to land the role of EFFIE in the Bill Condon movie was Fantasia Barrino, the girl who beat Hudson to the American Idol crown.