Cassie goes to the auditions of a national TV talent show to support her (not very good) magician father. She gets mistaken for one of the acts by a member of the tv crew and to her terror is ushered onto the stage. Cassie has always dreamed of being a star, but has no confidence in her own ability. She decides 'what the hell?' and sings for the judges. She's an instant hit and soon becomes a favourite to win the competition.
While at the auditions she meets Joe, an obnoxious and spoilt singer, who has spent his whole life training for stardom. Cassie is instantly attracted to him, but he doesn't give her the time of day.
Both Joe and Cassie cruise through the first rounds of the competition with Cassie as the public's favourite. Joe and his mother Debra hatch a plan for Joe to become Cassie's boyfriend, so that they can advise her on her performances and sabotage any chance she has of beating Joe. Cassie falls for it and also falls for Joe.
Head judge, Russ Cole, is a fan of Cassie's, he thinks she has the perfect sob story as she was abandoned by her mother when she was young. Russ also knows the transformation she has gone through, from the dowdy schoolgirl at the first audition to the attractive superstar she is becoming, could make him millions.
Debra decides to use Cassie's sob story against her by tracking down her mother and paying her to convince Cassie that she didn't leave, but was in fact thrown out by Frankie, Cassie's dad. This causes a rift between Cassie and her dad, the only person who's actually been giving her good advice throughout the whole show.
Debra also starts spreading malicious stories to the papers about Cassie, they report that she's not the sweet and innocent girl that she seems. Stories of bullying other contestants and diva demands also start appearing.
Public feeling towards Cassie is changing as the final approaches. Russ Cole also ditches her in favour of the clean cut Joe, fixing the supposedly random order of the show so that Cassie goes on first (well-known as the worst spot) and Joe goes on last, the best position.
During all this, Joe starts to see how upset Cassie is by everything, he doesn't know the true lengths that his mother has gone to and begins to realise that he really does have feelings for Cassie.
It's become very obvious that Joe is going to win the show, with his only competition (Cassie, a better singer) completely disliked by the public and standing no chance of winning.
On the day of the final, Joe is torn between his love for Cassie and his lifelong desire to become a superstar. When he lets Cassie take to the stage and perform badly, because Debra has convinced her to change her song at the last minute, it looks as though Joe has made his decision.
As an upset Cassie leaves the stage, Debra drags her to one side and tells her that Joe never wants to see her again now he knows what a loser she is.
Joe takes to the stage to perform the song that will see him crowned winner. However, when the music starts, Joe doesn't sing. The judges and Debra look on in horror. Eventually the music stops. Joe declares to the live studio audience and the millions of people watching at home that he is withdrawing from the competition. Joe tells them the competition has been fixed by show producer Russ Cole and that all the stories about Cassie have been completely fabricated by his mother, to discredit her so she wouldn't win. Joe publicly declares his love for Cassie and begs the audience to let her perform her original song. Russ Cole immediately says no, but is overruled by the other judges, who have been fed up with him fixing these shows for years. A bewildered Cassie returns to the stage to a silent audience who, although they have given her another chance to sing, still view her with a certain amount of suspicion.
Cassie gives the most beautiful and heartfelt performance. The audience go wild. Cassie is crowned the winner.
Backstage, Joe is packing his things in his dressing room. There's a knock on the door but he's not interested in talking to anybody. In walks Cassie. Joe begs her for forgiveness and tells her he had no knowledge of Debra paying her mum to say what she did. Cassie says she loves Joe and forgives him. They kiss. The lights go down.