Jennifer Hudson On Whether She Thought She’d Win American Idol And How She Felt After The Loss

Jennifer Hudson in promo for The Jennifer Hudson Show.
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Television)

Jennifer Hudson has come a long way since her days on American Idol. She’s become an EGOT winner, starred in notable movies, released hit albums, and made numerous TV appearances. And more recently, Hudson became a daytime talk show host. An expansive career like this may not be what many imagined for Hudson after she placed sixth place in the popular singing competition’s third season. While looking back at her time on the reality series, the daytime talk host recently spilled on whether she thought she’d win it, and how she felt after her surprising loss.

It's still crazy to think that the Dreamgirls star didn’t win the competition series, given her massive voice. (Though she won an Oscar and two Grammys instead). Hudson touched on her surprising elimination while speaking with Glamour. As a fan favorite, she excelled every week in the singing competition until she got voted off on a night when she and fellow standouts LaToya London and Fantasia Barrino ended up in the bottom three. While reviewing the moment years later, the Cats actress surprisingly admitted that gave a brief answer regarding whether she thought she'd be victorious:

No. ... I was like, Okay, this is the end of the road here, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end because I still have my gift and what I learned from my [Idol] experience. What can I take from this to propel forward?

So after being eliminated from the most-watched reality series on TV at the time, she had a positive outlook on not winning the show. She clearly didn’t let her loss defeat her self-confidence. Sadly, many eliminated competitors find minimal success or fade into obscurity altogether, so the Respect star is definitely an outlier in that respect. It's cool to hear that she knew her talent would carry her beyond her time on the former Fox show.

Luckily for her and us, her fortitude to continue beyond Idol has served her overall. Jennifer Hudson proved she could act when she scored the coveted role of Effie White in Dreamgirls, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. And her casting came only months after her elimination, as director Bill Condon was apparently a major fan of hers and wanted her to audition for the role. The starlet followed up the win with a Grammy for her debut self-titled album. Those wins started her on the road to EGOT status, as her Tony and Emmy wins occurred just within the last two years. Hudson's story is a unique one and should serve as a reminder to always believe in yourself.

Viewers can watch the star daily in syndication via The Jennifer Hudson Show, where you see can fun moments like the time the host danced with original Dreamgirl Sheryl Lee Ralph. Also, look at our 2022 TV schedule to see what other new talk shows are currently on the air. And can also brush up on Hudson's major career milestones if you're interested.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).