Jennifer Hudson Looks Back on ‘American Idol’ Elimination: ‘I Didn’t Give Up’

Simon Cowell appears on The Jennifer Hudson Show (Credit: The Jennifer Hudson Show)

Jennifer Hudson kicked off her new daytime talk show on Monday, by welcoming former American Idol star Simon Cowell to the premiere.

Hudson competed on season 3 of Idol in 2004, when Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul were judges.

During the reunion with Cowell on her talk show, Hudson discussed her run on the music competition series and the song that led to her elimination.

Cowell said he didn’t believe it was the right song choice, while also admitting he wasn’t a fan of the theme for the episode, “Barry Manilow Week.”

“I was thinking, who chose stupid ‘Barry Manilow Week? It wasn’t me,” Cowell said to laughter.

Related StoryTyler Perry Urges Caution in Push for More Diversity in Hollywood

Cowell then flipped the script. He began to interview Hudson and asked if she would choose a different song if she could go back in time.

“No, but it’s other songs before that that I would’ve changed,” she said. “Because that song, little do you know, it led me to getting Dreamgirls honey! Because it was structured, Barry Manilow structured that song as if it was ‘And I Am Telling You,’ and a lot of people thought that’s what I was singing.”

Hudson performed “Weekend in New England” on the episode and placed seventh in the competition. She told Cowell getting eliminated made her work harder to achieve success.

“Too often, people give up and think, that’s the end of the road. I said, ‘No I’ll be back. I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I will sing my way to it.’ I kept that goal in mind and I didn’t give up.”

[Watch the performance below]

In the end, everything turned out fine for the EGOT winner, who has since taken home Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.

The Jennifer Hudson Show airs daily in national syndication and tapes on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California. The show is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

Watch Hudson’s conversation with Cowell in the video above.