Idol's Jennifer Faces Racism Talk
Last week, the axing of Jennifer Hudson
had American Idol
fans crying foul. Did stormy weather in Chicago keep the hometown girl's boosters from getting out the vote? Or did racism land Hudson in the bottom three — along with LaToya London
and Fantasia Barrino
— as Elton John
has charged? Since we've heard from everyone but
Hudson on this controversy, TV Guide Online called the 22-year-old diva-in-training for her take.
TV Guide Online: The fan protest to your exit from AI has been crazy.
Jennifer Hudson: I feel honored, flattered and so excited. I'm still in awe from the whole thing. Everywhere I go, they're like, "You were robbed! That wasn't right! They need to bring you back." Some are in denial and they think I'm coming back. [Laughs] I'm like, "People, let it go. That's not gonna happen. There's no more Wild Cards. This is the finals, OK?"
TVGO: You held it together really well when you were cut. Were you just in shock?
Hudson: No, I was happy. I haven't been sad or cried about being eliminated. Not one time. I don't see negativity in it. I feel like a door has been opened. To me, it's just a blessing in disguise.
TVGO: What did you think of Fantasia giving you props during her rendition of "Get on Your Feet"?
Hudson: Wow. I was flattered. She's keeping Jennifer's memory alive, and it feels good.
TVGO: Do you think the storm in your hometown really contributed to your ouster?
Hudson: It's a great, big possibility it did. Fifteen thousand homes with phones were out. I'm the first Chicagoan to ever make it this far, so I know Chicago would support that. I think it may've played a big role, but nobody really knows what happened.
TVGO: What's your reaction to Elton John's charges of racism?
Hudson: I haven't even thought about it as far as racism. I feel like talent doesn't have a color. But people do vote on things like that. C'mon, that's the reality of our society! People vote for different reasons. Some do vote because of color, some don't like what you're wearing or your attitude. Anything could've happened.
TVGO: Has Elton been supportive?
Hudson: I have received nothing but love and support from Elton John, and I appreciate it so much.
TVGO: How annoyed were you at the way Ryan revealed which group was in the bottom three — using George to trick you, LaToya and Fantasia into thinking you were safe?
Hudson: Did you not see my face?! I don't appreciate what they did to George at all. First, you play with his fate, then you tell him to pick between which group to go to — and then, you eliminate the person you know means the most to him. I thought all that was bogus and wrong. But how they did it was kind of brilliant and funny, because they fooled America.
TVGO: Simon tried to stir up trouble by suggesting that the three African-American women weren't exactly best friends. What was your relationship with Fantasia and LaToya like?
Hudson: I don't know where Simon gets that from, because he never spent a single second around us, other than when we were on [stage]. What he says means a hill of beans. We were fine. We got along. All of us took time to get acquainted to each others' personalities, and that happens in any situation. But once you're around each other so long, of course, you grow to love each other, regardless. Why not get along? Otherwise, it creates a more hostile environment for you where you can't concentrate on why you're there. You put all the crap aside and get along, so you can focus.
TVGO: John Stevens looked very distraught about your elimination. Did he say anything to you afterwards?
Hudson: He said what he says every week: "It should've been me." He always feels it's his responsibility to feel guilty or like it should've been him, versus anybody else. But he worked just as hard as me or anybody. So don't get mad at him because he's on the show.
TVGO: People did, though! Do you think John's relieved to have finally been voted off?
Hudson: Definitely. I'm certain he was. I was relieved, and my journey wasn't nearly as hard as his. God, people were unbelievably harsh, which was totally uncalled for. So I'm sure he felt a great deal of relief.
TVGO: Have you been offered a record contract from the show's producers?
Hudson: Well, I've heard there might be a great possibility that I would be offered [a contract], and that they were very impressed with me. It sounds like there might be one coming up soon. We'll see!
TVGO: Who are you rooting for?
Hudson: I wish them all luck, but everybody knows George Huff is Jennifer's American Idol. I have no shame in my game. I love my George Huff. But like I've said, I would buy all their CDs.
TVGO: Hmm... Should we start spreading rumors that you're in love with George?
Hudson: [Laughs] No, stop. Stop right there. Not at all, 'cause we're just friends.