Jennifer Hudson: American Idol Should “Go Out On Top”

Oscar winner, actress and singer, Jennifer Hudson, was eliminated from American Idol season 3 in 7th place back in 2004. But she can still thank the reality singing competition for putting her on the map and in the sights of Dreamgirls casting directors. Her portrayal of Effie White in the movie version of the musical was her break out role.

And she is grateful, but she told Celebuzz at the Sundance Film Festival, where she is promoting her new movie, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, that she believes that it’s time for American Idol to bow out gracefully while it’s still on top.

“Everything has its time,” she said, “I think it should just allow itself to go out on top… and gracefully.”

“American Idol changed the face of television,” she added, “So, not everyone can say that. And, it’s always been a phenomenon. I’m proud to have come from American Idol, so I just say, go out on top.”

Do you agree with Jennifer? Should American Idol bow out?

Via Celebuzz

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  • Jenny Williams

    As long as it’s still the number 1 (non sports)  show on T.V , it’s not going anywhere

  • Karen C

    I disagree, because the show has such a history with the former idols. It helps to promote those that have been associated with the show.  Without Idol, some probably woudn’t have a major tv outlet to go on to promote their music.

  • Danny Latham

    Hate to say, but I agree with JHud, and Idol should go out on top. Look at all the Billboard #1s, the platinum albums, the superstars it has created. Not only had Idol changed TV, but changed music! It should not keep going on until the ratings have slidden under 4 for the demo. Not too many shows can say they went out in a blaze of glory still on top of the world. Idol needs to do that, or it will become very irrelevant. 

  • LeahKittyS

    Glad to hear that one of Idol’s big names feels the same way I do about this. Hopefully FOX will take her advice and end the show at the magical number of 12.

  • MaxxS

    Todays inauguration is an incredible day on Idol.  Kelly Clarkson and then JHud at the inaugural singing for the Prez first dance.   Jhud should thank Idol; without it she could still be doing cruise ships.  Idol put her on the map – Dreamgirls saw her because of that – she did get the role (beating Fantasia among others I believe) and now has a Oscar and an acting career.  Shes a bonafide actress now that shes playing a drug addict.  But I wonder why her albums havent done as well ; shes obviously a very talented singer.  Maybe she needs better songs…Its also interesting with all the talk of white guy winners in recent years; the most succesful Idols are all women -Kelly, JHud, Carrie

  • Incipit

    As long as it’s still the number 1 (non sports)  show on T.V , it’s not going anywhere.

    I do believe that is true, Jenny Williams. So Jennifer Hudson is a Romantic – who thinks business decisions are made independently of the financial considerations in a business…who knew?

    I wonder if she also thinks it is time for the X Factor UK to close up shop – or would that be different, because there is no Blaze of Glory this year? But they have been around in the UK almost as long as Idol has been here, nine and eleven seasons, respectively. And they have affected, or messed up, depending on who you read, the music scene in great Britain too…what’s the criteria to quit?

    Does anyone really think that Idol owners and producers and people who benefit from the show being on the air are going to say, OK, we’ve made enough money, we ought to stop doing that now…and walk away, leaving FOX holding the bag, with nothing in it but XFUS? smh.

  • Sassycatz

    For a moment, I didn’t read it right and I thought she was talking about herself and she was announcing her retirement! Heh. Yeah, JHud, once you got yours, you’re happy to have the show “bow out.”

  • MaxxS

    THEY should release JHud version of Lets Stay Together as a charity single for military family charity

  • MaxxS

    I dont think Idol needs to be cancelled yet unless the show totally tanks.  I would like to see it leave the air before it totally jumps the shark again and becomes a joke.  YOu hate to see those shows that stay too long…but if money is to be made, Fox doesnt care about Idol’s legacy.  Ironically in most countries the Idol concept was replaced by X Factor and now all those countries have iterations of the Voice.  The US is really the one country that still has a successful Idol franchise and where the XF didnt catch on.

  • quickjessie

     8 seasons ago?  LOL!  Guess she doesn’t do selfish very well or she would have asked them to go off the air in Season 4. 

  • Adam Alamillo

    As long as the show is producing number 1s, I think it should stay. Phillip Phillips is showing that 10 years after Kelly Clarkson, Idol can still say it’s making multi-platinum selling artists. No one else can.

  • Goodvibes27

    I agree with Jen, however, something tells me it will be run into the ground until there is no more money to be made.

  • Axxxel

    I guess in those countries they love things more “over the top”, compared to the US TV audience of X-factor… 

  • Sassycatz

    Well, if it had gone off the air before last year, then Mr. P2 wouldn’t have had a multi-platinum single. Do you think he would’ve thanked her if to know that she felt the show was passed its sell buy date … especially since she no longer needs it. 

  • aj rabin

    Idol should definitely not go anywhere but the producers have to make sure that the show doesn’t become a joke like the x factor did so quickly. Nikki Minaj has the potential to do that. Hopefully once the live shows start she’ll start showing a bit of class (and I don’t mean a fake British accent).

  • Chris

    The ratings were pretty good last week, so if they hold, I doubt Fox let’s go of the Idol cash cow.

    They will likely shake up the judges panel again, which is actually quite annoying, but seems to be the new normal.  

    Sorry Jen, ratings rule, advice of prior Idols, not so much.

  • No Thanks

    Are you going to post JHud’s first dance serenade for the Obama’s?

  • Damien Roberts

    I agree and disagree with Jennifer; I think that she has a point about it ending before it becomes a show that nobody is watching, but I feel like she was implying that it should happen now which I don’t necessarily agree with. Idol still has viewers any other show would be jealous of so I don’t see the point in canceling it now.

  • Bug Menot

    “Let it be, let it be
    Just a beautiful memory
    Anything that starts will have an ending”

  • Kariann Hart

    Indeed, Idol will have an ending, but not now!  Sime how I think Ryan Seacrest would be the reasin the show ends.  He is the heart of Idol, and without him, who knows what the quality of the show would be?  I think there could be an American Idol – Season 15.  If the show keeps producing relevant artists, why end it now?

  • Larc

    I think that’s advice XF needs to take.  Not that they’re on top, but they’re likely as close to it as they will ever get.  FOX will probably keep supporting Idol, maybe even more strongly once XF is gone.

  • durbesque

    What could motivate an artist, not a business woman, to offer business advice to one of the most successful enterprises in the history of television?  Her career is far more fragile than Idol’s reputation.  How does this strengthen her position? or is she just not very bright? 

  • girlygirltoo

    I’d rather see Idol go out when it’s still getting decent ratings and producing artists who can make a mark in the music industry rather than drag the show out far too long. But whether that means going out after S12? Too soon to say.

  • fantoo1

    I think as long as it gets good ratings(which it still is), it should stay. I understand her point, but would Fox really want to end their number one show? FOX’s shows are in a hole right now, and idol is basically the thing saving it from being a last place network.

  • fantoo1

    I think as long as it gets good ratings(which it still is), it should stay. I understand her point, but would Fox really want to end their number one show? FOX’s shows are in a hole right now, and idol is basically the thing saving it from being a last place network.

  • Stefan Wind

    Ummmmmmm, even if Idol eventually levels out at 10-13 million viewers a week, it’ll still be a pretty big hit and won’t be going anywhere. 

    Survivor had a slump too awhile ago, but things eventually leveled out. After all these years it still brings in pretty good rating for CBS. Idol will eventually become the same when X-Factor and The Voice get cancelled and Idol is the last standing.

  • b_james

    I agree it should go out on top, but I don’t agree that it should happen now.  It still has lots of life left in it, in my opinion.

  • blackberryharvest

    I wonder if she feels the same way about The Voice…They likely won’t even get anywhere near idol’s premiere ratings and they have yet to produce anybody who does anything after the show. The Voice is considered a “hit show” at just 12 million viewers and 4’s in the demo, yet idol is a “dead” show even though it still gets 17 million viewers and 6 in the demo. Makes sense to me. 

  • teekee

    I don’t think Idol needs to “bow out”. Let it take its natural course. I think that for every year that it’s on, Somebody, has the possibility of having a career, that they wouldn’t have(much like Jennifer).

    Also agree with Incipit, about the Idol industry, and loss of jobs.

  • blackberryharvest

    That doesn’t mean it still can’t produce superstars and platinum albums. What if they end it this year and a contestant from this season becomes a superstar? Then what? 

  • teacup

    I agree with Jennifer. The show just isn’t what it once was. They’ll never get the magic back, no matter how many judging panel shake ups they try. The winners are predicable now. The element of it being a true contest is dead and long buried. Go out on top.

  • Robert D’Angio

    I would love to see what she would say if someone said that about her. I love Jennifer Hudson but let’s face it, it is incredibly easy to look at a show like Idol and say let it go when you’ve already had your piece from it. At the end of the day though, the show still has great ratings, still is producing stars, and it still has relevance in this market that now is blossoming with singing shows. It kills me that she would say this about the show that helped make her when The Voice hasn’t managed to produce anything in 3 years and The X Factor hasn’t done a thing either despite all the money being pumped into it. 
     I think someone needs to remind her about she managed to get that Dreamgirls part. I doubt she would have stood much of a chance at that role had Idol not given her the shot they did. I respect what she thinks, but I think that if I was in her shoes, I would do nothing but support what helped create me as oppose to giving the opposition ammo.

  • Leandro

    LMAO. The voice isnt even the matter of this topic but when I clicked on this topic my guts told me to search how many times The Voice was quoted and I found what I expected… It has become a childish war between singing shows who won’t help any of them. In my humble opinion, MJs should invest equally in ALL of the shows, jsut liek othe rblogs are doing. Idol alone is not too much relevant anymore, but together all of these shows still relevant :P. I’m just saying :)

    Let’s all watch and hear some people singing and comment about it:P

  • blackberryharvest

    Yes, maybe she should take her own advice and go out on top LOL. This makes her seem ungrateful.

  • sue

    Sorry Jennifer but I disagree with ya.  Idol is still relevant even if it has dropped in ratings. It’s still producing platinum selling artist. NO WAY should it go out now. I will cry me a river the day it is gone. WE still need a reunion idol show. lols Anyway I love idol and I don’t think I can live without it. It can go on for another 20 years for all I care. :)

  • sue

    Sorry Jennifer but I disagree with ya.  Idol is still relevant even if it has dropped in ratings. It’s still producing platinum selling artist. NO WAY should it go out now. I will cry me a river the day it is gone. WE still need a reunion idol show. lols Anyway I love idol and I don’t think I can live without it. It can go on for another 20 years for all I care. :)

  • Li Wright

    I would GREATLY Miss it, and its controversy and its creating stars….yes, it still creates STARS.  But “WHEN”? should it go out.  I give it about another 3 years.

  • Li Wright

    @ Stefan Wind  I agree.  It still has legs and as long as it keeps making stars, it should continue.  But WHEN? should it go out?  I notice that Vote for the WORST is ending its run, because the owner says AI is “irrelevant.”  I think he just got bored with it all.

  • Lori

    As long as there is undiscovered talent, there will be a cast and an audience for Idol. It will never see its season 5 numbers again but so what? Does JHud think that P2 or the almost (soon to be?) 4 million people who bought “Home” care that Idol doesn’t have the same viewing audience as it did in season 5?

  • ladymctech

    I don’t like JHud — her music or her as a person. Every year people are looking for Idol to end. And every year they come back with a group of contestants in which at least a few catch the public’s attention. Idol will know when it has had enough, and doesn’t need a former contestant to tell it when to ride into the sunset.

  • Tess

    Reality TV has one major drawback for investors, it doesn’t do well in syndication if it does anything.  Idol tried but its numbers were dismal at best.  So the only money the show can really make is by staying in for the long haul, as soon as it costs more to produce then it brings in it will be bye-bye irregardless of the damage to its reputation.  Of what benefit is going out on top going to bring…besides it reached its peak long ago and is just coasting right now anyway. And no matter if they shut down tomorrow the show will be nothing more than an other in the list of many, no one will immortalize it at its passing. 

  • DaisyMagnolia

     I’ll assume someone asked for her opinion regarding the show.

  • Eric Ascher

    Totally agreed.

  • waitingforthe1

    As long as the show produces viable musical artists and garners ratings that are in the 10+ million range they aren’t going anywhere but I do see Jennifer’s point.

    Go out a winner instead of waiting until you’ve turned into a joke.  Retain your dignity and pride.  Many of the great shows have “gone out on top” but the difference is those shows depended on a cast of characters/actors who were probably bored with their roles.  Idol is an ever changing cast of characters, each fresh to the experience and each taking something unique and different away from it while at the same time giving the audience something different as well.   

  • TheOther

    Not as long as competing shows like The Voice keeps producing winners like Javier Colon and Jermaine Paul.  Apparently Cassadee Pope is now going to be marketed as a Country artist?  Apparently Melanie Amaro of the X-Factor has already been dropped by her label.   Dunno about Tate Stevens emerging as a Country star at 38?

  • Tinawina

    I actually see where she is coming from. The show is totally on the decline. It went from the #1 show in total viewers and in the demo by a country mile, to number one only in the demo, and this year it probably won’t retain even that title. So she’s looking at it as “go out a winner while you still can”, since soon it might not even retain enough of an invested audience to launch any more careers anyway.

    Of course business-wise that won’t happen. And AI actually might succeed in slowing the slide this season, buying it a few more good years. To me its too soon to call it. If this ends up like season 9 where they lose a huge chink of the audience by the end of the year, where we are looking at another likely 30% or so drop next year, then that would strengthen her point.

  • standtotheright

    The thing about TV is that it isn’t just about ratings; it’s about where the revenue curve (vastly advertising, some sponsorship, minorly recording and associated revenues) meets the cost curve (salary for producers, judges, crew, band, etc. and the rest of the overhead).

    AI has generally speaking been cheap to produce, but trying to spark the ratings by paying big salaries to new judges, and the normal escalation of contracts for the Seacrests and Lythgoes means it is probably still ticking up. Ratings used to be astronomical and engendered ad rates to match, but both are sliding down. Another major decline in ratings and it isn’t inconceivable that ad rates plummet to the point where Fox executives consider an exit strategy.

    As for the talent, there will be 130 finalists who have earned some degree of notoriety after this season who would all like to use the show as a continued platform and there just isn’t enough room to feature but a portion of them. And the idea that AI will be able to launch another successful artist without an undeniable single is at best questionable. The circumstances surrounding Home are exceptionally unlikely to be repeated. The combination of the novelty of solid, non-treacly songwriting, the commercially contemporary delivery from the finalist to whom it was assigned, and the major media platform of the Olympics that proved the song’s marketability outside of the questionable market of the AI audience: I would place no bets on that happening ever again.

    I think all the major partners want it to go 15 seasons. It is merely a question of whether it gets there with some degree of grace or not. I hope, but do not predict, that such grace will be part of the equation.

  • elliegrll

    AI doesn’t need to produce superstars, they just need to produce a better show that people want to watch.  Most viewers could careless about whether or not Taylor Hicks is successful, but they do want to watch a fun show, and have the belief that anyone can win.

  • Tera2

    Jennifer Hudson was my favorite her season, and its good to see what she’s done with her career, but I don’t think idol needs to bow out on top right now like she says. I’m sure others who have talent and hoping to come on idol to make it won’t want that stepping stone taken from them either.  I’ve watched Idol from day 1 of season 1, and I may not be as enthusiastic as I was as time goes on cause the show isn’t producing major stars like her, Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry, and Jordin, but its the type of show that serves a purpose that’s more than just big ratings (its about giving people a shot at their dreams) and there will be new and younger viewers as time goes on watching.  Idol can still go on 5 more seasons.  I wish other shows like “The Voice” didn’t come along to saturate the market and make it seem like its not important to discover stars who can be successful. 

     Also, I’d rather idol do a better job again at discovering stars who can be a success on mainstream charts and pop charts like Kelly Clarkson.  It seems like its become about putting big stars on the judging panel than creating big stars like Carrie Underwood and those I mentioned previously.  There is always some undiscovered potential star out there and they just need to pick the right contestants who can be major stars – not mostly those they think middle America will go see on idol tour and then forgotten. We will see if this season will produce stars.  I’m glad Randy is still on the panel cause he’s a good judge, and so far I tend to agree with Mariah and Keith Urban’s views of contestants, but not so much with Nicky Minaj.

  • shell29

    I see what Jen is saying and I agree with her. I would rather see the show go out on top. The show isn’t going to last forever. It’s not like she’s saying she hopes the show is cancelled so I don’t see the problem with what she said. Since she’s an Idol alum I’m not sure what difference it would how she may feel about the other shows especially since she was only asked about Idol.

    As long as Idol (or X Factor, for that matter) are making money for Fox, they are in no danger of getting cancelled. Ultimately I think it will be the producers’ decision to pull the plug on this show when the time comes.

  • fantoo1

    Football still beat it in the demo last year. The show may be in decline for ratings, but it has been like that since season 5. Being in decline doesn’t mean you still can’t have good ratings-which it still does.

  • Shander Maxwhite

    I’m not trying to question JH’s intent because I think she’s coming at it from a good place,  but I gotta think that Wow!, the numbers of x-idols are adding up! Not all of them are Super stars (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood), or big stars (Daughtry, … Hudson, Kelli Pickler)  but look at so many others earning a living… Lambert making big bucks with Queen and his own album.   Jordin Sparks just had a high profile movie role.

    David cook had commercial Success beyond his first album and he’s not quite gone yet.  Kris Allen has put out a couple albums and evidently has written some songs for others?Crystal Bowersox is putting out her second album and might be getting a bit of a following in a niche of country music as trust develops that she’s not a hippy (: ) I’m exaggerating   but also rans like Bucky Convinton and Kristi Lee Cook still cooking.  High finishers like Jason Castro and Casey Jones are still in the public eye … Castro selling decently well I guess in christian radio along with the just out of the gates: Colton Dixon… Archiletto makes money singing still.. I think he had big tours again recently in the far east?And I haven’t even mentioned a dozen others still earning money in the entertainment business in niche markets (Reuben Steudart is still singing – as is Elliot Yamin who didn’t win it – Taylor Hicks with a Las Vegas show he never would have had a shot at without the american idol anointment) and others starting careers with low selling first albums but strong core fan followings – Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Turbin from season 10 alone, behind Scotty McCreery and Lauren who had good selling first albums and higher profile tours.The alumni group just keeps expanding …. and well,  I know Jenifer Hudson has come far far too far with successes in multiple areas to gain buzz from the idol association,  at some point,  either the buzz loses steam or other artists move from disdain of artists that took a short cut to maybe even a kind of anger at that method crowding other routes out?I don’t know that I expressed that right and I think the consequence hasn’t really formed in my mind.  Still,  it is growing to a lot of people whatever that means.  12 years,  3, 4 or 5 a year from each show that find a place for 10 years.. 50 or so maybe out there earning a living in a fields that only have so much attention to go around ?

  • Nedsdag

    Next to football, AI one of FOX’s cash cows and it is still their highest rated show. Without AI, it would mean FOX will have to spend money to develop actual scripted programming with actors, directors et al. As everyone knows, FOX has little patience with shows that do not generate Top 20 Nielsen ratings unless it is a cartoon. The fact that the Tuesday comedy shows are still on the air is a tribute to the writers, producers, and actors of these shows.

    But I do agree with Nigel regarding Ryan Seacrest. If he leaves, then the show would definitely end.

  • LeahKittyS

    Why is 15 the magic number? And who are the major partners? American Idol is listed as “A sure thing” on TV Line’s renewal scorecard, so contrary to my hopes, it’s probably not ending after this season. But I’ll settle for 15.

  • standtotheright

    Years that are multiples of 5 look more intentional than other periods, and I don’t think there’s a hope in hell that AI lasts 20 seasons. So…15. That’s not to say that they might not try to ride it longer, but I think that once they got past 10 seasons, 15 was the next most reasonable stopping point.

    And by “major partners” I mean Fox network execs, Core/Fremantle, XIX, etc.

  • Eilonwy

    Why is 15 the magic number?

    Amortization of intangible assets.

    Seriously. On the balance sheet of American Idol’s owner (which is now Apollo Global Management), Idol is an asset that follows a set amortization schedule. Around S15, its balance-sheet value hits zero. This has NOTHING to do with the quality of the show, its viewers, or its ad revenues — it’s an accounting thing. But it’s an important accounting thing, as a company ordinarily needs assets to borrow against.

    Around S15, Apollo has two basic options. One is to keep Idol as a “cash cow,” which means the show needs to generate lots and lots of cash (so, profits way above costs). I think it actually has to do that anyway, because Apollo stuck it in an investment fund, which usually means the asset needs to be paying a high return. The second option is to sell Idol to a new buyer, which restarts the clock on the value of the asset. Without getting a lot more involved in accounting minutiae, I don’t know which is the way to go. But S15 is re-evaluation time, either way.

  • elliegrll

    Other than sports, AI is Fox’s only cash cow.  Other than football, the only Fox shows that are in the top 25 are AI, the X Factor, and sometimes The Simpsons and Family Guy.   So far this season Fox is not doing well in the ratings.  Their comedies are still around, because Fox has too many holes in their schedule, they can’t cancel every show that has bad ratings.