What Paula Abdul Told Jennifer Hudson After Her ‘American Idol’ Elimination
March 03, 2023
Paula Abdul is revealing the words of encouragement she shared with Jennifer Hudson back when JHud was eliminated during “American Idol.”
Jennifer became a household name at the age of 22 while appearing on the third season of “American Idol” in 2004. A standout all season long, it was a giant shock when she was eliminated during Top 7 week.
“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!’
“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.’”
Paula 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.”
“Thank you for that encouragement you were always giving me!” said Jennifer. She also has no bad feelings about not winning the competition: “Seventh place, and proud of it!”
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Paula Abdul also shares her pride at being 60 and working as a performer for over 40 years.
“When I was a little girl, my dad taught me… ‘Honey, you’re going to be faced with rejection, and you’re going to be told no,’” Paula recalled her father saying. “‘Remember: No is the beginning of a negotiation.’ And I carried that with me my whole life.”
She then shared the story about auditioning to be a Laker Girl despite not being “the obvious choice.” She brought a dance bag full of different outfits to the audition, where hundreds of girls were vying for a chance to become a cheerleader for the L.A. Lakers.
“I was 742 — I remember the number,” she said.
According to Paula, she got up with her group, and was eliminated before even getting a chance to dance. So — she decided to change her clothes and hair and pretend to be another person to audition again!
“There’s no rules!” she remembered thinking.
She got cut again — but didn’t give up. “I still have one more outfit!”
“I saved the best for last — I pulled out the Jane Fonda chevron striped leotard,” said Paula.
“I ran right to middle front and I got to dance. Then they said, back half of the arena come forward, the front half go back. I go, ‘Shoot, they’re gonna forget about me. Be bold, be daring.’ So I ran right back up to the front.”
And that’s how Paula became a Laker Girl, and the rest is history. “Three time’s the charm!” she exclaimed.
Check out more amazing moments with the judges and contestants from "American Idol" on "The Jennifer Hudson Show"
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