In 2003, Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson finished seventh among 70,000 hopefuls in "American Idol." But now, she is suddenly getting rousing Oscar support from film critics and devoted motion picture audience members from all over the country for her film debut in "Dreamgirls."
Hudson, who is only 25, sparkles in a cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy. She has an unusual mastery of urban gospel in her voice, a clarity and truth that she brings to the character of Effie White in the movie that is based upon the story of The Supremes. Ironically, the original Tony Award-winning stage musical was based in Chicago, although the film version is set in Detroit.
Hudson's riveting five-octave performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is her big moment in the film. It belongs to her like the stars belong to the sky. Effie stands tall with dignity after being cast aside by her manager/boyfriend (Foxx) in an unforgettable scene that was filmed over four days on a Los Angeles soundstage. Hudson's performance of that song prompted excited talk early on about her being a frontrunner in the competition to receive an Academy Awards Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress performance, especially since many Academy members love musicals.
Jennifer Hudson was favored to win on Season-3 of American Idol, but was suddenly voted off. It was hard to see it as anything but a case of the big-boned Black girl getting screwed around. So when Jennifer Hudson leans backwards now and tears into "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" in Dreamgirls, it's for her character Efffie White, Florence Ballard from The Supremes, herself and all women who don't quite look like Miss USA.
Hudson's voice will be ringing in our ears long after she marches off with the Oscar. Very attractive photographs and stunning music videos complement the article in it's expanded version.