Jennifer Hudson on American Idol ouster 20 years later

Jennifer Hudson, now a celebrated EGOT honoree, took to X (formerly Twitter) on April 21 to reflect on one of the pivotal moments of her career—the day she was eliminated from American Idol, per

In a post accompanied by a clip from the show, Hudson shared her thoughts: “On this day in 2004, I was eliminated from American Idol! But God turned it around for my good!” 

The clip shows then-host Ryan Seacrest delivering the news that Hudson was going home despite receiving the highest number of votes earlier in the season. Fellow contestant Fantasia Barrino, who eventually won the season, comforted Hudson with a tight hug, saying, “You are my American idol.”

Hudson, now 42, has since soared to great heights, earning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—commonly referred to as an EGOT. 

Jennifer Hudson on ‘American Idol’ in 2004; Jennifer Hudson in 2023/SGRANITZ/WIREIMAGE; FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY

“From Idol to EGOT baby!!! 20 years later, and now back on TV with my own show,” she wrote, referring to her latest venture, The Jennifer Hudson Show. 

Encouraging her fans, Hudson added, “Never give up on your dreams, yal! If I can do it, so can u!” 

Reflecting on her elimination, American Idol judge Simon Cowell, now 64, shared his perspective on the incident during the first episode of The Jennifer Hudson Show’s second season in 2022. He blamed the song choice, Barry Manilow’s “Weekend of New England,” for the outcome, saying, “That night, I will never forget. Who chose stupid ‘Barry Manilow Week?’” 

Despite the setback, Hudson’s journey is a testament to resilience and determination, inspiring countless others to pursue their dreams against all odds.

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