Jennifer Hudson; Simon Cowell
If you’re an American Idol success story, it follows that you will be a talk show success story, if Kelly Clarkson is anything to go by. But if you’re an American Idol not-quite success story, you can still go on to EGOT and get your own talk show, if Jennifer Hudson is anything to go by. Not only is J-Hud returning to television after placing seventh in the third season of the singing competition, she’s bringing on Simon Cowell as her first guest, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Cowell was famously not a supporter of Hudson during her time on American Idol, claiming the vocal powerhouse was “out of [her] depth” on the program. In a 2017 interview with The Telegraph, Hudson even recalled, “At the time Simon told me I was ‘Too big, in every way.’ I think he meant my hair, my voice, my personality, my songs. I didn’t really understand how that was a negative thing. I said, ‘Is big not what a star is?’”
In fact, Sharon Osbourne—who worked with Cowell on The X Factor—claimed in a podcast interview that “Simon doesn’t have an ability to see individuals. He doesn’t like people who are overweight. Seriously. … That’s why he turned down Jennifer Hudson, that’s why he wouldn’t champion her on American Idol. But it’s the truth. He’s very dated.”
All in all, not the person with whom you’d expect Hudson to share her daytime debut. (This writer’s pitch: can’t we reunite the Dreamgirls the way Drew Barrymore reunited Charlie’s Angels?) Nonetheless, Hudson and Cowell have presumably mended fences; he apparently sent her a glowing message of praise before her Oscars win.
Per EW, Hudson’s FOX series will feature “celebrity interviews, topical stories, community heroes, viral sensations, and music. Hudson will use her powerful voice in a new way, bringing fun, uplifting conversations to the forefront, shining a light on extraordinary stories, talents, and passions.” Sounds like the standard talk show fare, but Hudson’s talent will surely elevate the average to some degree. Starting off by calling out Cowell for his behavior would definitely make a splash!