The One American Idol Elimination That Still Bothers Randy Jackson

Having left American Idol in 2013, Randy Jackson has had two years to look back and reflect on his time behind the judge’s table. To be expected, he’s got a lot to say about all the good things and the bad things, dawg, and it turns out he’s still not quite over Jennifer Hudson getting eliminated back in Season 3.

In between sharing thoughts on Jordin Sparks and auditions where Alicia Keys songs were slaughtered, Randy Jackson talked about how Hudson’s elimination gets to him the most.

Jennifer Hudson was my wow card that year, and I was gutted when she got eliminated because with her and Fantasia and LaToya [London], it was like we had our own version of the Supremes up there. And it gutted me because I really thought she could go all the way. But she’s proven that she could and she has.

Boy, has she. Hudson followed up her American Idol loss with a career that has arguably eclipsed that of any of the reality series’ actual winners over its 14 seasons. Just two years later, without even releasing a proper album, she landed the role of Effie White in Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls and won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her stellar supporting performance. She then went on to continue her acting career, starring in films such as Winnie Mandela, Black Nativity and the recent Spike Lee joint Chi-Raq, and also appeared on TV series like Smash and Empire.


And that’s not even mentioning her three albums and a plethora of performances on everything from the Super Bowl to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Plus, she might soon be playing Aretha Franklin for what will certainly be a high-profile biopic. It’s impossible to know where she would be now had she actually beaten Fantasia for the top spot, but it’s hard to imagine Hudson having a bigger presence across pop culture. What are Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze doing nowadays? (I know they’re still putting out music.)

Fans of Randy Jackson were no doubt pumped to hear that the producer will be heading back to American Idol for Season 15, which will be the show’s last outing. It’s unclear just what he’ll be doing in the show – although we hope it has something to do with William Hung – but here’s what he told EW would be involved.

A lot of like, hot, steamy looks.

That was a given. Tune into American Idol’s shortened swan song for its two-night premiere on Wednesday, January 6, and Thursday, January 7. Head here to see when the rest of your favorite shows are coming back in the next few months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.