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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
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.