Paula Abdul Reflects on Jennifer Hudson’s ‘American Idol’ Elimination: ‘The Whole World Was Pissed’

By Billboard on

Jennifer Hudson welcomed Paula Abdul to her eponymous talk show on Friday (March 3) to look back on their time together on season three of American Idol.


Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking back to that early season was the shocking moment Hudson was eliminated in seventh place after finding herself in the bottom three with fellow frontrunners LaToya London and eventual winner Fantasia Barrino.

“Oh my goodness, that was a moment,” the OG Idol judge said. “When you were eliminated, it was like the whole world was pissed. That’s true! I’m sure they come up to you, I mean, people still talk to me about, ‘God, that night Jennifer Hudson was eliminated.’ I go, ‘I know!'”

However, the “Straight Up” singer also revealed some words of encouragement she shared with the Idol hopeful immediately after her controversial ousting. “It was on Entertainment Tonight, and I said you, ‘You know, I have a feeling some amazing things are gonna happen to you.’ ‘Member, I said, ‘People that need to win, win. And the people that don’t need to win end up winning big time.’ And you did.”

Abdul may or may not have psychic powers, considering Hudson has gone on to become the first and so far only Idol alum to reach EGOT status following her 2021 Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding interactive media for a daytime program, and 2022 Tony Award as a producer of A Strange Loop. (She previously won an Academy Award for portraying Effie White in 2006’s Dreamgirls, and has taken home two different Grammys over the years.)

Watch Hudson’s trip down memory lane with Abdul below.

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