JENNIFER HUDSON: A REAL-LIFE CINDERELLA STORY FOR ALL OF US:
Four years ago, Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson finished seventh among 70,000 hopefuls in the third season of "American Idol." Unceremoniously dumped from the program at a point when many thought that she was highly favored to win, many people were convinced that her dismissal from the show was because some people didn't think that she was attractive enough.
Who would have expected what has happened to her this year? Hudson suddenly began receiving excited Oscar support from film critics and devoted motion picture audience members from all over the country for her film debut in "Dreamgirls." And tonight, she was awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Effie White 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 sense of "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, astonishing 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 Academy members always love a musical. And now this dream has indeed come true for her!
Attractive photography and stunning music videos are included this article in the longer version.