Jennifer Hudson Has ‘Full Circle’ Moment During Emotional Reunion

Jennifer Hudson on 'The Jennifer Hudson Show'

Warner Bros. Television Jennifer Hudson on 'The Jennifer Hudson Show'

Jennifer Hudson caught up with a former “American Idol” winner during an emotional reunion on “The Jennifer Hudson Show.” On December 14, Hudson invited Oprah Winfrey and the cast members from the 2023 film adaptation of “The Color Purple” onto her show. Among the cast members invited was Fantasia Barrino, the Season 3 winner of “American Idol.”

Hudson also competed in Season 3, finishing in 7th-place. The two singers had a chance to reflect on their “rollercoaster” journeys while admiring their accomplishments. For Hudson, she was amazed by how many years have passed since the two faced off against each other on stage.

“Fantasia, do you realize it’s been 20 years since we were on “American Idol?”” Hudson pondered as the studio audience erupted in applause. “Now for me, I said I hopped on the ‘American Idol’ rollercoaster and it’s been running ever since. I never would’ve guessed I would sitting here and ya’ll would be sitting here.”

Jennifer Hudson Has Forgotten ‘Nothing’

Even though it has been nearly two full decades since Barrino and Hudson competed on “American Idol,” neither of them has forgotten their experiences. However, one particular memory sticks out the most to Barrino.

“You remember the day they tried to put us all in the bottom three and we were all standing there?” Barrino asked, referring to herself, Hudson, and LaToya London. The trio of singers were each among the most praised by the panel of judges throughout Season 3, yet they all faced being sent home after receiving the least amount of votes. In the end, it was Hudson who would be eliminated.

“I remember it like yesterday,” Hudson responded. “I don’t forget nothing.”

“But that day we all had a look on our face like, ‘Really,'” joked Barrino. After her near-elimination, Barrino would never look back. In a tense finale, she edged out Diana DeGarmo to take home the “American Idol” crown.

After reflecting on the challenging competition, Barrino values what she was able to take away from the show. “We worked very, very hard,” she admitted. “I also remember building great relationships and being around great gifts. So iron sharpens iron. Being around you guys, making a family, and being up every morning, away from our families, but being steady going because it was something that we all wanted. Now look.”

Jennifer Hudson Comes ‘Full Circle’ With Oprah

Getting a chance to reconnect with important figures from her past was an emotional moment for Hudson. In 2007, Hudson gave a breakout performance as Effie White in the film adaptation of “Dreamgirls.” While promoting the film, Hudson made an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It’s a moment that Hudson still holds in high regard.

“For me, this is a full circle. ‘Cuz the last interview I did with miss, I call her Mama O, was when I did the “Dreamgirls” cast interview with you on “The Oprah Show.”

“And look at you now!” Oprah exclaimed.

In a touching post to her Instagram page, Jennifer Hudson could barely contain her excitement. “Full circle moment!!! Long before @jenniferhudsonshow… I was a 25-year-old singer and actress doing the press tour for Dreamgirls,” Hudson wrote. “I knew my life was about to change as I sat there being interviewed by THE Oprah Winfrey.”

Hudson also reflected on reversing roles with one of her idols. “17 years later and we are sitting down together for the press tour of another film. But this time it’s my turn to interview Mama O — along with so many friends from the cast of The Color Purple. Yal !!!! This was a full circle moment for me in every way!!! You do not want to miss this.”