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Jennifer Hudson: From "Idol" Loser to Golden Globe Nominee

By Olivia Leigh on Dec 15, 2006 5:47PM

Standing on the bus this morning, we glanced at another rider’s Red Eye, where a Golden Globes article was visible. The images featured Borat and Chicago native Jennifer Hudson, with a headline to something of the effect of “surprise nominations.” While the movie about a crass Kazakh is a bit perplexing, Hudson’s nod is anything but a surprise.

2006_12_dreamgirls.jpgWhile we are waiting like everyone else to see the much-lauded film version of the hit 1981 Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, Hudson has been the toast of the town since movie news and previews started breaking, even receiving a personal call from Oprah.

Getting her first taste of stardom on “American Idol,” Hudson didn’t even make the final two, getting cut mid-season. Being the dorky occasional American Idol watchers that we are, we remember the uproar that ensued on the evening Hudson was eliminated. Ryan “Master of the Flat Iron” Seacrest blamed the results on a power outage, and guest judge Elton John cried racism. British douche bag Simon Cowell once said that Hudson was “out of her league” in the pop singer competition.

Sticking it to Cowell, Hudson beat out more than 700 other hopefuls, to be cast as Effie White, one member of a Supremes-esque girl group in “Dreamgirls.” She had perhaps the largest shoes to fill, playing a role that made songbird Jennifer Holiday a star on Broadway, with the powerful performance of “And I Am Telling You”. Hudson’s performance of the number, which she had never seen before, is reportedly so good that theater audiences have been bursting into applause after the song.

Of her nomination for Best Supporting Actress, in which she is up against Adriana Barraza, Emily Blunt, Rinko Kikuchi and perennial nominee Cate Blanchett, Hudson is her notoriously humble self, saying, “I've been pinching myself ever since I got this part -- I'm surprised I'm not bruised all over!''

While, again, we still have yet to see the film, Hudson is clearly a favorite to win this Golden Globe. And with Hudson saying she’s “a Chicago girl” and “Chicago is what made me who I am,” we can’t help but have a little hometown hope that we’ll hear her name on awards night.

Jennifer Hudson (right) in Dreamgirls, opening Dec. 25.