Simon Cowell said Jennifer Hudson was “the embodiment of the American dream”

Back to the early days of american idol, Simon Cowell was a tough judge who slammed the beloved of future superstars like EGOT winner Jennifer Hudson. When Cowell was able to catch up with Hudson on his own talk show in 2022, nearly two decades after he introduced himself to the world on american idolthe television judge confessed that he admired Hudson’s determination thus far.

Simon Cowell | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Simon Cowell didn’t believe in Jennifer Hudson on ‘American Idol’

Jennifer Hudson started her own talk show, The Jennifer Hudson Showin September 2022. She invited Simon Cowell as her first guest, as they reminisced about their time together on Idol and Cowell’s frequent harsh criticism of Hudson at the time.

“All these memories I have from the beginning are, ‘Why was the show so important at that time? It was because of people like you,” he told Hudson. “It was the combination of talent, determination and a real personality. And even though we had those kind of jokes, you and I, it was always that. I always knew how determined you were . And you were funny, you took it with grace, because you kind of got it. I always thought that for you: you got it.

They then discussed the night Hudson was eliminated from the show. “That night I will never forget,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘Who picked Barry Manilow’s stupid week?’ It was not me !

Hudson sang Barry Manilow’s song “Weekend in New England” and was ultimately voted off the show.

“I remember thinking, ‘That’s not a great song.’ It wasn’t your fault, he said, “And then, of course, what happened happened.”

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Simon Cowell knows Jennifer Hudson is a superstar now

While Hudson did not win the title on american idol, she soon showed that her star could not be dimmed. She then starred alongside Beyoncé in the film adaptation of dream girlsand cemented her place as a vocal legend, winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work.

When Cowell looks back on everything Hudson has accomplished since Idol, he can’t help but marvel at his accomplishments. “Without sounding sycophantic, you are the epitome of the American dream,” he told Hudson. “Because a lot of people … would have walked away from that moment and said, ‘This is too difficult. I’m giving up.’ And you didn’t, he said. “I remember talking to you afterwards. You went, ‘This is not the end.’ And then you seized every opportunity with grace and determination, and you did it. And that’s why we keep doing these shows, because there’s always talent, thank goodness.

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Jennifer Hudson Wouldn’t Change Her Last Song On ‘American Idol’

When Cowell asked Hudson if she was going to go back in time and change her song choice for her elimination party, she confirmed that she had no regrets about her last night on Idolbut would go back and change some of his other song choices for the season.

She also added that Barry Manilow’s song ultimately served her well: “That song, do you know it made me get dream girls, honey,” she said. “Barry Manilow structured that song like it was ‘And I Am Telling You,’ and a lot of people thought that was what I was singing.”

RELATED: Jennifer Hudson Doesn’t Change Her ‘EGO’ Ring After Getting EGOT Status, But She Gets New Memorial Jewelry

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