Jennifer Hudson Reflects on “American Idol” Elimination 20 Years Later: 'From“ Idol ”to EGOT Baby!'

"Remember nobody knows your potential the way you do," the star said while reflecting on her 2004 exit from the show

<p>SGranitz/WireImage; Frazer Harrison/Getty</p> Jennifer Hudson on

SGranitz/WireImage; Frazer Harrison/Getty

Jennifer Hudson on 'American Idol' in 2004; Jennifer Hudson in 2023

Jennifer Hudson is looking back at one of her biggest rejections — without which, she would not be the EGOT honoree she is today!

The singer and actress, 42, shot to fame as a standout and fan-favorite on the third season of American Idol, which aired in 2004. Then, she was eliminated.

Now, two decades — and a whole lot of accolades — later, Hudson is reflecting on her journey from that heart-wrenching rejection.

Related: American Idol Winners: Who Won Each Season and Where Are They Now?

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on April 21, the singer shared a clip of the moment she was eliminated, and wrote, “On this day in 2004, I was eliminated from American Idol! But God turned it around for my good!”

In the clip, then-host Ryan Seacrest announced that after receiving the highest number of votes earlier in the season, Hudson was going home, while contestant Fantasia Barrino would be moving through to the next round.

Barrino, who went on to win the season, hugged her tightly and said, “You are my American idol.”

Alongside the clip, Hudson continued her reflection, writing, “From Idol to EGOT baby!!! 20 years later, and now back on TV with my own show.”

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Jennifer Hudson winning her Oscar in 2007

Kevin Winter/Getty

Jennifer Hudson winning her Oscar in 2007

Related: The Most Memorable Contestants of 'American Idol': Where Are They Now?

The Jennifer Hudson Show host — who has since received the coveted EGOT for all four major entertainment awards, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — also added an inspiring message for her fans.

“Never give up on your dreams, yal!” she wrote. “If I can do it, so can u!”

"If it’s not worth working hard for, it’s not worth it at all! Remember nobody knows your potential the way you do,” she continued. “Just keep the faith, keep believing, and keep going!!!”

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Since her shocking elimination 20 years ago, the series’ then-judges — Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson — have also reacted to the moment.

<p>Jesse Grant/Getty</p> Jennifer Hudson in 2024

Jesse Grant/Getty

Jennifer Hudson in 2024

Related: Paula Abdul Tells Jennifer Hudson Why She Didn't Need to Win 'American Idol'

In 2022, on the first episode of her self-titled talk show, now in its second season, Cowell, 64, blamed the song she sang, Barry Manilow’s "Weekend of New England," for the outcome.

"That night, I will never forget," he said of the evening, noting that all he could think at the time was, "Who chose stupid 'Barry Manilow Week?' "

“And I remember thinking, 'This is not a great song.' Wasn't your fault,” he added. “And then, of course, what happened, happened.”

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