The Best of JHud Reuniting with Friends from ‘American Idol’
Music October 23, 2022
Jennifer Hudson has never forgotten her “American Idol” past.
More than a handful of “American Idol” judges and competitors have stopped by “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” including the full original judges lineup of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul, as well as Season 5 runner-up Katherine McPhee Foster, Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, and Season 7 winner David Archuleta.
Check out JHud reliving her “Idol” days below!
During her premiere episode, which coincided with her 41st birthday, Jennifer's first-ever celebrity guest was former "Idol" judge Simon Cowell.
Though acknowledging that the two had a “banter” with each other, Simon attributed the success of “Idol” to “people like [Jennifer].”
“It was the combination of talent, determination, and real personality,” he said, adding, “I always knew how determined you were. You were funny and you took it with grace. You got it. I always thought that about you. You got it.”
Regarding JHud's final song on the show, “Weekend in New England” by Barry Manilow, Simon admitted “this was not a great song.”
“It wasn’t your fault, and then of course, what happened, happened,” he said about Jennifer's elimination.
However, when asked if she would change her last song, Jennifer said no, since it lead to her getting the role in “Dreamgirls,” the film for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
“Barry Manilow structured that song as if it was ‘And I Am Telling You,’” JHud said, referencing her big solo in the movie.
Simon Cowell Addresses Jennifer Hudson's 'American Idol' EliminationView Story
Jennifer also got to chat with former judge Randy Jackson, who saved her in the competition prior to her seventh-place finish.
While reminiscing about “Idol,” Randy remembered the incredible amount of talent from Jennifer’s season.
In addition to Jenn, singers included LaToya London and Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino.
Though Jenn remembers the trio as “the divas,” Randy coined them the “Dreamgirls”!
Despite Randy appearing on the show for over 12 seasons, he admitted that he thought it was weird he was a judge because he sees himself more as an A&R executive.
“We thought, ‘We only need one winner,’ but we’re going to find a bunch of people who are talented,” Randy said about his and Simon’s mentality.
Randy Jackson Talks About His Kids and Says Simon Cowell Changed After Having a SonView Story
Like Jennifer, Adam Lambert did not win “Idol,” but was the runner-up for Season 8.
Despite this, he credits the show for “[planting] the seeds” for his future career.
Case in point, during his audition, he performed “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
In addition to performing with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor on “Idol,” Adam later went on tour with the legendary band.
On a similar note, Jennifer sang “Share Your Love With Me” by Aretha Franklin for her audition, and later portrayed the Queen of Soul in the 2021 biopic “Respect.”
“Neither one of us won ‘American Idol.’ Look at us now,” Jenn said. “We’re doing alright.”
Adam Lambert & JHud Share How They Planted the Seeds to Work with Queen and Aretha FranklinView Story
Adam wasn’t the only “Idol” alum who Jenn reconnected with in this particular episode.
Jenn and Adam both worked with Michael Orland, who served as pianist, arranger, vocal coach, and associate musical director for 16 seasons on “Idol.”
“He taught us a lot of the music and the songs we got to sing,” Jennifer said. “We shared a lot of the same experiences.”
During their reunion, the three teamed up for a beautiful rendition of “Nessun Dorma,” a famous song from the opera “Turandot.”
David Archuleta came by the show to discuss his relationship with the Mormon church in the wake of coming out and how it affected his recent music.
David also spoke about his admiration for Jennifer during her time on the singing competition show.
Though David said many people know him for covering John Lennon’s “Imagine,” he said he started singing the classic when he heard Jennifer’s version in her season.
David Archuleta Says There’s a Lack of Understanding of LGBT Issues in the Mormon ChurchView Story
Katharine McPhee Foster
The Season 5 runner-up opened up about her experience on the singing competition. “I was overconfident thinking that I would get on the show, but I didn’t think I would make it to the Top 2,” recalled Katharine to JHud.
“I was always singing around the house, but I wasn’t a performer,” said Katharine of her pre-“Idol” days. “I had no idea what I was doing. I really didn’t.” She added, “It was a perfect boot camp… I learned a lot of what not to do.”
Katharine McPhee Foster Gifts JHud Rose Gold Earrings from KMF JewelryView Story
During her appearance on the show, Paula Abdul says that people still talk to her about Jennifer Hudson’s elimination!
“Oh, my goodness, I mean, that was a moment,” said Paula. “When you were eliminated, it was like the whole world was pissed.”
“They still be mad!” JHud agreed.
“It’s true!” said Paula. “People still talk to me — ‘God, that night that Jennifer Hudson was eliminated.’ I go, ‘I know!’
What Paula Abdul Told Jennifer Hudson After Her ‘American Idol’ EliminationView Story
“I remember interviewing you after, when I was on ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ and I said to you, ‘I have a feeling some amazing things are going to happen to you,’” added Paula.
She continued, “Remember I said, ‘The people who need to win win, and the people that don’t need to win end up winning big time.’ And you did.”
“The Jennifer Hudson Show” airs weekdays. Check your local listings.